2023 Alabama High School State Championship (6A-7A)
The 64th Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Swimming and Diving State Championships were held earlier this month in Auburn, Alabama. The meet is divided and scored between two divisions, with 1A-5A being for the smaller schools and 6A-7A for the larger schools.
The 6A-7A meet saw six records fall in total, with five being set on the boys’ side and one on the girls.
Huntsville High School dominated the team standings on the way to their 8th-consecutive team championship title. They won seven events overall, with record-setting performance in all three relays.
Top 3 Teams:
- Huntsville High School – 348
- Vestavia Hills High School – 252
- James Clemens High School – 221
Leading the way for Huntsville was junior Luke Bedsole and senior Bradford Johnson. Bedsole swept the 50 and 100 freestyle with times of 20.16 and 43.96, respectively, with his time in the 50 free marking a new AHSAA record. Both of his swims were personal bests at the time, however, he lowered them further this past weekend at Winter Juniors (20.04/43.67).
Johnson set a record of his own en route to winning the 100 fly. He stopped the clock at 47.51, putting him nearly three seconds ahead of the next fastest finisher. His swim also established a new personal best, taking about half a second off his previous mark from 2021.
Johnson gave up one of his individual events to swim on all three of Huntsville’s winning and record-setting relays. The 200 medley clocked in at 1:29.71, while the 200 and 400 freestyle relays followed suit with times of 1:24.97 and 3:05.31, respectively.
Also contributing an event title for Huntsville was senior Cole Withrow, who clocked a personal best time of 57.54 to win the 100 breast. This improves on his 2nd-place finish from last year, where he logged a time of 58.43.
McGill-Toolen junior Chip Andrews collected wins in the 200 IM and 500 freestyle with big best times in both. He opened with a three second drop in the 200 IM (1:52.89), then eclipsed his best time in the 500 by over two seconds (4:33.73).
Other Event Winners:
- Bob Jones senior Michael Tretyakov was the only swimmer in the 100 backstroke to crack 50-seconds with a winning time of 49.50.
- Vestavia junior and Auburn commit Ari Azrad took the title in the 200 freestyle with a personal best time of 1:38.30.
- The 1-meter diving title went to Fairhope junior Cooper Brechman, who scored a total of 404.65 points.
The girls’ side of the meet was slightly closer, however, Bob Jones ultimately came out on top to successfully defend their championship title. Their victory was fueled by five event titles, including the 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay.
Top 3 Teams:
- Bob Jones High School – 298
- Auburn High School – 248.50
- Huntsville High School – 208.50
Bob Jones’ team of Abby Chan, Finnley Koehler, Samantha Chan, and Meli Mbuko opened the meet with a record-setting performance in the 200 medley relay. They combined for a 1:44.68 in finals, clearing the rest of the field by five seconds.
Samantha Chan, a senior and Georgia Tech commit, defended her title individually in the 100 fly. She stopped the clock at 53.98, which is nearly a second under what she won the event with in 2022.
Her younger sister, Abby Chan, grabbed the runner-up spot in the 100 fly (54.78) then claimed a victory of her own in the 100 back. The 14-year-old logged a 55.71 in finals, putting her within a second of the personal best time she set at NCSAs in March.
Senior Peyton Brady added another victory for Bob Jones in the 500 freestyle. The Milligan commit came to wall at 5:11.37, which is about three seconds shy of her best time from this meet in 2022.
Fairhope senior and Richmond recruit Lena Amare went two-for-two on winning her individual events for the 3rd year in a row. This year, she opted to swim the 100 free and 200 IM, where she hit times of 51.12 and 2:02.69, respectively. Amare was slightly quicker in prelims of the 100 free with a 50.54, good for a new personal best.
Opelika senior Sarah Bush successfully defended her state title in the 50 freestyle. Bush, who is headed to Auburn next fall, got her hand on the wall 1st at 23.41. Her time is just over a tenth under the personal best she hit at this meet last year.
Other Event Winners:
- St. Paul’s Reagan Costello came out on top of the 1-meter diving event with a score of 357.90.
- Chelsea senior Alexandria Morgan notched a personal best time of 1:55.87 to take home the title in the 200 freestyle.
- Westminster Christian Jackie Faircloth claimed the title in the 100 breast with a time of 1:04.76. Her swim was about two seconds quicker than where she was at this time last year, however, was just shy of her personal best from Sectionals.