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Barracudas send 16 to state meet

POSTED: July 16, 2014 12:00 p.m.

The Brad Akins YMCA swim team, the Barracudas, has much to be proud of this season as they will send 16 athletes to the state championships in Tifton this weekend. 

Of the 60 entrants in last week’s District 7 swim meet, with many of the swimmers in multiple events, 24 advanced to the next round.

All swimmers who finished third or higher in an event moved on to the state competition. 

Spencer Smith was the first Barracuda to advance with a 1:00.88 finals time in the boys’ 12 and under 100-yard freestyle race, followed by Hannah Smith in the girls’ 18 and under 100-yard freestyle with a third place finish and a time of 1:02.36.

Spencer Smith (3, 1:11.69) would also advance for the 100-yard individual medley while showing a three-second improvement on his seed time.

Winder-Barrow teammates Ian Hentenaar and Daniel McIlwain took two podium spots in the boys’ 18 and under 100-yard freestyle, with Hentenaar finishing in 50.03 seconds for first place and McIlwain grabbing third with a 54.72 finish.

The girls’ 18 and under 200-yard medley relay team of Natalie Gardner, Amber Brown, Hannah Smith and Moriah Gibson advanced with a 2:20.90 time and a third place finish, followed by the boys’ 18 and under 200-yard medley relay team of Jack McDaniels, Quinn McDaniels, Hentenaar and Bijon Mansour. The foursome, made up entirely of varsity Winder-Barrow swimmers, took first place in their race by three seconds with a 1:50.24 finish.

Hentenaar would also win the boys’ 18 and under 50-yard freestyle in 23.15 seconds, and he was again joined on the podium by a teammate. Jack McDaniels placed third and finished in 24.89 to advance for the individual event.

The young ladies would make sure they were well represented with Megan Lance (1, 37.66) and Kaity Shelley (3, 40.67) advancing from the girls’ 14 and under 50-yard breaststroke, followed by their older counterparts Brown (2, 39.38) and Gibson (42.79).

Lance (2, 1:12.66) also advanced from the 100-yard IM for young ladies 14 and under.

McIlwain (1, 33.48) conquered the other side of the breaststroke for the Barracudas, along with teammate Broke Bailey (3, 34.17) also making the podium and advancing.

A pair of Barracudas won the 18 and under 100-yard IM for the male division with Quinn McDaniels (1, 58.77) and Mansour (3, 1:04.29) adding themselves another event for the state finals competition.

Mansour (2, 27.44) would go on to advance in the 50-yard butterfly, too, for the boys’ 18 and under category.

The youngest finalist for the Barracudas advanced in the boys’ 10 and under 25-yard backstroke. Jay Fulford bested the field with a first place finish and a time of 18.36 to advance and earn his team 20 points.

Fulford (2, 17.91) also advanced in the 25-yard butterfly for his age and gender.

Hannah Smith (3, 33.35) and Jack McDaniels (3, 29.15) each advanced for their gender’s 50-yard backstroke and gave the Barracudas two more events to pull for.

The Barracudas did exceptionally well in the final two events of the meet with three teams from Barrow taking the last six state qualifying spots from the two heats of the 200-yard freestyle relay.

The girls’ 18 and under team of Gardner, Brown, Gibson and Hannah Smith (3, 2:06.47) advanced as a prelude to the pair of boys’ 18 and under teams that would do the same.

A team made up of Riley Black, Bailey Brock, McIlwain and Ryan Hendrickson (1, 1:39.31) narrowly edged out teammates Quinn McDaniels, Mansour, Jack McDaniels and Hentenaar (2, 1:39.42), although both teams fairly well left their competitors behind. 

Overall, the Barracudas finished fourth in points with 1,269. The Jefferson Sea Dragons had a blistering 2,839.5 points, ahead of Oconee County in second with 2,050 and Habersham’s Rapids at 1,518 in third.

The Commerce Tiger Sharks (856), Dawsonville Racers (541.5), Bell YMCA Hartwell Hydros (438) and Lumpkin County rounded out the combined team scores.

The Sea Dragons won both the men’s and women’s divisions by wide margins, with 1,319 points and 1,520.5 points respectively. Similarly, Oconee County took second place at both genders by a decent spread, with their men scoring 946 points and their women bringing in 1,104.

The Barracudas took third for the men with 614 points, ahead of Habersham’s Rapids at 579 points. Commerce (357), Dawsonville’s Racers (330), Bell YMCA (238) and Lumpkin County (76) completed the men’s scoring.

Habersham’s women’s team did considerably better than their men’s team by bringing in third place and 939 points to edge out Barrow’s Barracuda’s with 655 points in fourth. The women’s bottom four followed the same pattern as the men’s, though, with Commerce (499), Dawsonville (211.5), Bell YMCA (200) and Lumpkin County (31) falling into place as expected.

The GRPA state swim meet will take place in Tifton this Friday and Saturday, with all 16 of the eligible Barracudas looking to make a splash on the big stage.



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