Cherokee Aquatic Center, Jan 27th and Georgia Tech, Feb. 2&3.
For the 2nd consecutive weekend, ABSC has swimmers have put on a show down at a high school state championship meet, effectively putting the whole state on notice!
GHSA State Championships:
ABSC swimmers were all over the place down at Georgia Tech the GHSA State Championship meet, and
The GHSA meet was headlined by state championships from John Morgan McDonald (Sr. – Prince Ave. Christian), Charlie Logan (Jr. – North Oconee), and Karen Zhao (Fr. – North Oconee) of ABSC’s Senior 1 group!
In fact, the format of the meet actually featured Logan and McDonald racing one another in the same heat of finals of the 500 freestyle. McDonald represents Prince Avenue Christian which is in the “1A – 3A” division, while Logan represents North Oconee which competed in the “4A-5A” division.
Logan took first place overall in the event and in his division, with a blazing fast time of 4:35.21. He also finished 2nd overall in the 200 free with a time of 1:40.41, second in the 200 freestyle relay, and 6th overall in the 400 freestyle relay.
McDonald finished first overall in his division for the 500 free with a time of 4:42.72. That swim for McDonald was also the first state championship in the history of the school! It was also another team record for the senior, who already has the majority of Prince Avenue’s records. He also finished 8th overall in the 100 butterfly. He plans to announce his college choice soon.
Only a freshman, Karen Zhao won the 4A – 5A division in the 200 freestyle, finishing in a time of 1:54.69. She also finished 2nd in her division in the 100 free (52.54). Winner her division in the 200 freestyle as a freshman is quite the accomplishment!
Other ABSC finalists in the GHSA meet include:
- Brendan Bowman (Clarke Central): 10th overall 50 free, 15th 100 free.
- Caedmon Churchwell (Clarke Central): 7th overall 200 IM, 9th place 100 back.
- Gunnar Churchwell (Clarke Central): finaled in both relays
- Owen Churchwell (Clarke Central): 2nd Place over all 100 free, 2nd place 100 breast.
- Will Foggin (Clarke Central): 8th overall 500 freestyle
- Grace Lang (Clarke Central): finaled in both relays
- Lucy Yeomans (Clarke Cenral): 10th place overall 100 free, 14th place 100 back.
- Kate Massey (Commerce): 6th overall 200 IM, 5th overall 100 fly.
- Jackson Harvin (Jefferson): 3rd place overall 200 free, 13th overall 200 IM.
- Macy Mullis (Madison County): 3rd place overall 50 free, 2nd place 100 back.
- Lily Courchaine (Morgan County): finaled in both relays
- Samuel Ash (North Oconee): finaled in both relays
- Brynn Halbach (North Oconee): 10th overall 500 free, 12th overall 200 IM
- Siya Kanaan (North Oconee): finaled in 400 free relay
- Henry Logan (North Oconee): 6th overall 500 free
- Dhruv Prakash (North Oconee): 12th overall 100 back
- Felicia Pursner (North Oconee): 14th overall 100 fly, 16th 200 IM
- Erin Osborne (Oconee County): 7th overall 500 free, 6th overall 200 free.
- Lauren Szymanski (Oconee County): finaled in both relays
- Matthew Colquitt (Prince Ave. Christian): 14th place 50 free, 11th place 100 free.
GICAA State Championships:
While most of our swimmers competed in the GHSA championships this past weekend, 2 weekends ago ABSC swimmers from Westminster Christian Academy (Watkinsville) lit up the GICAA high school lower division champs up in Canton at the Cherokee Aquatic Center.
The GICAA division of high school athletics is devised of private christian schools schools statewide. While smaller than GHSA, it still boasts some strong athletes, and it saw ABSC swimmers featuring strongly in it’s championships as well.
Anna Ash headlined the meet for ABSC swimmers, claiming first place overall in the 200 (1:57.27) free and the 100 back (1:00.60). Jackson Bates won a stamp championship of his own in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.91), and took second overall in the 200 IM. Ash is a senior for ABSC, and has been one of the fastest swimmers in the region for a while. Bates, while only a freshman, is an up-and-coming star in the breaststroke events, and has a bright future ahead.
All in all the state championships at all levels proved very kind for ABSC, and once again, our swimmers made their presence felt all over the state!
The next state championship on the horizon is of the USA Swimming variety – the Georgia 14&under state championships! More to come soon!
Friday, January 26th. Athens, Ga — Gabrielsen Natatorium
Teammates on the club team, rivals at the high school meets. That sentence perfectly encapsulates what it’s like being a high school-aged swimmer in the Athens/Oconee area!
It also explains why the Athens/Oconee area high school Championship Swim Meet is such an exciting battle every year! Featuring a number of dominating performances by ABSC swimmers like Karen Zhao, Brynn Halbach and Charlie Logan, it was North Oconee High School who walked away victorious in the 2018 rendition of the festivities.
But while North took the victory, ABSC swimmers from every participating school performed well at the meet. In fact, there was at least one first place finish by an ABSC swimmer on 5 out of the 6 participating schools!! The are listed below:
- Athens Academy: Ava Kennedy – 50 Freestyle (25.59)
- Clarke Central: Caedmon Churchwell – 100 Breaststroke (1:06.01)
- North Oconee: Brynn Halbach – 200 and 400 freestyle relays, Siya Kanaan – 100 fly (1:04.06) and 400 freestyle relay, Charlie Logan – 200 free (1:46.24), 100 fly (54.54), 200 free relay and 400 free relay, Henry Logan – 400 free relay, Dhruv Prakash – 100 back (57.37), Felicia Pursner – 200 medley relay and 400 free relay, Karen Zhao – 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle (1:59.20), 100 freestyle (55.09), 400 freestyle relay
- Oconee: Erin Osborne – 200 IM (2:18.54) and 500 free (5:30.08),
- Prince Avenue: John Morgan McDonald – 200 IM 2:02.19 and 500 free (4:47.10).
