From Staff Reports
Dalton High School’s Ethan Young set a new record in the 100-yard backstroke Friday at the Georgia High School Association’s Class A-5A state swimming and diving championships.
On Saturday, the sophomore did it again.
Young finished the event in 47.54 seconds during the finals, besting his mark of 47.85 in Friday’s preliminaries as he won an individual state championship at Georgia Tech.
Dalton’s boys team, which won the overall state title in 2013, finished with 117 points, good for seventh place. St. Pius X won this year’s Class A-5A boys title with 199 points, with Marist (191) and Westminster (190) finishing second and third, respectively. Chamblee (172) finished fourth, North Hall (143) was fifth, and Northview (139) took sixth.
Woodward Academy won the girls state title with 189 points, followed by Westminister (169) and Marist (158).
“We swam well,” Dalton coach Charles Todd said. “I was pleased. We lost a lot of studs from a year ago. A coach said he wished he could finish seventh in a rebuilding year.”
Preliminaries for all swimming events were held Friday, a day after the diving preliminaries and finals. The top eight times in each event earned spots in the A final, and ninth through 16th swam in the B final. Those in the A final could earn anywhere from 11 to 20 points for their teams, while those in the B final earned anywhere from one to nine points. For relays, the points were on the same scale but doubled.
Catamounts senior Taylor Mathis finished fifth in the 100 backstroke with a time of 51.88. Young’s 49.45 time in the 100 breaststroke was good for a second-place finish behind St. Pius X’s Gunnar Bentz (47.26), while Mathis’ 52.38 time was good for eighth in the same event.
Mathis and Young teamed with senior Austin Richard and sophomore Tanner Storey in the 200 medley relay, where the foursome finished fifth in 1:36.78. Mathis and Young were on the 400 freestyle relay with freshman Sean Lee and junior Alan Trejo. They finished seventh in 3:18.51.
“Ethan Young’s performance was stellar on the backstroke underwater in the relays,” Todd said. “Taylor Mathis, a captain, stepped up as a leader. ... I’m really proud of these boys.”
Young and Mathis were integral parts of last year’s state championship run. They joined Taylor Dale and Pierson Scarborough — who have since graduated — in accounting for all of Dalton’s 192 team points.
Last year, Dale and Young finished first and second in the 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard backstroke. The foursome won the 400 freestyle relay and 200 medley relay, breaking the state record in the latter with a time of 1 minute, 32.93 seconds.