Northgate swimmers keep county title
by Chris Goltermann
Varsity swim lineups each had something to brag about following this year’s annual Coweta Tri-Meet at the Summit YMCA.
They included Newnan placing first among boys and second in girls standings for the first time in meet history while celebrating its Senior Night, They equally involved East Coweta’s dominance in freestyle swims, led by two individual wins from Indians star senior Nick Hogsed and two freestyle victories from younger sister Maggie, a freshman for the Lady Indians.
But Northgate’s mighty crow started with its third-consecutive county championship.
Racking up 875 points, the Class AAAAA school held off both of its crosstown rivals from AAAAAA for this year’s overall meet championship in a 26-point decision over Newnan.
It came fittingly with the Lady Vikings leading the way across the finish line during a victory in the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay on a night where its girls won five swims including a pair by junior Delaney Wallace — one of which was a state-qualifying mark of 2:21.09 in the 200 individual medley.
Wallace joined fellow junior Justin Moore and seniors Hayley Holmes and Andrew Wheeler to lead respective boys and girls lineups. Holmes added a victory in the 500 freestyle for the Lady Vikings, who immediately won the 200 medley relay in their first event.
The Vikings, meanwhile, set the tone with a personal-best in their 200 medley to open the meet, and Wheeler and Moore each followed with a pair of individual victories. Wheeler captured the boys 200 IM (2:09.54) and 100 butterfly (55.46) — the first by 21 seconds — while Moore equally dominated the 100 freestyle (49.10) and 100 backstroke (55.03). Both have already qualified for the upcoming GHSA Championships in all four events and eight combined individually.
Spencer Ramthum continued to make a push at a potential state-time in the 500 freestyle, winning the event in 5:29.84 after closing to within five seconds of a qualifying mark over the weekend in the grueling 20-lap swim. He also placed second behind Wheeler in the 100 butterfly.
Ben Taylor was second in the 50 freestyle for the Vikings, who also got top-six efforts from Harrison Griffiths (3rd, 100 breaststroke), Zach Kula (4th, 200 IM) and Nathan Lei (4th, 500 freestyle).
Depth, however, was prominent from all three schools.
The Cougars had multiple scorers in eight individual events to help stay ahead of the Vikings among boys standings, finishing with 438 points to Northgate’s 413. Harrison Pearson won the 50 freestyle in 24.74 while seniors Drew Mask and Connor France each placed in the top-five twice while also among a fourth-place 200 medley relay and a third-place 400 freestyle relay.
Junior Hunter Spradlin was among the top swimmers for Newnan’s boys while placing second in the 200 IM and third in the 100 freestyle as was Caleb Schenck, who finished behind only East Coweta’s top swimmer, Hogsed, in the 200 freestyle, in addition to a third-place effort in the backstroke. Both Cougars were on a second-place 200 medley relay with Caleb Perry and Pearson.
Perry (3rd, 500 freestyle; 4th, 100 butterfly), Gabe Griffith (2nd, 500 freestyle; 5th, 100 butterfly) Michael Durant (4th, 100 freestyle) and Gray Gaude (5th, 200 freestyle) all had top-five efforts for Newnan, which has 12 juniors on this year’s combined roster.
Meanwhile, Hogsed continued to rack up state times for East Coweta while preparing for his final trip to the GHSA Championships before heading to the University of Arizona.
Hogsed, who has the top time in Class AAAAAA in the 500 freestyle, took a break from long-distance events to add a personal-best during a victory in the 200 freestyle (1:42.85) before qualifying in the 100 breaststroke with a winning effort of 1:03.59.
Hogsed now has state times in six of a possible eight individual events while contributing to East Coweta’s three qualifying relay efforts this season.
On Tuesday, the Indians equally showcased their strength in freestyle relays, finishing first, second and fifth in the boys 400 relay as well as second, fourth and fifth in the boys 200 swim.
Individually, Josh Buth (2nd, 100 freestyle; 3rd, 100 butterfly) along with seniors Jesse Murr (2nd, 100 freestyle; 3rd, 100 butterfly) and Samuel Siprelle (2nd, 100 breaststroke, 3rd, 200 IM) each had a pair of finishes in the top three for East Coweta’s boys. Collin Bennett, Trey Doss and Michael Garcia added efforts in the top six for the Indians, who finished with 348 of the school’s 632 points.
The Lady Vikings were the leading point scorer among the six individual teams, using its depth along with top swims from Wallace and Holmes in a 462-point effort to outdistance girls teams from Newnan (411) and East Coweta (284).
Northgate’s girls had four of the top-six in the 200 IM, featuring all four swimming strokes, led by Wallace’s state qualifying time. The Lady Vikings also had a 1-2-3 finish in the 100 breaststroke led by Wallace’s other individual victory where she finished 18 seconds ahead of teammates Katherine Keller and Tegan Petersen. Jessica Pfliger was also sixth for Northgate in the event.
In all, 11 swimmers placed among the top six individually for the Lady Vikings, with Rachel Schick (3rd, 200 freestyle; 4th, 100 backstroke), Kelly Henderson (3rd, 50 freestyle, 5th, 100 butterfly), Madeline Long (3rd, 100 backstroke; 5th, 200 IM) and Wendy Cervantes (2nd, 500 freestyle; 4th, 200 IM) each contributing a pair.
Both Stephanie Gordon (5th, 100 backstroke) and Julie Yarbrough (4th, 100 butterfly) had at least one top-five effort for Northgate’s girls to go along with its two relay victories.
The Lady Cougars were able to put together its best finish in meet history, placing second among girls behind individual victories from senior Courteney Darrow in the 100 backstroke (1:10.49) and junior Kaylee Wagstaff in the 100 butterfly (1:24.03). Darrow also placed second in the 200 IM behind Northgate’s Delaney Wallace.
The team also had three more second-place efforts, including a pair by junior Jacqueline Witt (200 freestyle, 50 freestyle). Shelby Stillwell had the other in the 100 backstroke in a battle with Northgate’s Madeline Long.
Relays were equally strong for Newnan’s girls. Darrow, Stillwell, Witt and Sophie Bonomi placed second in the 400 freestyle behind Northgate’s ‘A’ team, while a lineup of Wagstaff, Bonomi, Lindsay Stewart and Jessica Monroe were third in the 200 freestyle relay.
Sophie Bonomi (4th, 100 breaststroke, 6th 100 breaststroke), Anna Bonomi (3rd, 100 butterfly; 5th 100 breaststroke), Monroe (4th, 100 freestyle), Lizzi Haynes (3rd, 500 freestyle), Kaitlyn Nichols (4th, 500 freestyle), Lauren Starnes (6th, 100 backstroke) each had at least one finish in the top-six individually.
Maggie Hogsed’s two victories highlighted an effort from East Coweta’s girls, with the freshman showing she could dominate swims much like her older brother.
In addition to a victory in the 200 freestyle (2:19.25), she teamed with Lady Indian senior Courtney Cowdell for a 1-2 finish in the 100 freestyle led by Hogsed’s winning time of 1:04.28.
Cowdell added a win of her own in the 200 freestyle in 2:19.25, more than 14 seconds ahead of her closest competitor. Katie Sears was second in the 100 butterfly and fifth in the 50 freestyle while Anna Dean (5th, 200 freestyle; 7th, 100 breaststroke), Taylon Hammons (6th, 50 freestyle) and Mia Clark (7th, 100 backstroke) made contributions.