February 9, 2013

Primed for a title run

Dalton boys swimming dominate in state preliminaries

Dalton High School’s boys swam like a state championship team Friday, even if it was only the preliminaries.

The Catamounts have three swimmers going for state titles in individual events and two relay teams seeded No. 1 heading into today’s finals in the Georgia High School Association State Swim-ming and Diving Championships at Georgia Tech.

Dalton is competing for the Class A-5A state championship and will earn team points based on how individuals and relay teams finish. Those who finished preliminaries in the top eight will swim in the A final, meaning they can place anywhere from first to eighth in today’s finals. Those who finished between ninth and 16th will swim in the B final, and can place in that range today.

Points range from 20 for first place to 1 for 16th place, and relay teams earn double points on the same scale. The points skipped are 19, 18, 10 and eight.

“We had a good day at the office,” Cats coach Charles Todd said of Friday’s performance, which included a state record and a national mark.

The 200-yard medley relay team of Ethan Young, Taylor Dale, Pierson Scarborough and Taylor Mathis earned the No. 1 seed with a championship meet-record time of 1 minute, 33.63 seconds. The previous record time of 1:34 was set by Westminster in 2008. Dalton’s same lineup has the No. 1 seed in the 400 freestyle relay after clocking a 3:10.71 in the preliminaries.

Other Cats who qualified for today’s finals are Scarborough (50 freestyle, 21.86, eighth; 100 breaststroke, 59.67, sixth), Young (100 butterfly, 50.27, first; 100 backstroke, 49.12, first), Dale (100 butterfly, 50.92, third; 100 backstroke, 50.50, second) and Mathis (100 butterfly, 53.45, ninth; 100 backstroke, 54.49, 10th).

The 100 backstroke time turned in by Young, a freshman, surpassed the USA Swimming 14-and-under national record of 49.20. That time was recorded in 2009 by Gray Umbach of The Woodlands, Texas, who is now a freshman member of the swimming and diving team at Stanford University.

“Right now, if everybody finishes the exact same tomorrow, Dalton wins by eight points,” Todd said. “It’s going to be Dalton, Marist and West-minster, hopefully in that order.”

For the Lady Cats, Susan Meinders will be the lone competitor today, going in the 1-meter diving B final after her preliminary performance of 305.2 points was good for 13th place. Nineve Arriola (100 backstroke, 1:05.79, 44th) was the Lady Cats’ other competitor.

Other individual swimmers who competed for Dalton’s boys on Friday were Michael O’Brien (100 backstroke, 59.70, 38th) and Alan Trejo (500 freestyle, 5:11.34, 27th; 200 freestyle, 1:55.47, 31st). The 200 freestyle relay team of O’Brien, Trejo, Sam Reeves and Chris Kazmier-ski) was disqualified for having a swimmer leave early.

For Northwest Whitfield’s boys, Matthew Pipkin swam the 100 freestyle (36th, 51.57) and the 50 freestyle (52nd, 23.46).

He joined Chandler Rickett, Triston Smith and Ellison Beard on the 200 freestyle relay team (1:38.62, 34th).

The Lady Bruins’ 200 freestyle relay team of Macie Maret, Ana Hannah, Dala Hufstetler and Marlee Bingham finished 41st in 1:52.66.

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