The proof keeps piling up: swimming is indeed hitting the big-time for northeast Georgia.
It was on display for all to see on Friday, as area competitors qualified for 13 different medal races at the GHSA swimming and diving state championships in Atlanta.
As expected, North Hall standouts Paul and Ty Powers impressed, but the brothers were far from the only local swimmers to make their mark and set themselves up for Saturday success, as representatives from Buford, Chestatee, Gainesville and Riverside also booked spots in the second day of the meet at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.
Red Elephants sophomore Colin Monaghan posted the second best qualifying mark in the boys 200 yard Individual Medley (1 minute, 53.83 seconds) fractions behind Westminster's Derek Cox. (1:53.66). Monaghan also finished with the fifth best time in the 100 butterfly (52.67 seconds).
Chestatee, meanwhile, will send two individuals into Saturday -- in the same race, as Tristan Taylor and Jack Hene each qualified in the boys 200 free, finishing seventh (1:46.57) and 14th (1:48.35) respectively. (The top 16 spots qualify in each race.) The War Eagles 200 free relay team also finished 14th, while Riverside Military's boys 200 free relay finished 11th. North Hall's boys -- the top seed coming into the meet in the race -- finished first in the preliminaries (1:27.81).
The performance was part of an impressive day for the Trojans, as Paul Powers finished in the lead in the 50 free (20.00) and 100 free (44.02). Ty Powers was just behind in the 50 free, taking second (20.85) and fourth in the 100 breaststroke (58.59). The Trojans' 200 medley relay team also finished third 1:38.89.
Meanwhile, in the girls races, Buford qualified in five different events, including two for Danielle Brooks -- eighth in the 50 free (24.67) and 12th in the 100 free (53.76). The Lady Wolves' 200 free relay team was seventh (1:42.68) and their 400 free relay team was 10th (3:49.06). Brittany Litke also took 11th in the 100 back (59.64).
Competition for the finals will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday in Atlanta.