Russellville Win First Girls State Title, Boys Repeat in Arkansas 5A

AAA Boys and Girls 5A Swimming & Diving Championships

  • February 26-27, 2021
  • Russellville Aquatic Center, Russellville, Arkansas
  • Short Course Yards (25y)
  • Results

Girls 5A

  1. Russellville — 334
  2. Little Rock Christian — 310
  3. Mountain Home Senior — 287
  4. Lakeside — 272
  5. Greene County Tech — 160

The Arkansas 5A (middle-sized schools) Swimming & Diving Championships was held from February 26-27 in Russellville. The Russellville High School girls used superior depth to capture their first state title, winning the AAA 5A championship by 24 points over Little Rock Christian. 

Little Rock Christian was able to win 8 of the meet’s 12 events but lacked the numbers to pick up significant points from swimmers lower in the standings. This is in contrast to Russellville, who had only one event win but were able to place multiple swimmers in events to lead them to victory.

Little Rock Christian’s lone win was in the 200 free relay. The team of Madison Correla (28.85), Lauren Bradford (27.82), Leah Babb (26.53), and Elizabeth Griffin (27.22) raced to victory in 1:50.42, touching-out Little Rock Christian by 0.12.

Little Rock Christian started the meet by winning the 200 medley relay for the second year in a row. Hannah Hall (26.95), Clara Carle (31.83), Angel Ke (27.76), and Grace Heard (28.01) teamed to touch first in 1:54.55, winning by almost ten seconds.

Ke, fresh-off Little Rock Christian’s win in the medley relay, would win the 200 freestyle for the third year in a row with a time of 1:59.54. Ke, who won the 100 butterfly at last year’s 5A meet, opted to swim the 100 free this year. She topped the field with a time of 53.62, nearly five seconds ahead of the next fastest swimmer. Russellville was able to score four swimmers in the 100 free, outscoring Little Rock Christian by 36 points. 

Hall would be Little Rock Christian’s second double-event winner. She would pick-up her first win in the 100 butterfly, taking home the state title with a time of 58.43, over four seconds ahead of the next fastest swimmer. Hall, the two-time defending champion in the 100 backstroke, would three-peat the event. She lowered her own 5A state record from 58.32 last year to 57.55 this year.  

Little Rock Christian was able to keep ahead of Russellville by scoring five swimmers in the 500 free. Olivia Paczwitz led the way in a tight race, winning by 0.10 with a time of 5:37.42. 

In the 100 breaststroke, Carle repeated as champion, winning by over three seconds in 1:10.17. Russellville’s three swimmers were able to gain 10 points on Little Rock Christian in this event.

Eden Hamlin of Maumelle won her first state title by winning the 200 IM in 2:24.42.

Madelyn Lynch, the runner-up at last year’s meet, would win her first state title by finishing first in the 50 freestyle with a time of 25.57

Julia Roberts of Lakeside won the state title in diving, scoring 292.50 points. Russellville was able to pick-up 27 points on Little Rock Christian in diving. 

Boys 5A

  1. Russellville — 384
  2. Mountain Home Senior — 252
  3. Batesville — 214
  4. Siloam Springs – 200
  5. Lake Hamilton — 164

Photo courtesy of Russellville High School

Compared to the girls side of the meet, the Russellville boys cruised to a 130-point victory, winning six events at the meet.

Aiden Griffith (25.28), Dylan Deavours (32.04), Grant Payne (25.20), and Skylar Caldwell (24.18) opened the meet for Russellville by winning the 200 medley relay in 5A record time of 1:46.70. 

Following the medley relay, Griffith would swim the 200 freestyle, taking home the win by over four seconds with a time of 1:49.35. Griffith would win his second individual state title of the meet by finishing first in the 100 backstroke in 53.52.

Payne, the runner-up in the 100 breaststroke at last year’s meet, won his first individual state title with a time of 1:03.90, over three seconds faster than the next fastest swimmer. 

Devours won the boys 1-meter diving with a score of 295.35.

Russellville would end the meet by winning the 400 freestyle relay. David Lynkins (56.04), Edwyn Brock (52.16), Griffith (48.77), and Payne (50.97) set a new 5A state record in 3:27.94. They dropped over four seconds from the previous record set in 2019. 

Ethan Smith of Lake Hamilton would bring home two state titles. Smith’s first win came in the 200 IM as he used a fast last 50 to win in 2:03.85. He picked-up his second win as he won the 500 free for the second consecutive year in 5:04.75.

John Isaac Majors of Little Rock Christian would sweep the 50 and 100 free events. Majors would win the 50 for the second year in a row, winning by over a second in 22.09. Majors won the 100 free for the second time in three years touching first in 48.19. 

Batesville won the 200 free relay as the team of Trey Moody (23.11), Anthony Sonnier (23.05), Luke Brissey (26.82), and Nathan Hernandez (22.95) raced to a time of 1:35.93.

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