Saturday September 23rd, 2017 1:47AM

Swimming: Records crumble as Chestatee boys, Branch girls win Hall Co. titles

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
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GAINESVILLE -- Those involved with prep swimming in Hall County knew this season was something special.

Tuesday night's Hall County Swimming Championships proved it in dramatic fashion.

Competitors smashed 11 different Hall records in the meet held at the Frances Meadows Aquatic Center in Gainesville, while the Chestatee boys swam their way to their first County title.

About the only standard that held firm on Tuesday was the continued dominance of the Flowery Branch girls team, which claimed its seventh straight Hall County crown with relative ease -- beating out second place Chestatee by 198 points. The Lady Falcons' success combined with a second place finish by the Flowery Branch boys team to give the Falcons overall title.

"I think we did great; the girls dominated and the boys worked their tails off, and that's all that we ask -- that you come out here and give it everything you've got," Flowery Branch coach Valerie Lancaster said.

Flowery Branch was hardly alone in that determination, as six individuals from three different programs set new county records at the meet. Five relay teams also smashed through old marks, including the Chestatee boys 400 yard freestyle relay team, who touched the wall in 3 minutes, 34.95 seconds after stellar performances from Jack Hene, Tristan Taylor, Luke Grater and Trace Austin.

"This was great," Hene said. "Hopefully it will give swimming a lot more publicity around the school and get some more athletes interested in it."

The War Eagles had finished second on two previous occasions in their five-year history as a program, but 10 top three finishes on the night -- including gold medals for Taylor in both the 200 free (1:53.72) and 500 free (5:22.89) -- proved enough to fend off Flowery Branch and North Hall, which finished third.

The Trojans claimed six gold medals and set new meet records in five of those events, including the 200 medley relay (1:40.11) and 200 free relay (1:29.77). Defending state 50 free champ Paul Powers also smashed two individual marks, winning the 100 fly in 51.49 seconds and 100 backstroke in 51.77. Younger brother Ty Powers also set a new record in the 100 free (47.16) and both competed in the two relay teams.

"Any time records start falling it's exciting, and this was a really special meet," North Hall coach Bradley Brown said. "I'm really proud of our swimmers. Our top guys performed well, and a lot of younger swimmers set new personal bests, and that's what this is all about."

Brown feels the successes of Tuesday can only help, as members of his team and others from around Hall County begin training for the state championships (held Feb. 8-9 in Atlanta).

"I expect more success there, and I wouldn't be surprised to see some multiple medal winners from here in Hall County," Brown said.

Even those who saw their seasons come to an end on Tuesday could leave the pool with a smile on their faces.

"I think we really ended on a high note here," Lancaster said. "And I think it will get people excited about next year."

Certainly there will be plenty of Lady Falcons competitors ready to get back in the pool after claiming gold medals in nine of 11 events and setting new records in four of those races -- including the 100 medley relay (2:06.59) and 200 free relay (1:52.64). Sarah Robles also set a new standard in the 500 free (6:15.91), while Alex Miller did likewise in the 100 backstroke (1:10.50).

"We can compete in every event, and we can compete with quality in every event," Lancaster said.

West Hall's Caitlin Doran -- 200 free (2:18.33) -- and North Hall's Ashley Johnson -- 100 free (1:01.94) -- were the only competitors to keep the Lady Falcons from a clean sweep of the gold medals (Flowery Branch competitors finished second in both events).

Meanwhile, Gainesville's Colin Monaghan also set a new record in the boys 200 individual medley (1:56.60).

"The last five years swimming in this county has grown so much, and kids and the schools get more involved every year," Chestatee coach Kristi Hene said.

At this rate, the records might want to be kept in pencil -- and keep the erasers handy.

