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TFS competes in second meet of season
Several swimmers from Tallulah Falls School earned state qualifying times and set school records during the Habersham Central-hosted Rockin’ Raider Meet, held Nov. 11 at the Ruby C. Fulbright Aquatic Center in Clarkesville.
Six teams ranging from 6-AAAAAA Pope High School to Single-A Tallulah Falls School competed.
The TFS men’s team placed second overall behind Pope High School. Sophomore John Nichols of Clarkesville won the 100-yard butterfly and placed second in the 100-yard backstroke. Junior Nick Stelmack of Toccoa won the 100-yard freestyle with a state-qualifying time of 50.86 and placed second in the 200-yard individual medley. Sophomore Hunter Weyrich of Alto won the 200-yard freestyle and placed second in the 50-yard freestyle. Sophomore Caden Griffis of Martin earned a third-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle. The relay team of Nichols, Weyrich, sophomore Riley Barron of Roswell and Stelmack earned their qualifying times to compete at the Georgia High School Association State Meet in both the 200-yard medley relay and the 200-yard freestyle relay placing second in both races. The medley relay time of 1:45.56 is a new school record, according to coach Susan Nichols.
The women’s team missed second place overall by only 12 points, placing third behind Pope and Appalachee High School. Junior Virginia Griswold of Clarkesville won the 100-yard backstroke and placed third in the 200-yard individual medley. Sophomore Reid Kafsky placed second in the long distance 500-yard freestyle, dropping more than 24 seconds from her previous best time and placing third in the 100-yard freestyle. Junior Norah Griswold of Clarkesville placed second in the very fast 50-yard freestyle race. Sophomore Sarah Edwards of Sautee-Nacoochee earned third place in the 200-yard freestyle. The relay team of the Griswold sisters, Kafsky and Edwards earned their qualifying time for state competition in the 400-yard freestyle relay, winning the event with a 4:09.92, Nichols said.
“Notable individual accomplishments from the meet include the consistent and considerable time improvements from Caden Griffis in the 200-yard freestyle and more 20 seconds in the 100-yard butterfly,” Nichols said. “Sophomore Samuel Dunlap of Lakemont dropped nearly nine seconds in the 200-yard freestyle and four seconds in the 100-yard backstroke. Riley Barron shaved nearly four seconds off his previous best in the 500-yard freestyle. Sophomore Gunn Thiennukul of Thailand saw significant improvements in every race from freestyle and breaststroke to his relay.”
Middle school highlights
Five middle school teams competed in the Rockin’ Raider meet. TFS middle school girls placed second overall.
Eighth-grader Karis Tatum of Mt. Airy scored the most individual points for the team by winning the 100-yard individual medley and placing third in the 100-yard freestyle.
“Eighth-grader Emily Smith of Cleveland won the hotly-contested 50-yard freestyle beating 26 other competitors,” Nichols said. “Eighth-grader Reagan Brode of Cleveland earned a second place finish in the technical 50-yard breaststroke race. Seventh-grader Samantha Hartman of Cleveland had two strong fourth-place finishes in her individual races, the 50-yard butterfly and 100-yard freestyle.
The medley relay team of Smith, Brode, Tatum and seventh-grader Layne Kafsky of Clarkesville placed second. The freestyle relay team of Smith, Brode, Hartman and Kafsky also raced to a second place finish.
The middle school boys swim team was fifth place. Seventh-grader Sengwook (Daniel) Shin of South Korea earned the most team points by placing third in the 50-yard breaststroke and fifth in the 100-yard individual medley. Jingyi (Jason) Sang placed sixth in the 50-yard breaststroke. Jingan (Jerry) Sang placed ninth in both the 50-yard freestyle and 50-yard backstroke.
Sixth-grader Henry Rickman of Tiger placed ninth in the 100-yard individual medley. Seventh-grader Matt Cochran of Demorest rounds out the top 10 finishers with tenth in the 50-yard butterfly.
“A notable performance was made by seventh-grader Christian Russell of Hiawassee who improved his 100-yard freestyle time by more than 31 seconds,” Nichols said.