Saturday will mark the 10th year of the Panther Pac Invitational. For Allison Dixon and Debbie Fransoso, it will their first.
Lakeside's Eric Hauff swims the 100 meter butterfly during Thrusday meet against Greenbrier at the Aquatics Center in Augusta.
Photo by Michael Holahan
Swimmers from around the state will dive into the waters of the Augusta Aquatic Center to swim in the event. Fransoso, from Lakeside and Dixon, from Greenbrier, will play host to the invitational.
Both are winding down their first season of coaching for their respective schools.
The event, which will feature more than 400 swimmers, provides them an opportunity to qualify swimmers for the State Championships, held in Atlanta in Feb. 15.
Evans, Westside, Lakeside and Greenbrier will compete against swimmers from all over Georgia.
Fransoso said her team has qualified several of the relay teams and is hoping one of her girls can get in.
"Amanda Rowland is within hundreds of a second from qualifying in the breast stroke," Fransoso said.
Dixon said several of her 37 swimmers have a seat on the bus to Atlanta. For the boys, Greenbrier has placed in the 200 freestyle, medley and 400 freestyle. The girls have qualified in the 200 freestyle, and is working to get 400 freestyle team in.
One opportunity recently passed when Greenbrier and Lakeside swam in a duel meet. Lakeside swept the event.
"They didn't get it at our duel meet," Dixon said. "But they have two more meets."
After the Panther Pac, both teams will have one last chance to qualify during the CSRA Championships on Jan. 31, also held at the Aquatic Center.
Because the season is coming to an end, Fransoso said the schools are very familiar with one another. On top of recently beating Greenbrier, Lakeside out swam Westside earlier in the year and will face Evans on Thursday.
"Events like the Panther Pac give our swimmers a chance to see how good they really are," Fransoso said.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.