In fact, an ABSC swimmers claimed first place in all but 4 individual events, first or second in all but 1, and top 3 in every single event. Many events like the boys and girls 200 frees and 200 IMs featured ABSC swimmers finishing first and second, or first, second and third in the event!
ABSC Swimmers from all the area schools finished all over the top 10 in various events! Here’s a school by school breakdown of all the swims by ABSC swimmers in the meet, by school. (Note – this list does not include middle school swimmers).
Athens Academy – ABSC Swimmers:
- Ava Kennedy: 1st in the 50 free, 3rd place overall finish in the 100 backstroke, finishing in a time of 1:08.91.
- Colton Kennedy: 7th overall in both his 100 breaststroke and his 50 freestyle (25.50).
Cedar Shoals – ABSC Swimmers:
- Hilary Adams: 7th place finish in the 200 freestyle (2:28.62).
- Colin Frick: 10th place in both the 200 and 100 freestyle races, 8th place with both Cedar Shoals relays.
Clarke Central – ABSC Swimmers:
- Brendan Bowman: 3rd place 100 freestyle (51.3). 3rd place in both relays.
- Caedmon Churchwell: 1st place 100 breast, 2nd place finish in the 200 IM (2:07.65). 3rd place in both relays.
- Gunnar Chuchwell: 7th place 100 free (56.06). 3rd place in both relays.
- Mohammed Conaway: 2.07 second-improvement in his 100 breast for a 9th place finish (1:18.48). 5th place 400 free relay.
- Maya Cornish: Dropped 4.26 seconds in her 200 free (2:49.86), and finished 6th overall in the 400 freestyle relay.
- Eliot Daniel: 7th place finish 200 free relay and a 9th in the 100 breast (1:41.21).
- Ana Demarco: Personal best in the 200 free (2:58.4), 8th in the 200 free relay.
- Isabella Demarco: 8th in the 500 free (7:23.09), and 6th in her 400 free relay.
- Jenna Dodson: 6th on the same relay with Bella, and swam a personal best 100 back (1:33.77).
- Coles Ehlers: 9th in the 200 free relay, and 5th in the 400 free relay.
- Will Foggin: 3rd place 200 free (2:00.30), and dropped 2.42 seconds in his 100 back (1:02.70) to finish 4th.
- Grace Lang: 2nd place 100 free (59.12), 4th in the 200 IM (2:29.46). 3rd in the 200 medley relay.
- Lucy Yeomans: 2nd place 200 free (2:03.41), 3rd place 50 free (26.67). 3rd place 200 medley relay.
North Oconee – ABSC Swimmers:
- Samuel Ash: 2nd place 200 medley relay, 3rd place 100 breaststroke (1:06.90).
- Nick Green: 4th place 400 free relay, 9th place 100 back (1:09.45).
- Brynn Halbach: 1st place both relays, 2nd place 200 IM (2:20.20) and 500 free (5:33.39)
- John Hovell: 2nd place 400 free relay, 5th place 200 free (2:09.97).
- Siya Kanaan: 1st place 100 fly, 1st place 400 free relay, 2nd place 200 free relay.
- Charlie Logan: 1st place all 4 events, both relays and individuals.
- Henry Logan: 2nd place 500 free (5:00.75), 2nd place 100 back (59.45).
- Dhruv Prakash: 2nd place 400 free relay, first place 100 back.
- Felicia Pursner: 1st place both relays, 2nd place 100 back (1:06.46).
- Karen Zhao: 1st place all 4 events, both relays and individuals.
Oconee – ABSC Swimmers:
- Angela Li: 7th place 200 IM (2:54.63), 2nd place 100 breast (1:23.35).
- Erin Osborne: First place 200 IM and 500 free, 3rd place 200 medley relay.
- Lauren Szymanski: 3rd place 400 freestyle relay, 5th place 100 butterfly (1:14.39).
Prince Avenue Christian – ABSC Swimmers:
- Matthew Colquitt: 2nd place 200 free (1:52.35), 2nd place 50 free (22.29).
- John Morgan McDonald: 1st place 200 IM, first place 500 free.
- Maddy Wilson: 10th place 100 free (1:09.17), 5th place 100 breast (1:26.65).
Over the weekend of January 12th – 14th, Simon Casey of ABSC traveled to Clemson, S.C. to participate in the “Tiger Invitational” meet. He did so to swim in one of his best events, the 1650.
The trip was worth his while, as Casey – posting a blazing fast time of 18:58.24 – improved his personal best time by 1 minute and 20.09 seconds! Not only that, he posted the fastest time by a 12-year-old from the state of Georgia this year!!
Casey also placed first overall in the event that evening.
The 1650-yard freestyle, affectionately known as the mile as it equates to roughly a mile in distance, is one of the most grueling races in our sport. Casey however, is no stranger to long distance racing. He and teammates Emma and Jenna Champer participated on the Georgia Open Water Zone Team last summer!
This marks the second time this season that an ABSC swimmer has posted one of the top times nationally, and the fastest time in the state this year. Ryan Wylie of ABSC has done so on 2 different occasions this year, most recently posting the fastest 14-year-old 1000 yard freestyle in the country back in December.
Let’s keep up the great racing, Dawgs! Hard work allows us to accomplish our goals, and ABSC is on the right track.