High School Swimming
Teams take efforts into annual Tribal Challenge
Varsity boys lineups dominated last weekend’s Laps For Love meet in LaGrange while pacing Northgate, Newnan and East Coweta swim teams to top-five finishes among 13 schools at the Mike Daniel Recreation Center.
While unable to add to a growing list of state-qualifying times heading into the final weeks of the regular season, county entries finished first in 12 of 22 events in LaGrange while now turning their attention to Saturday’s annual Tribal Challenge hosted by East Coweta at the Summit Family YMCA.
Saturday’s meet at the Peniston-Powell Aquatic Center is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
Northgate led local finishers in combined scores while placing second with 611 points behind only Columbus’ 644. A balanced effort featured relay victories in the boys 200-yard medley and freestyle. The Vikings finished with 308 points while also receiving individual wins from Justin Moore (100 freestyle; 49.11; 100 backstroke, 56.92), Andrew Wheeler (100 butterfly, 54.84) and Spencer Ramthun (500 freestyle).
The trio joined Harrison Griffiths on a winning 200 medley relay while Ben Taylor also swam the freestyle relay with Moore, Wheeler and Ramthun.
Moore and Wheeler had already qualified for state in their individual events while Ramthun has remained in range in the 500 freestyle, winning Saturday in 5:25.31 while just over five seconds off a qualifying pace. He also was fifth in the 100 butterfly.
Wheeler was also second in the 200 IM, behind only East Coweta senior Nick Hogsed and the two reversed their positions during the Viking’s win in the 100 butterfly.
Other top swims for Northgate’s boys came from Zach Kula (7th, 200IM), Taylor (6th, 50 freestyle),
Delaney Wallace helped lead Northgate’s girls to 303 points, winning the 200 individual medley with a personal best of 2:17.74 while also victorious in the 100 breaststroke in 1:10.69. Wallace, who had already qualified for the GHSA State Championships in both events as well as the 50 freestyle heading into last weekend.
The Lady Vikings placed third among girls teams with Newnan right behind in fourth with 286 points. East Coweta’s girls placed sixth with 117.
Newnan, however, captured the boys team title with 318 points, 10 ahead of Northgate and 20 more than East Coweta as county teams dominated the top-three finishers.
Cougar junior Hunter Spradlin won the 200 freestyle in 2:06.05 and joined Harrison Pearson, Caleb Schenck and Michael Durant for a second-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay — the meet’s final event — to stay ahead of Northgate’s boys.
Schenck was also second in the 500 freestyle (5:31.05), while also fourth in the 100 backstroke, where county swimmers claimed three of the top-four positions led by Northgate’s Moore.
Pearson added a third-place finish in the 50 freestyle (24.63) and was fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:16.77) individually. Spradlin was also fourth in the 500 freestyle.
Individual scorers for Newnan’s boys included Michael Durant (5th, 200 freestyle, 7th 100 backstroke) and Connor France (6th, 100 breaststroke).
East Coweta’s boys finished strong with a team of Hogsed, Trey Doss, Collin Bennett and Jesse Murr earning a victory in the 400 freestyle relay (3:43.72) to go with individual wins by Hogsed (200 IM) and fellow senior Samuel Siprelle (100 breaststroke).
The Indians have qualified for the upcoming GHSA State Championships in all three relays while Hogsed had achieved marks in seven of eight possible events individually.
The University of Arizona signee has the fastest time in the 500 freestyle of any varsity swimmer in the state.
Hogsed’s victory in the 200 IM of 1:59.07 set a personal best for the high school season.
East Coweta’s boys also placed third in the 200 freestyle relay (1:41.35). Individually, Josh Buth placed second in the 50 freestyle (24.42) and sixth in the 100 butterfly (1:03.41). Murr added a third-place effort in the 100 backstroke (1:01.83), Doss was fourth in the 200 freestyle and Siprelle was fifth in the 200 IM.
Among girls teams, Wallace had plenty of help among the Lady Vikings’ third-place finish, placing second in the 200 freestyle relay on a team that included Kelly Henderson, Wendy Cervantes and Sarah Ziegler.
Cervantes had two individual freestyle efforts in the top-four, placing third in the 200 and fourth in the 100. Ziegler was seventh in the 100 freestyle and Henderson took fifth in the 500 freestyle.
Individual scorers also included Madeline Long (3rd, 500 freestyle; 6th, 200 IM) and Tegan Pedersen (7th, 100 breaststroke). The Lady Vikings’ also were fifth in the 400 relay among a team of Long, Pedersen, Schick and Emerson Griffiths.
Newnan’s girls stayed on the Lady Vikings’ heels while finishing just ahead in the 400 freestyle relay but unable to make up the rest of a 17-point difference between teams that battled for this month’s crown at the annual Coweta County Tri-Meet.
A relay of Kaylee Wagstaff, Lindsay Stewart, Sophie Bonomi and Jessica Monroe placed fourth in 4:53.45.
The Lady Cougars also were fifth in the 200 freestyle relay and sixth in the 200 medley event.
Individually, Courtney Darrow placed third in the 100 backstroke in 1:09.53 while both Jacqueline Witt and Kaylee Wagstaff also had swims among the top five in events.
Witt had a pair in freestyle efforts while placing fourth in the 500 and fifth in the 50. Wagstaff placed fourth in the 100 butterfly.
The Lady Cougars also picked up solid individual efforts from Stewart (6th, 100 butterfly), Monroe (6th, 500 freestyle) and Shelby Stillwell (7th, 100 backstroke).
East Coweta’s girls were led by Katie Sears and Maggie Hogsed, each of whom had a fourth-place effort. Sears’ came in the 100 butterfly (1:25.30), while Hogsed was fourth in the 200 freestyle as well as sixth in the 100 freestyle. Sears was 14th among 79 swimmers in the 50 freestyle.
Hogsed, Sears, Taylon Hammonds and Anna Dean also combined for a sixth-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay in 2:03.10. Dean also placed ninth in the 200 IM.