The Etowah girls accounted for 336 of their team total 570 points in Saturday’s meet at the Cumming Aquatic Center. The boys, who finished second behind Woodstock, scored 234 points.
Woodstock won the boys title with 253 points, while the girls were second behind Etowah with 216. Their 469 team points were good for second overall.
First-year Etowah coach Virginia Richards said she felt great to continue the team’s streak, but she never took things for granted.
“I scored out the meet (Saturday) morning and we weren’t supposed to win on paper,” Richards said, as she dried off after her team tossed her into the pool to celebrate. “All of these kids just swam better top to bottom. We had kids taking 10 seconds off their 100 freestyle. I think it was a really total team effort. We had everybody come together at the right time.”
Richards was also pleased that a few more girls were able to qualify for state.
“I can’t even remember everybody that made their cuts (Saturday), so that is great,” she said. “It was definitely one of our goals.”
Woodstock coach J.T. Gillin was disappointed that his team didn’t make a better showing. He too had charted the meet on paper and saw that his team should have the edge.
“Everything went wrong (Saturday),” he said. “When we got the sheets (Friday) night, we actually would have won this meet on seeds, by about 10 points. You know that always goes one way or another.”
Woodstock has struggled with injuries throughout the season, particularly on the boys side, and it was swimming without Lauren Case, who was attending a weekend clinic at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“It was kind of nice that we lost they way we did,” Gillin said. “Lauren is about 50 points right there, so, if you take the two boys relays we were touched out on, it’s a 25-point meet right there. If it had been closer, it really would have stung a lot more.
“I think our time is coming.”
Sequoyah (386) was third in the overall standings with 386 points, followed by River Ridge (273), Creekview (166) and Cherokee (40).
Sequoyah coach Nell Hess said she entered the season questioning how her team would perform, and she was pleased with the answer she got Saturday.
“The kids just really stepped up,” Hess said. “We have a lot of new kids, and they did a great job. The times they dropped here at this meet were just outrageous. People were doing phenomenal.”
Sequoyah placed third in the girls standings with 155 points, followed by River Ridge (125), Creekview (106) and Cherokee (14).
The 200-yard freestyle was a key race for the Etowah girls, who had four of the top eight placers, including three of the top four. Hannah Martin was second in 1 minute, 59.12 seconds, followed by Finley Billings (2:00.67) in third and Caroline Taylor (2:11.30) fourth.
The Lady Eagles were also strong in the 200 individual medley. Taylor Weiss finished first in 2:10.57 seconds, while Megan Young (2:12.95) was second.
As expected, Martin was key for the Lady Eagles. She teamed with Billings, Weiss and Katie Taylor to win the 200 medley relay in 1:53.64 seconds.
Martin finished second behind Sequoyah’s Rachel Pelzek in the 200 freestyle.
Sequoyah’s Kristina Kosloski won the 50 free in 25.37 seconds, followed by Etowah’s Taylor (25.92) and Creekview’s Lauren Wallin (26.46).
Weiss won the 100 butterfly for Etowah in 57.72 seconds, followed by River Ridge’s Katie Brown (1:07.45) and Woodstock’s Anna Giddens (1;08.85).
Pelzek might have won the 100 freestyle for Sequoyah, but Etowah managed to get points from Taylor (third, 57.62), Allison Guebert (fifth, 1:00.31), Madison Miracle (seventh, 1:01.68) and Irina Vogt (10th, 1:03.09).
If the Etowah girls weren’t already dominating the meet, they certainly showed their strength in the 500 freestyle.
Lauren Oglesby won the event in 5:11.92. Creekview’s Brittany Creasy was a close second in 5:15.27, but with Martin (third, 5:23.68), Carolina Taylor (fourth, 5:46.10), and Jessica Resnick (ninth, 6:13.60) finishing in the top 10, Etowah was able to pull away.
Young, Katie Taylor, Billings and Oglesby won the 200 freestyle relay followed by teams from Sequoyah and Woodstock.
Young and Oglesby, fresh off the win in the 200 relay, placed first and second in the 100 backstroke. Brown of River Ridge was third.
Kosloski took the 100 breaststroke for Sequoyah, followed by Woodstock’s Kailey Austin and Billings.
The final event of the meet was practically a victory lap for the Lady Eagles. Young, Weiss, Martin and Oglesby combined for the 400 freestyle relay victory.
Woodstock’s team of Kailey Austin, Jamie Maloney, Anna Giddens and Madison Tank took second, followed by Etowah’s “B” team.