Westminster Boys, Marist Girls Repeat Titles at GHSA 1-5A State Meet

Full results

Boys’ Meet

The lead Westminster boys had built up after the diving event at the McCauley Aquatic Center at Georgia Tech on Friday proved too much to overcome, and they earned their second consecutive Georgia 1-5A state title with a commanding 362.5 points. The race for second place was a thriller, however; in the end St. Pius X edged Chamblee by a half-point to claim runner-up status with 256.5 points.

Westminster began by lowering their own 200 medley relay state record of 1:32.57, set in prelims, to 1:32.30 with Owen Downs (24.05), Derek Cox (24.82), Erek Cox (22.40), and Joseph Rodriguez (21.03). Chamblee took second in 1:33.39 ahead of Dalton (1:35.14). Westminister continued to run up the point tally with wins from Derek Cox in the 200 IM (1:49.37) and 100 breast (55.17), and a second from Erek Cox in the 100 free (46.00) and a third in the 200 free (1:39.36). They were also victorious in the 200 free relay, clocking a time of 1:24.08 from Derek Cox (20.53), Erek Cox (21.23), Philip Stith (21.11), and Rodriguez (21.21). McIntosh was second in that race with 1:27.88, while North Atlanta took third (1:28.18).

Senior Dean Farris of Paideida climbed to the top of the podium twice, winning the 200 free in 1:37.06 and the 100 fly in 47.90. John Mataxas of Jenkins placed second and third in those events, respectively, going 1:39.05 and 48.83. Dalton’s Ethan Young was second in the 100 fly (48.29) and later lowered his own state record in the 100 back, winning with 47.20.

Chamblee’s John Mitchell was another double winner; he scorched the field in the sprint free events, with 20.89 in the 50 and 45.73 in the 100. McIntosh’s Tan Dunn (21.05) edged teammate Marty Stange (21.24) for second place in the 50. Dunn was also runner-up in the 100 back with 49.11. Mitchell’s Chamblee teammate, freshman Liam Bell, earned two silver medals: twice he was runner-up to Derek Cox, going 1:50.53 in the IM and 55.76 in the breast.

The most exciting race of the day kept fans on edge for four and a half minutes. St. Pius X’s Jeffrey Durmer, who had swum the top qualifying time in the 500 free by nearly 4 seconds, found himself locked into a battle with Brennan Day of Greenbriar from the 150 onward. Down by 1.5 seconds at the 400, Durmer sprinted home in a 53.3 to get the touch by a mere 2/100, 4:32.09 to 4:32.11. It was Durmer’s all-time best performace by over 4 seconds.

The boys’ meet concluded with a Chamblee win in the 400 free relay behind Noah Oh (47.98), Bell (46.03), Alex Perry (47.38), and Mitchell (46.89) for a total time of 3:08.28. Dalton went 3:10.86 for second; St. Pius X, 3:12.01 for third.

Girls’ Meet

In the girls’ meet, Marist, too, won the state crown for the second year in a row. They just held off Dunwoody, whose commanding performances in the two freestyle relays alone earned them 96 points.

It was Pace Academy, though, who kicked things off with a big win in the 200 medley relay. Madison Graham (26.52), Olivia Baker (30.51), Grace Ferry (24.61), and Anna VanZyverden (24.80) knocked 1.7 seconds off their prelims time and won the relay in 1:46.44. Marist (1:47.86) and Sequoyah (1:49.44) followed. Ferry came back in the next event and scored a strong victory, taking the 200 free in 1:49.42, the only sub 1:50 in the field. Allatoona’s Caitlyn McHugh went 1:50.18 for second. The pair battled fiercely in the 500 free, as well. Ferry was up by 1.3 seconds at the halfway mark, but McHugh had a strong second half. She narrowed Ferry’s lead to .6 at the 450 wall, but couldn’t quite close the remaining distance over the last 50 yards. In the end it was Ferry with 4:53.10 and McHugh, 4:53.24.

In the 200 IM, Danielle Della Torre of Oconee County held a 1.5-second lead at the breast-to-free turn and barely got her hand to the wall ahead of Chamblee freshman Jade Foelske. Della Torre held on for the win with 2:01.01, despite Foelske’s 27.95 free leg which pulled her into second place in front of Marist’s Elizabeth Bailey, 2:01.43 to 2:02.36. Foelske got her win in the 100 fly, though, out-touching Bailey 54.31 to 54.43, again with a strong back half. Della Torre, meanwhile, picked up her second win with a 1:02.38 in the 100 breast. She was followed closely by Allie Reiter of Dunwoody (1:02.68) and Jordyn Gulle of Richmond Hill (1:02.74).

Raleigh Bentz of Providence Christian, who placed third in the 100 fly (55.49), earned a hard-fought victory in the 100 back with 56.25. Pace Academy’s Graham came in second with 55.91; third place went to LaGrange’s Allie Paschal in 56.75. Paschal was runner-up in the 50 free to Donna Blaum of Starr’s Mill, who clocked a winning 23.44. Paschal went 23.60 for second, ahead of Melissa Brown of Grady (23.86).

Dunwoody’s Laura Spratling (24.61), Hannah Robison (25.09), Reiter (24.16), and Kaleigh McGrady (24.24) won the 200 free relay in a dominating 1:38.10. Starr’s Mill eked out a second-place finish over Wesleyan, 1:39.24 to 1:39.39. The same Dunwoody quartet claimed the 400 free title to close the meet, going 3:32.95. Sequoyah took second ahead of Pace Academy, 3:34.23 to 3:35.35.

Men – Team Rankings – Final
1. Westminster 362.5
2. St. Pius X 256.5
3. Chamblee 256
4. Dalton 218
5. McIntosh 160
5. North Atlanta 160
7. Marist 126
8. Pace Academy 96
9. Dunwoody 95
10. Cambridge 91

Women – Team Rankings – Final
1. Marist 225
2. Dunwoody 215
3. Sequoyah 192
4. Pace Academy 186
5. Chamblee 140
6. Starr’s Mill 131
7. North Oconee 130
8. Wesleyan 124
9. LaGrange 122
10. Oconee County 121

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5 years ago

What a great weekend of swimming competition in Georgia! It is worth noting that this is meet is a swimming AND diving meet! On the girls’ side, Marist started out with 55 points thanks to points from 4 divers awarded on Thursday. They actually won the Championship with out any 1st place swimming points and would not have taken 1st without their divers.

I’d also be interested in your thoughts regarding GHSA’s practice of having Class 1-5A schools competing for a single championship title? Pace Academy, a AA school by appeal (soon to be AAA) and an A school by size, was the top team among A-AAA girls teams, with a 1st place and 3rd place relay, 2… Read more »

5 years ago

Such an exciting meet as usual. Worth noting that Marist went into the meet with a 25 point lead on Dunwoody after diving. Dunwoody fought hard to catch back up, finishing a slim 10 points behind (meaning Dunwoody’s swim team actually beat state champion Marist in the swimming portion of the meet.) Dunwoody definitely made an impression on some of the other big private schools this year, sweeping both freestyle relays with relative ease. Luckily, Dunwoody will not lose any swimmers next year, leaving the state title for 2017 up for grabs.

Reply to  ASWIMFAN
5 years ago

Yes, Dunwoody is my pick to win the 2017 title too! Pace Academy, a private but very small AA school, would have won the swim portion of the meet this year. Unfortunately, 3 of their top swimmers are seniors and while they will add a few up and coming freshman, they will not be able to hold off the Dunwoody stars!

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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