TIFTON — Last weekend’s Georgia Recreation and Park Association Class B state swim meet at Baldwin Drive Aquatic Center was a memorable one for its participants. Thunderstorms held off this year, allowing officials the opportunity to get in full rounds of preliminary and final races.
The swim meet went fast, thanks in part to the speed of its swimmers. Ten GRPA records fell over two days, three in preliminaries.
The initial record set was a final. In events where only one heat was needed, officials went ahead with a final on Friday. Seven teams competed in Event 13, the mixed 7-8 100-yard medley relay, which ended with the Habersham Rapids’ team of Ethan Gailey, Ali Hartrick, Henry Dumas and Lexis Gibson setting a new mark of 1:19.94. Mixed relays are the newest races in the GRPA fold and Habersham broke a mark set by the Tiftarea Tidal Wave in 2016.
Event 82, the girls 12-and-under freestyle relay, saw its record broken twice during the meet. Going into state, an Americus team set a mark of 1:53.59 in August 1993. Friday, Jefferson’s Sea Dragons of Kate Dunagan, Aubree-Clare Flores, Ximena Young and Ansley Nunnally swam it in 1:52.73. Saturday, Jefferson broke its own mark, finishing in 1:51.63. Americus held the mark just short of 26 years. Jefferson broke it twice in a span of 10 hours.
Jefferson’s same four set a mark in the girls 12-and-under medley relay, Event 17. Their time in this race was 2:06.36, beating Camden County’s mark of 2:04.4, which was set in 2000.
The other new record set in preliminaries was in Event 90, mixed 18-and-under 200 freestyle relay. Will Vickers, Meaghan Hill, Maddie Booth and Luke McCarty of the Douglas Stingrays beat a 2016 mark set by Tiftarea with a new time of 1:39.44.
Saturday, Reece Gallagher of the Catoosa Great White Sharks became the first person to set an individual state mark. Gallagher won the boys 15-18 50-yard breaststroke in 26.77, shaving two-tenths off the previous record, set in 2017. Gallagher was most productive Saturday, breaking two more records.
Gallagher swam the 100-yard individual medley in 53.3 seconds, beating the record of 54.05 seconds set in 2015. Gallagher came back out for the 50-yard backstroke and finished that in 24.75 seconds, edging a 2013 mark of 24.99 seconds.
Fresh off relays records, Nunnally swam the 11-12 50-yard butterfly in 28.4 seconds for the Jefferson Sea Dragons. The previous record was set in 2008, a time of 28.51 seconds.
Finally, the Stingrays’ combination of Macon Vickers, Maggie Minchew, Loren Osteen and Benjamin Gowen landed in first place in the mixed 14-and-under 200-yard freestyle relay after swimming the event in 1:46.14. They were a second faster than the Okefenokee Athletic Club, which finished the same event in 1:47.3 in 2018.