Prep Swimming: East Coweta hosts 7th annual Tribal Challenge
By DOUG GORMAN
More than 400 swimmers and 19 high school teams converged on the Summit YMCA pool Saturday afternoon for the seventh annual East Coweta High School Tribal Challenge.
The annual meet is the last event before qualified swimmers head off to the GHSA state meet in two weeks at Georgia Tech, or other swimmers try to qualify for state or add personal bests to their swimming resumes.
"We had 19 teams and a lot of swimmers. It was my first meet and I think it ran really well," said East Coweta first-year head coach Alicia Porras.
Among the local teams, Northgate was fourth with a score of 98 points. East Coweta finished fifth with 95 points and Newnan was 12th with 10 points.
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East Coweta's Nick Hogsed turned in first-place performances in the 200- (1:46.05) and 500-yard freestyle (4:47). Hogsed has already qualified for seven events at the state meet.
The 200 boys freestyle was one of the most competitive of the day as three of the first five placers went to swimmers from Coweta County. In addition to Hogsed's win, Northgate's Russell Durrance (2:09.37) was fourth and Hunter Kirbow was fifth (2:10.13).
Hogsed won the long distance race going away. The second-best time in the 500 was turned in by McInosh swimmer Nick Wukovits (5:15.33), Northgate's Spencer Ramthun was fourth (5:40.31) and Newnan's Caleb Schnck was (5:54.76)
Lady Indian Kelsey Taliaferro took first place in the 200 IM (2:23.17). Taliaferro entered Saturday's Tribal Challenge already qualified for the state meet in the 200 IM, 100 butterfly, 100 back and 100 breast. She was also second in the 100 breaststroke (1:15.31).
Ashley Delgado was first in the 500-yard freestyle (5:38.96) and the 50-freestyle (25.61). Delgado went into Saturday's meet with her swimming resume showing she had already qualified for the state meet in 200 free, 50 free and 100 free.
Northgate's Justin Moore took home first place in the 100 backstroke. East Coweta's Jesse Murr turned in a fourth-place (1:01.01) performance in the 100 backstroke, while Northgate's Andrew Wheeler was sixth (1:02.40).
Moore was also fourth in the 200-yard IM (2:09.45). Moore has turned in state times 100 fly, 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle.
In the 200-yard relay the Northgate team of Moore, Harrison Griffiths, Andrew Wheeler and Durrance was fourth.
East Coweta's girls 200-yard medley relay team featuring, Lauren Hanus, Kyra Odum, Taliaferro, and Delgado was fourth (2:06.24). The Northgate team of Hayley Holmes, Bria Malry, Giulia Middei and Kalie Whiddon was sixth (2:08.61). Both school's medley relay teams have advanced to state.
Whiddon also turned in a solid performance in the 100-yard freestyle with a fourth-place finish (1:00.83).
Northgate added a strong third-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle (1:38.72) paced by Andrew Wheeler, Ramthun, Durreance, and Moore. The Vikings had already qualified for state in that event. East Coweta's boys team of Kirbow, Jesse Murr, Luc Boulet and Hogseed finished fifth (1:40.07). The Indians just missed qualifying for state by 7/100 of a second off the qualifying mark.
Murr just missed turning in a state qualifying time in the back. Murr and the relay team will return to the pool for a one-time time trial later this week in hopes of qualifying in those events.