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TFS swim teams dive into winter season
Swim teams from Tallulah Falls School hosted the largest, longest meet of the season on Nov. 4 at the Ruby C. Fulbright Aquatic Center in Clarkesville.
Twelve high school teams and 11 middle school teams converged at the natatorium’s largest athletic competition hosted by TFS, according to coach Susan Nichols.
The TFS 21-member varsity men’s team placed second in the meet, and the 22-member women’s team placed second as well.
Each swimmer earns team points based on place in a race, with first place earning the most points, and relay races having a double point value, Nichols said.
Sophomore Hunter Weyrich of Alto not only won both the 500-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breaststroke and achieved state qualifying times for both events – he set a new school record for the 100-yard breaststroke. Sophomore John Nichols of Clarkesville won the 200-yard individual medley race and placed second in the sprint 50-yard freestyle. Junior Nick Stelmack of Toccoa qualified for the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) state swim meet in the 100-yard butterfly and the 200-yard freestyle and placed second in both races. The men’s 400-yard freestyle relay team of Nichols, sophomore Riley Barron of Roswell, Weyrich and Stelmack won the event with a state-qualifying time of 3:35.32.
The women’s team was led by junior Virginia Griswold of Clarkesville who won the 100-yard freestyle and achieved a state qualifying position in the 100-yard butterfly with a third-place finish.
Sophomore Reid Kafsky of Clarkesville placed second in the 50-yard freestyle and third in the 200-yard freestyle. Freshman Gianna Diaz of Cleveland earned a second place finish in the 200-yard freestyle and sophomore Sarah Edwards of Sautee-Nacoochee was second in the 500-yard freestyle. The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Virginia Griswold, Norah Griswold of Clarkesville, Edwards, and Kafsky placed second, and more importantly, achieved a GHSA state-qualifying time.
The 15 members of the middle school girl’s team raced to a fourth-place finish at the meet.
Seventh-grader Samantha Hartman of Clarkesville and eighth-grader Emily Smith of Cleveland were the top point earners for the girl’s team. Smith raced the 200-yard freestyle 35 seconds faster than last year for a fifth-place finish, also improving in the 50-yard butterfly by 3 seconds for an eighth-place finish. Hartman placed sixth in the 100-yard individual medley and seventh in the 50-yard backstroke.
Eighth-grader Karis Tatum was the only individual middle school swimmer to earn a top three spot, placing third in the 50-yard butterfly. The 200-yard freestyle relay team of seventh-grader Layne Kafsky of Clarkesville, eighth-grader Regan Brode of Cleveland, Hartman and Smith earned a third-place finish with a time of 2:14.71.
The boy’s team placed seventh. Seventh-grader Nelson Wilkerson of Cleveland led the team with a first-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle and a second place finish in the 50-yard butterfly. Seventh-grader Seungwook (Daniel) Shin of South Korea placed seventh in the 100-yard freestyle and eighth in the 50-yard butterfly. Seventh-grader Matt Cochran of Demorest placed seventh in the 50-yard backstroke. The medley relay team of Cochran, sixth-grader Henry Rickman of Tiger, Shin and Wilkerson placed seventh in both the 200-yard medley relay and the 200-yard freestyle relay.
“Most of the returning TFS swim team members are already performing at their best times. The commitment to training and teamwork is already apparent,” Nichols said. “Special thanks to the parents and volunteers who made this meet run smoothly. As previously stated, this meet was very big and lasted a long time – thank you for the support.”
The next swim meet is set for Nov. 11 at the Ruby C. Fulbright Aquatic Center and will be hosted by Habersham Central High School.