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TFS swimmers earn state-qualifying times at post-break meet


Tallulah Falls School swim teams returned to competition on Dec. 2 after heavy training over the Thanksgiving Break.

Habersham Central High School hosted the Jingle Jam Swim Meet with seven middle school teams and more than 320 high school and middle school swimmers competing at the Ruby C. Fulbright Aquatic Center.

“The junior class swim team members were not at the competition, instead they spent the morning taking the SAT,”  said coach Susan Nichols. “This was an opportunity for the rest of the team to step up and perform at an excellent level without some of their more seasoned teammates.”

The men’s swim team placed second overall.

Sophomore John Nichols of Clarkesville won both the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle with a GHSA State Meet qualifying time of 51.72. Sophomore Hunter Weyrich of Alto won the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard backstroke and achieved state qualifying times in both events.

Sophomore Chris Geiger of Sautee-Nacoochee earned a top three finish in the 500-yard freestyle event. Sophomore Riley Barron of Roswell was third in the 100-yard breaststroke. The relay team of Weyrich, Caden Griffis, Barron and Nichols won the 400-yard freestyle relay and placed second in the 200-yard free relay.

Sophomore Samuel Dunlap of Lakemont had a notable race in both the 100-yard butterfly placing fourth with a more than 10-percent time improvement. Sophomore Caden Griffis of Martin shattered his previous record in the 200-yard Individual Medley by dropping 35 seconds earning a fourth-place finish.

The women’s team placed fourth with sophomore Reid Kafsky of Clarkesville earning the most team points winning the 200-yard individual medley and second place in the 100-yard breaststroke. Freshman Gianna Diaz of Cleveland won the 500-yard freestyle and placed third in the 100-yard butterfly. Maggie Jackson placed second in both the highly competitive 50-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle.

Sophomore Sarah Edwards of Sautee-Nacoochee raced to second and a personal best in the 100-yard butterfly and third in the 200-yard freestyle.

The relay team of Kafsky, Edwards, Jackson, and Diaz placed second in the medley relay and third in the 200-yard freestyle relay.

Senior Perry Gresham of Clarkesville earned new personal records with a 15-percent improvement in the 100-yard freestyle and a 10-percent improvement in the 50-yard freestyle.

Deneeka Nelson of Loganville, a first-year swimmer, improved her 100-yard freestyle by more than  35-percent.

“The swim team members have been working on technique, starts, turns, endurance, and speed,” said Nichols. “The camaraderie within the team shows as the swimmers cheer for  each other during Individual races and strive for excellence during relay races.”

Middle school results

The middle school girls team won the meet beating seven other teams.

Eighth-grader Emily Smith of Cleveland was one of two high points scoring swimmers by placing second in the 50-yard breaststroke and fifth in the 100-yard freestyle with a 5-percent time improvement.

Teammate Karis Tatum, an eighth grader of Mt. Airy, tied for high points winner with a third-place finish in the 50-yard butterfly and a fourth place finish in the 100-yard individual medley.

Seventh-grader Samantha Hartman of Clermont raced to third place in the 50-yard freestyle, and fifth in the Individual Medley. Eighth-grader Reagan Brode of Cleveland captured two fourth-place finishes in her races; the 50-yard fly and 50-yard backstroke, both are new personal records.

The medley relay team of Smith, Brode, Tatum, and Layne Kafsky placed third.

The middle school boys team placed fifth overall.

Seventh-grader Nelson Wilkerson of Cleveland earned the most points for the team with two first-place finishes in the individual medley and 50-yard freestyle. Seventh-grader Daniel Shin of South Korea was third in both of his races, the 50-yard freestyle and 50-yard breaststroke.

“The middle school swimmers continue to develop with technique, endurance and speed,” Nichols said. “Many are competing in the more technical strokes like butterfly and breaststroke. The relay teams inspire each other to perform at individual best for team success.”

The varsity swim team travels to Athens on Dec. 16 to compete at the University of Georgia. 
E. Lane Gresham/Tallulah Falls School
The women’s team placed fourth with sophomore Reid Kafsky of Clarkesville, shown above, earning the most team points winning the 200-yard individual medley and second place in the 100-yard breaststroke.