Two years ago, they were new on the scene as freshmen. Last year, those same swimmers started making waves.
Now with even more experience this season, the area's junior class is dominating the Columbia County swimming scene.
In last week's CSRA Championships at the Augusta Aquatics Center, the juniors blew the rest of the field out of the water, just as they've done all season long. In fact, nine juniors from Evans, Lakeside and Greenbrier high schools took part in either relay or individual first-place finishes.
"It's a great class," Evans swim coach Lane Schuckers said. "Next year, we'll be even better."
The Knights hold most of the talented juniors in the area. Led by the undefeated duo of Josh Andrews and Martin Kata, Evans boasts 12 juniors on their roster. Six of them took first place in at least one event at the CSRA Championships.
"We're awesome. We've all known each other since K-5," Evans junior C.J. Hendry said. "I love them all."
Hendry, along with fellow junior Nicole Moody, holds up the girls' end of the Evans success. In two relays and two individual events Thursday, Hendry took the top spot to help her team to a second-place finish.
Lakeside came in first place to claim the CSRA Championship title with a junior of their own leading the way.
Christopher Plummer had been limited by the flu in the days leading up to the meet. The junior took first place in the longest event of the night, the boys 500-yard freestyle, with a time of 5:05.01.
"This was a meet to get me back in shape for state," Plummer said. "I'm trying to get my stamina back up."
Two Greenbrier juniors, Tim Barrett and Katie Croft, also posted first-place finishes in the CSRA Championships.
Barrett claimed the top spot in the boys 1-meter diving, while Croft took first place by more than 10 seconds in the girls 500-yard freestyle.
Lakeside took the title of CSRA Champion with a total of 335 for the girls team and 406 for the boys.
The Evans girls and boys took second and third places, respectively, while Greenbrier's boys took second place and the Lady Wolfpack finished in third.
Individual swimmers who have qualified during the regular season will move on to state competition Feb. 10-11 in Atlanta.
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