Columbia County athletes didn't claim any state titles at the Georgia High School Association Swimming and Diving Championships, but the county still capped the prep season in style at Westminster High School in Atlanta.
The Lakeside High School boys had their best state meet in team history, totaling 148 points to place fourth among the 56 prep teams competing in Class AAAA. The Panthers were the top public school squad in the state in their classification.
Lakeside senior Ryan Gober finished second in the 100-yard butterfly, and he teamed with Peter Caruana, J.R. Barrett and Thomas Houston to take second in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Evans High School notched top-10 team finishes in both the girls and boys Class AAAAA competition. The Knights scored 111 points to place eighth, while the Lady Knights finished ninth, with 92 points.
The Knights were paced by brothers Justin and Christian Kata. Justin finished third in the 100-yard breastroke and eighth in the 50 freestyle, while Christian was fifth in both the 200 and 500 freestyle events.
Sharon Rogers led the Lady Knights by taking fifth place in the 50 and 100 freestyle events.
"I think we did a pretty good job," Evans coach Lane Schuckers said. "Overall, we're pleased with what we did."
Behind strong swimming from Tim Murray, Greenbrier High School scored 62 points to finish 14th in Class AAAA team standings. Murray was third in the 100 backstroke, seventh in the 200-yard individual medley, and he also contributed on two Wolfpack relay teams.
The state meet marked the final prep event for several seniors, including Lakeside's Gober, Houston, Kelly Lefler and Danielle Washam; Greenbrier's Jennifer Weiksner, Lauren Oblak, Kayce Patchan and Adam Harris; and the Evans contingent of Adam Lewis, Pam Splichal, Justin Kata and Ashley Scott.
"We're losing an awful lot. Those seniors are going to be hard to replace," Schuckers said. "The freshmen are going to have to gain strength and keep training hard."
Columbia County results from the Georgia High School Association Swimming and Diving Championships Feb. 14-16 at Westminster High School in Atlanta. Times listed are from finals only.
Ryan Gober: 100-yard butterfly, second (:52.72); 100 backstroke, fourth (:53.77)
Thomas Houston: 100 freestyle, fifth (:50.24); 200 freestyle, seventh (1:49.60)
Peter Caruana: 50 freestyle, 10th (:23.34); 100 freestyle, 10th (:51.17)
Mike Gibson: 100 freestyle, 14th (:51.82). J.R. Barrett - 500 freestyle, 11th (5:10.96)
Barrett, Eric Hauff, Kevin Skenes and Gibson: 200 medley, 16th (1:51.73)
Gibson, Caruana, Houston and Gober - 200 freestyle, fourth (1:32.17)
Caruana, Barrett, Houston and Gober - 400 freestyle, second (3:22.18)
Justin Kata: 50-yard freestyle, eighth (:22.47); 100 breaststoke, third (1:00.26)
Christian Kata: 200 freestyle, sixth (1:45.84); 500 freestyle, fifth (4:45.97)
Richard Splichal: 100 butterfly, 12th (:54.60).
Christian Kata, Adam Lewis, Splichal and Justin Kata: 200 medley, seventh (1:41.94)
Christian Kata, Splichal, Drew Hess and Justin Kata: 200 freestyle, fifth (1:31.13)
Sharon Rogers: 50-yard freestyle, fifth (:25.32); 100 freestyle, fifth (:55.39)
Alisa Matanane: 200 individual medley, 10th (2:13.71)
Rebekah Moody: 100 butterfly, 16th (1:02.18); 100 backstroke, 11th (1:02.71).
Pam Splichal, Amanda Griffin, Alisa Matanane and Whitney Bryant: 200 medley, 14th (2;00.33)
Ashley Scott, Moody, Splichal and Rogers: 200 freestyle, sixth (1:44.57)
Rogers, Matanane, Scott and Moody: 400 freestyle, ninth (3:44.10).
Tim Murray: 200-yard individual medley, seventh (2:05.25); 100 backstroke, third (:53.51)
Michael Hawkins: 500 freestyle, 15th (5:22.61)
Murray, Hawkins, Josh Duffin and Adam Harris: 200 medley, seventh (1:46.42)
Hawkins, Tim Sears, Harris and Murray: 400 freestyle, 13th (3:35.13).
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