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Barracudas find state success

POSTED: July 23, 2014 12:00 p.m.
Karen Nowakowski/Barrow County News

The Barracuda Swim Team poses for a picture after their state performance in Tifton. Seen here are state qualifiers Amber Brown, Kaity Shelley, Natalie Gardner, Coach Shannon McConnell, Ian Hentenaar, Daniel McIlwain, Spencer Smith, Riley Black, Hannah Smith, Jack McDaniels, Moriah Gibson, Ryan Hendrickson, Megan Lance, Bijon Mansour, Bailey Brock, Quinn McDaniels and Coach Meredith Green.

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The Brad Akins YMCA Barracudas recently returned from the Georgia Recreation and Parks state championship swimming meet with quite a few medals to show for their efforts.

The two-day event started Friday with Jay Fulford winning the 9- to 10-year old boys 25-yard backstroke with a time of 18.43, just .2 seconds ahead of Drew Bowen of the Okefenokee Aquatic Club. Fulford (9, 18.41) also made state in the 25-yard butterfly.

Fulford was just one of the team’s state champions, as the four-man team of Quinn McDaniels, Jack McDaniels, Bijon Mansour and Ian Hentenaar (1, 1:33.58) took home the prize in the final event of the tournament, the 18 and over 200-yard freestyle relay. 

The first Barracuda relay team came in nearly a second faster than their closest competition, a team from the Douglas Stingrays.

Brad Akins YMCA actually had two relay teams in the final event with Riley Black, Bailey Brock, Daniel McIlwain, Ryan Hendrickson and Spencer Smith (8, 1:41.31) also making the finals in that event.

The team of McDaniels, Mansour and Hentenaar (3, 1:47.16) also competed in the finals for the 200-yard medley relay, once again grabbing a spot on the podium.

The women’s team of Natalie Gardner, Amber Brown, Hannah Smith and Moriah Gibson (6, 2:18.27) competed in the finals for the 200-yard medley relay for the 18 and older group, also.

Spencer Smith (2, 1:01.14) also competed in the 100-yard freestyle race with his age group, the 11- to 12-year old boys, coming in just less than two seconds behind the winner with a great silver medal effort. 

Hannah Smith (7, 1:03.15) made the finals for the 100-yard freestyle in the 15-18 women’s age bracket, while Hentenaar (2, 48.75) nearly won the same race on the men’s side of the same age group. The Dawson Stingray who beat Hentenaar, Jason Vickers (1, 47.20), set a state record in doing so.

While Hentenaar and Jack McDaniels made a successful team, the pair also grabbed several individual honors. In addition to Hentenaar’s podium finish in the 100-yard freestyle, both competed in the finals for the men’s 50-yard freestyle. Hentenaar grabbed fourth place with a 23.36 finish while Jack McDaniels took seventh in exactly 25 seconds.

Megan Lance (4, 37.22) very nearly found a spot on the podium during the finals of the 50-yard breaststroke for the girls aged 13-14 while Amber Brown (4, 38.00) finished in the same place in the same race, just one age group older. Surprisingly, the breaststroke was more competitive in the 13-14 age group than in the 15-18 age group. The winner of the older group, Maddy Butler (1, 36.46) of the Habersham Rapids, would have only finished third.

Conversely, Lance would have finished third in the 15-18 age group.

Gibson (8, 43.86) also qualified for the finals in the 15-18 50-yard breaststroke.

Lance (4, 1:11.26) narrowly missed the podium again in the 100-yard individual medley, earning her second fourth place finish of the day.

For the men’s side, Brock (8, 33.60) and Daniel McIlwain (7, 32.93) finished back-to-back in the men’s breaststroke in the 15-18 group.

Quinn McDaniels (3, 57.00) would go on to podium in the men’s 15-18 100-yard IM. He was joined in the race by teammate Mansour (7, 1:04.45) who actually tied with Nic Aquila of Jefferson.

Barrow’s Barracudas had three finalists in the oldest group in the 50-yard backstroke between the men and women with Hannah Smith (7, 33.90) finishing up just before the men. Quinn McDaniels (2, 27.51) would earn silver for the sprint race while brother Jack (6, 29.63) came in just a couple seconds behind.

After a great weekend of races, the Brad Akins YMCA Barracuda swim team finished 11 overall out of 30 teams between the men’s and women’s races with a combined score of 115.5 points. The Douglas Stingrays took first place with 477 points, followed closely by Oconee County with 470 and Jefferson with 437.5. Host Tiftarea Tidal Wave was a distant fourth with 221 points while the Ringgold Tiger Sharks brought in 212 points. 

Thomasville YMCA had 200 points in sixth place, ahead of Calhoun’s Blue Barracudas with 175 at seventh and the Jeff Davis Swim Team with 167 at eighth. Rounding out the top ten overall standings was the Habersham Rapids and the Okefenokee Aquatic Club at ninth and tenth with 146 points and 134 points respectively.

Brad Akins was the final team in the overall standings with more than 100 points.

The Lady Barracudas finished 18 overall with 26 points while the men were ninth overall with 89.5 points, just behind the Tiftarea Tidal Wave at eighth with 93 points. Jefferson’s Sea Dragons won the women’s competition with 311 points whereas the Oconee County men won their division by just four points over the Douglas Stingrays. Oconee had 254 points to Douglas’ 250. 

Douglas was able to win the overall title even though their women were a distant second to Jefferson with 227 points to the winning 311 by outscoring Oconee’s 216 points. 

 

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