Jan. 29, at the Frances Meadows Aquatic Center, Gainesville
Top three results
* - New county record

200 Medley Relay
1. North Hall A 1:40.11*
2. Chestatee A 1:45.80
3. Flowery Branch 1:50.07

200 Freestyle
1. Tristan Taylor, Chestatee, 1:53.72
2. Jake McCallum, Flowery Branch, 2:07.59
3. Nathan O'Connor, Flowery Branch, 2:32.12

200 Individual Medley
1. Colin Monaghan, Gainesville, 1:56.60*
2. Luke Grater, Chestatee, 2:07.40
3. Michael Wacho, Lakeview, 2:07.55

50 Freestyle
1. Hudson Howard, Flowery Branch, 23.70
2. David Schofield, North Hall, 24.17
3. Trace Austin, Chestatee, 25.03

100 Butterfly
1. Paul Powers, North Hall, 51.49*
2. Colin Monaghan, Gainesville, 52.67
3. Robbie Mix, Flowery Branch, 58.29

100 Freestyle
1. Ty Powers, North Hall, 47.16*
2. Jack Hene, Chestatee, 50.05
3. Michael Wacho, Chestatee, 51.63

500 Freestyle
1. Tristan Taylor, Chestatee, 5:22.89
2. Jake McCallum, Flowery Branch, 5:49.98
3. Luke Hene, Chestatee, 6:36.99

200 Freestyle Relay
1. North Hall A, 1:29.77*
2. Gainesville A, 1:42.99
3. Chestatee A, 1:47.98

100 Backstroke
1. Paul Powers, North Hall, 51.77*
2. Jack Hene, Chestatee, 58.52
3. Max Sumner, Gainesville, 1:19.32

100 Breastroke
1. Ty Powers, North Hall, 1:03.21
2. Luke Grater, Chestatee, 1:06.55
3. David Schofield, North Hall, 1:09.75

400 Freestyle Relay
1. Chestatee A, 3:34.95*
2. Flowery Branch A, 3:36.53
3. Flowery Branch B, 4:17.13

200 Medley Relay
1. Flowery Branch A, 2:06.59*
2. Flowery Branch B, 2:14.23
3. Gainesville A, 2:24.68

200 Freestyle
1. Caitlin Doran, West Hall, 2:18.33
2. Brigette Homan, Flowery Branch, 2:23.89
3. Catalina Dunn, Flowery Branch, 2:33.74

200 Individual Medley
1. Bethany Wicker, Flowery Branch, 2:46.70
2. Kelsey Fain, Flowery Branch, 2:58.58
3. Maggie Smith, Flowery Branch, 2:58.76

50 Freestyle
1. Alex Miller, Flowery Branch, 26.93
2. Ashley Johnson, North Hall, 27.82
3. Jordan Norris, Flowery Branch, 29.48

100 Butterfly
1. Morgan Ryder, Flowery Branch, 1:13.93
2. Caitlin Doran, West Hall, 1:15
3. Catalina Dunn, Flowery Branch, 1:16.38

100 Freestyle
1. Ashley Johnson, North Hall, 1:01.94
2. Brigette Homan, Flowery Branch, 1:03.31
3. Jordan Norris, Flowery Branch, 1:06.99

500 Freestyle
1. Sarah Robles, Flowery Branch, 6:15.91*
2. Ally Simm, Flowery Branch, 7:10.47
3. Abbie Cliche, Chestatee, 7:25.19

200 Freestyle Relay
1. Flowery Branch A, 1:52.64*
2. Flowery Branch B, 2:04.98
3. Chestatee A, 2:09.04

100 Backstroke
1. Alex Miller, Flowery Branch, 1:10.50*
2. Rachel Cohn, Flowery Branch, 1:15.18
3. Morgan Ryder, Flowery Branch, 1:15.86

100 Breastroke
1. Sarah Robles, Flowery Branch, 1:22.51
2. Sara Cudney, Flowery Branch, 1:24.89
3. Kristina Ballowe, Flowery Branch, 1:32.84

400 Freestyle Relay
1. Flowery Branch C, 5:15.80
2. Chestatee A, 5:36.58
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