Lockhart and Clinton Break Meet Records, JL Mann Wins SCHSL 5A Championship

2020 SCHSL Boy’s 5A State Swimming Championships

  • October 12, 2020
  • North Charleston Aquatic Center, North Charleston, SC
  • Course: SCY
  • Results on Meet Mobile: “2020 SCHSL 5A Boy’s Championships” 

The South Carolina High School League (SCHSL) is holding its State Championship meets this weekend, marking the first high school state championship meet since the coronavirus pandemic. The 3 girl’s state championship meets are to be held on Saturday, with the boys racing on Monday.

The meet was held at the North Charleston Aquatic Center, which has the capacity to hold over 1,000 swimmers. Due to COVID restrictions, there were no spectators allowed at the meet, and the number of swimmers participating had to also be limited.

On October 9, Fort Dorchester High School was forced to pull out of the meet after one of their swimmers tested positive for coronavirus. A member of the 5A division, Fort Dorchester finished 21st overall at last year’s meet.

The 5A Division includes the largest schools of the SCHSL’s three swimming divisions. Schools competing in this division are the largest in the league, under its recent reclassification that was based on enrollment numbers as of mid-2019.

After a 2 point victory over Nation Ford last year, JL Mann ran away with the team title this year, finishing with a total of 376 points. The defending state champions finished over 70 points ahead of runner-up Wando. 

Top 5 Teams

  1. JL Mann (376)
  2. Wando (303.5)
  3. Nation Ford (228)
  4. Riverside (192)
  5. Fort Mill (186.5)

En route to its victory, JL Mann showcased its incredible depth as the school only won two events throughout the entire meet: the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays. However, 5 of its swimmers contributed 35 points or more, which significantly helped the point total. 

In the 200 medley relay, JL Mann’s team of Bennett Parramore, Zach Zahorec, Sutton Vanderbloemen, and Ben Bannister combined for a time of 1:37.84 for the victory over runner-up Spring Valley. Notably, Bannister’s 50 freestyle split was significantly faster than anyone else in the field as he contributed a split of 21.12. 

At the end of the meet, JL Mann got its other victory via the 400 freestyle relay. The foursome of Parramore, Tristan Bissetta, Julian Lazea, and Bannister narrowly beat Nation Ford for the victory, swimming a final time of 3:13.51. On Nation Ford’s relay, anchor Austin Lockhart split an impressive 43.60 to almost steal-away the victory. 

Lockhart had a very good meet, finishing with 2 individual victories and 2 meet records.

In his first event, the 50 freestyle, Lockhart flew away from the field to finish in 20.27. With his swim, he broke the state meet record (20.71) set by Zach Piedt in 2014. Last season, Lockhart did not compete in the 50 during the state championship, instead opting to swim the 200 freestyle, where he finished second. 

Two events later, Lockhart entered the water to defend his title in the 100 freestyle from last season. Splitting 21.23/23.14, he did so, finishing in a time of 44.37 for the victory. This was well over 2 seconds faster than his winning time from last season (46.98) and he broke Piedt’s other meet record (45.15) that was also set in 2014. 

Next year, Lockhart is committed to swim for the US Naval Academy, where he will have an immediate impact on the roster. 

In between Lockhart’s swims, another senior managed to break a meet record. In the 100 butterfly, Carolina Forest’s Harrison Clinton swam to a final time of 49.41 to chip Jordan Berry’s meet record of 49.79 set in 2008. Notably, it marked Clinton’s first time under the 50 second barrier, his previous best was a 50.35 from last year’s championships. 

Later, Harrison claimed victory in the 100 breaststroke, finishing in a time of 56.84 to drop over 3 seconds off of his seed time. 

Other Highlights: 

  • Mauldin’s Alex Brodsky narrowly won the 500 freestyle over Byrnes’ Caeden Stratton 4:42.94 to 4:43.88, respectively. Stratton dramatically improved upon his 11th place finish from last season, finishing over 15 seconds faster this year. 
  • Riverside sophomore Nick Bracall swam to victory in the 200 freestyle, posting a final time of 1:44.33, which cut over 5 seconds off of his seed time. 
  • The 200 IM saw Dorman’s Brett Bailey secure the win with a time of 1:55.12, which knocked 8 seconds off of his seed time. 
  • Nation Ford’s 200 freestyle relay of Lucas Grigat, George Bujoreanu, Nick Martin, and Lockhart touched in 1:28.02 to secure the win. Lockhart split a blazing 19.48 on the anchor leg, marking the only person to split sub-21 in the entire field. 
  • Brodsky earned his second individual victory of the day in the 100 backstroke, where he out-touched the runner-up by about .6 to finish in 52.08. 

 

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