High School Swimming
Four county swimmers reach GHSA State Finals
by Chris Goltermann
ATLANTA — It was smooth sailing into today’s Georgia High School Association State Swimming Finals for four of Coweta County’s top entries following preliminaries on Friday.
Northgate swimmers Justin Moore, Andrew Wheeler and Delaney Wallace joined East Coweta senior Nick Hogsed in earning qualifying times for today’s Class AAAAA-A and AAAAAA finals at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.
The AAAAA-A championships begin at 1 p.m., with the AAAAAA finals starting around 6 p.m.
Moore and Hogsed each advanced in both of their individual swims on Friday. Athletes can compete in a maximum of two individual and two relay events at the GHSA state level. The top 16 times in each event advanced to today’s finals.
A junior, Moore chose to swim the 100-yard freestyle and 100 backstroke while posting top-three qualifying efforts in both events.
The Viking turned in the second fastest qualifying mark in the freestyle in 46.58 while dropping his seed time by nearly two full seconds. He then came in with the third best time in the Class AAAAA-A backstroke in 50.86 while nearly three seconds ahead of his best time during the regular season.
Wheeler, who joined Moore on the Vikings’ three state qualifying relays on Friday, nearly matched his teammate’s efforts as the two both swam the 100 freestyle. After reaching the finals in the 100 butterfly while qualifying 10th in 52.91, Wheeler placed 18th in the freestyle while just outside the finalists as a second alternate.
Both of Wheeler’s marks on Friday were season bests including his time of 49.73 in the 100 freestyle. During the regular season, the Northgate senior
Among Class AAAAA-A girls swimmers, Wallace qualified for today’s finals in the 100 breaststroke with a personal-best time of 1:08.05 while ranked 13th overall. In her other individual swim, Wallace was 25th in the 200 individual medley in 2:15.85 while finishing in the top-half of AAAAA-A qualifiers.
As for Hogsed, the standout East Coweta senior set himself up for a strong finish to his varsity career before moving on to the University of Arizona.
He easily qualified in both the 200 and 500 freestyle events while looking to rest himself for a busy final day. Hogsed, who had the second fastest time in the state in the 500, qualified fourth among AAAAAA entries in 4:36.80, nearly three full seconds slower than his personal best.
His time of 1:43.97 was also one tick slower than his previous best in the 200 freestyle while qualifying sixth to gain a prime lane designation for the finals. Hogsed also swam on East Coweta’s 400 freestyle relay, which finished 31st.
Newnan’s boys swam in the 200 freestyle relay in Class AAAAAA preliminaries. A team of senior Drew Mask and juniors Harrison Pearson, Michael Durant and Hunter Spradlin turned in a season-best mark of 1:36.57 while placing 27th of 42 entries.
An East Coweta relay of sophomore Trey Doss and seniors Jesse Murr, Samuel Siprelle and Josh Bush was 41st in the 200 freestyle while also placing 30th in the 200 medley relay. The latter Indians relay consisted of Murr, Siprelle, Buth and sophomore Collin Bennett.
Northgate’s three boys relays in Class AAAAA-A came within range of reaching the finals with a top effort in the 200 medley. Moore, Wheeler, Harrison Griffiths and Spencer Ramthun placed 19th in 1:44.18, missing the cut by two seconds.
The Vikings’ 200 freestyle relay consisting of Moore, Ramthun, Ben Taylor and Wheeler placed 21st with a season-best time of 1:33.99.
Northgate’s girls also compete in the 200 medley and freestyle relays, placing 47th and 39th, respectively. Both consisted of Wallace, Hayley Holmes, Wendy Cervantes and Sarah Ziegler.
Also competing individually among Class AAAAAA boys were seniors Caleb Schenck of Newnan and Siprelle of East Coweta.
Schenck posted a personal best of 5:17.75 in the 500 freestyle.