Tuesday October 13th, 2015 2:30PM

Swimming: Branch, Riverside storm to Hall County titles on big night in pool

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
At Frances Meadows Aquatic Center, Gainesville
Friday, Jan. 24

1. Flowery Branch, 352 points
2. Riverside Military, 181
3. North Hall, 134
4. Chestatee, 123. 5
5. Gainesville, 94
6. Lakeview Academy, 58
7. West Hall, 52.5

1. Riverside Military, 181
2. Flowery Branch, 115
3. Chestatee, 87
4. Lakeview Academy, 42
5. North Hall, 36
6. Gainesville, 32
7. West Hall, 19

1. Flowery Branch, 237
2. North Hall, 98
3. Gainesville, 62
4. Chestatee, 36.5
5. West Hall, 33.5
6. Lakeview Academy, 16

Boys 200 Medley Relay
1. Riverside Military, 1:45.24
2. Chestatee, 1:48.49
3. Flowery Branch, 1:51.94

Girls 200 Medley Relay
1. Flowery Branch A, 2:06.72
2. Flowery Branch B, 2:15.68
3. Gainesville, 2:18.51

Boys 200 freestyle
1. Ty Powers, North Hall, 1:47.75*
2. Michael Wacho, Lakeview, 1:49.46
3. Luke Hene, Chestatee, 1:56.16

Girls 200 freestyle
1. Ashley Johnston, North Hall, 2:12.23
2. Caitlin Doran, West Hall, 2:23.67
3. Catalina Dunn, Flowery Branch, 2:31.93

Boys 200 Individual Medley
1. Colin Monaghan, Gainesville, 1:56.19*
2. Luke Grater, Chestatee, 2:08.19
3. Brendan O
Related Articles
GAINESVILLE -- Valerie Lancaster was all smiles on Friday night -- and it wasn't just because her team had, yet again, claimed the Hall County Swimming title.

Certainly that success was a big part of the Flowery Branch coach's joy but more exciting was the way her Falcons performed in a competition that is growing tougher with each year.

"We're taking more swimmers to state than ever, and the team performed really well tonight," said Lancaster. "We're just building a program, and we're gaining strength."

The same could be said for swimming throughout the county, and that was on display for all to see at the Frances Meadows Aquatic Center, as Flowery Branch took the overall and girls titles, and Riverside claimed the boys crown. Flowery Branch's girls left no doubt as to who the top girls team is, blowing past North Hall 237-98 and winning four events, while placing in the top three in all 11 events -- this as county swimmers also broke 10 different meet records overall.

"Swimming in this county is getting there, and we're trying to raise it up," Gainesville's Colin Monaghan said. "We definitely want to make the sport grow, especially in our school."

Monaghan and fellow Red Elephant Sidney Cochran did their best to show classmates that swimming is a championship-caliber sport at Gainesville, both winning two gold medals and breaking two county records in the process -- Monaghan in the 200 individual medley (1:56.19) and 100 breaststroke (57.87) and Cochran in the 200 IM (2:15.81) and the 100 butterfly (1:01.55).

A freshman, Cochran has burst onto the varsity scene this season -- just like North Hall's Rosemary Schofield, who also won two individual events and also broke two records (50 free, 25.54, and 100 free, 56.60). Yet perhaps most satisfying for the Lady Trojans star was the performance of her 400 freestyle relay squad, which also smashed a Hall County record (4:11.26) while qualifying for the state meet in the process.

"It's been amazing to be with this team and encourage them and pull for them," Schofield said. "I'm glad to be doing well in the individual events; that gets my competitiveness going, but swimming with the team is something entirely different, and it's so much fun."

Riverside's 400 free relay team also set a new Hall County mark on the night (3:33.79), capping a dominating night in which the Eagles claimed six of 11 races, pushing aead of Flowery Branch in second place, 181-115.

"I knew it would be close with Flowery Branch before the meet," Riverside coach Marc Paglia said. "I thought it would down to the last relay, but we pushed really hard, and we didn't really have to win that last one to win (the meet).

"I think all of Riverside's sports are on the rise, and this really helps to get new students interested in swimming, when you have success like this."

Success is certainly nothing new for Ty Powers, and the North Hall standout continued his stellar career by breaking another Hall County record on Friday, this time claiming the 200 freestyle in 1:47.75.

Ty and his brother Paul now own five Hall County records and have been part of two record-making relay teams. And while Paul Powers did not compete Friday, both brothers are eying the state meet Feb. 6-8 in Atlanta hungrily -- as are a number of Hall County competitors.

"We're all really excited about our chances," said Monaghan, who finished second in state last year in the 200 IM. "We've got young swimmers like Sidney that are going to break every record before they're done."

The Flowery Branch girls won their sixth straight Hall County title while breaking one new record of their own in 200 free relay (1:49.93) and also qualifying for state in the girls 200 IM.

"We're not just competing, we're getting someone on the podium every time, and that's impressive," Lancaster said.

It was an impressive night indeed -- for a number of Hall's best.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 9 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 9 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 9 months ago )
Lanierland boys semifinals: Unbeatens Johnson, Red Elephants roll into finals
Both Gainesville and Johnson powered their way into the Lanierland Tournament finals on Monday. The two undefeated teams will meet Tuesday for the title at 8:30 p.m. at Chestatee.
10:01AM ( 9 months ago )
Lanierland girls semifinals: GHS, Lady Falcons advance to finals <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Flowery Branch and Gainesville each took impressive wins Monday to advance to the Lanierland Tournament finals...
10:00AM ( 9 months ago )
Girls basketball: Lady Tigers advance to Pickens Holiday finals
The Dawson County girls basketball advanced to the finals of the Pickens Holiday Classic after an 81-54 win over Riverwood Monday.
11:48PM ( 9 months ago )
High School Sports
Playoff-tinged battles highlight action in Week 8 of prep football
Area teams continue to fight for their postseason lives this week, as the high school football campaign closes in on the stretch run.
8:21AM ( 17 hours from now )
(VIDEO) Player of the Week: Watson's climb leading Dawson back to top
Coey Watson is developing into one of the top quarterbacks in the area -- and the rest of Region 7-AAA is finding out firsthand.
4:49PM ( 2 hours from now )
Ex-Ball Coach: Spurrier says it's time to resign because program is going in wrong direction
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Steve Spurrier said Tuesday that he made the decision to resign as South Carolina's head coach because the team was heading in the wrong direction."We've slipped. It's my fault....
12:41PM ( 1 hour ago )
Roddy White says cheers from Falcons fans 'meant a lot'
Roddy White felt the need to question his role in the Falcons' offense last week...
9:57AM ( 4 hours ago )
Johnson blaming himself, players for Georgia Tech's slide
It's gotten so bad for Georgia Tech that coach Paul Johnson can no longer count on his beloved spread option offense to run basic plays.
9:41AM ( 4 hours ago )