We’re only through the state’s smaller schools, but multiple Georgia High School state records have already gone down at the Georgia Tech Aquatics Center on Friday. Note that Georgia’s swim coaches association only keeps one list of State Records, not one for each meet.
The first, which we reported on earlier, was from Woodward Academy’s Caitlin Cooper, who clipped the 50 free record of Amanada Weir (22.91) early in this meet. She also took the top seed, though not the record, in the 100 free with a 50.34 – still more than a second away from Wier’s record.
After that, the flood-gates opened up a little bit. Paul Powers, who is committed to Michigan and is the #2 swimmer in this year’s senior class, passed on his best event the 50 free individually at this meet. The top seed in that race went instead to his younger brother and North Hall teammate Ty Powers in 20.51.
Paul’s first individual swim came in the 100 free, where he was easily the top seed in 43.66. That improved his own record of 44.02, though it’s still a bit shy of his personal best from Winter Nationals.
Paul Powers would get a shot at the 50 free, however, leading off North Hall’s 200 free relay. There he split a 19.63, which also broke his own State Record of 19.91, as North Hall roared to a 1:26.04 and the top seed. Not far behind them were the boys from Marist, who had a very balanced relay, impressively so for a school with enrollment of just over 1,000, for a 1:26.47.
In Paul Powers’ other individual event, the 100 back, he will get a much bigger challenge than it looks like will happen in the 100 free. Powers actually goes into that final as the second seed, behind sophomore Ethan Young from Dalton. Young broke the State Record in the 100 back in 47.85, which took another huge name off of the record books: former Marist swimmer Peter Marshall, who is now a World Record holder. Young has been half-a-second faster, but he’ll have some room to open-up in finals with Powers as the 2nd seed in 48.92, which is a full second back.
Another big name swimming at this meet is National Team member Gunnar Bentz. He took the top seed in the 100 fly in 48.60, but is just the 2nd seed in the 200 IM behind Colin Managhan 1:52.04-1:52.41. Bentz has been about 6 seconds better in that race, and has the potential to win it even if his season plan is looking largely beyond this meet.
Westminster’s Katie Christy is in a strong position to defend her state title in the 200 IM, where she swam a 2:03.95 for the top seed coming out of prelims. The junior was also the state champion in the 100 breast in 2012, but in 2013 that title went to her sister Jamie, who is now a freshman at USC; this year, Katie will have a new challenger in that 100 breaststroke, as fellow junior Darby Wayner has the top seed in 1:04.53. Christy is 2nd in 1:04.70.
And finally, Aja Malone from Allatoona was the top seed in both the 100 fly (54.84) and the 100 back (56.29), and by a significant margin in each.