Prelims of the 6A (big schools) high school state championships in Georgia have been less eventful than the 1A-5A event, which took place Friday morning. But nonetheless, there have been a few notable swims and some definite drama setting up for the finals tomorrow night.
The very first girls event saw a state record survive by just a hair – the girls of Lambert High went 1:45.66 in the 200 medley to pull within about a half-second of the state record. The team was made up of Megan Bestor, Ashley Mallon, Jane Johnson and Katherine Aikins, and only Bestor is a senior. Mallon was the only breaststroke sub-30 in prelims, and Aikins had the fastest freestyle split at 23.3.
The old record is 1:45.01 set by Lassiter in 2011, and features two notable names: now-SEC rivals Sammie Bosma (Texas A&M) and Shannon O’Malley (Georgia).
(Update: the listed Georgia State records did not include last years results, where this record was lowered to 1:43.96 by Westminster. That means Lambert has plenty more work to do to get to state record pace, but could still emerge from finals as the second-best relay in state history.)
The boys 200 medley relay is currently topped by the Chattahoochee team of Kevin Litherland, Jay Litherland, Mick Litherland and Jacob Rubin, and they’re just over a second off the state record heading into tomorrow. Mick Litherland is also the top seed in the 100 fly at 50.53.
In the girls 50 free, senior Alexi Smith of Archer High went 23.38 – that would have gotten her close to Amanda Weir’s state record, had Caitlin Cooper not lowered the mark earlier in the day. Still, Smith, who has committed to FSU next year, is the top seed and will have her shot at the 23-second barrier at tomorrow night’s finals.
The girls 100 fly saw future UCLA Bruin Katie Grover of Milton High soar to a dominating #1 seed. Her 53.37 is well over a second and a half beyond the second-place swimmer. It’s a lifetime-best for her, and should leave her within striking distance of a 52-second race come tomorrow.
Full results are available here. Finals will kick off Saturday at 6:00 PM Eastern Time.