CONYERS — With the 2018-19 swim season in full swing, competitors from Heritage High School, Rockdale County High School and Alcovy High School gathered at Johnson Park Saturday to compete in the Alcovy Invite with many swimming earning their way to the state meet.
On an afternoon where Heritage took home first place overall with a combined boys and girls team scoree of 386 points, edging out second place Clark Central, three relay teams qualified for the state meet that will be held on Feb. 7-9 at Georgia Tech.
Rockdale’s 200-yard medley relay and 200-yard freestyle relay consisting of swimmers Marquese Tucker, Brandon Gignilliat, Corey Kidd and Noah Miller, as well as Heritage’s girls 200-yard freestyle relay of Delaney Willette, Canti Baehre, Emma Dyer and Joanna Bowers all recorded first place finishes, while also punching their tickets to the state meet.
The boys’ time of 1:49.78 in the medley relay bested second place finishers Clark Central by nearly five seconds and was good enough to beat the state qualifying time of 1:51.00. In the freestyle relay, Tucker, Gignilliat, Kidd and Miller out-swam Clark Central to the tune of a near 4-second margin of victory, posting a time of 1:37.03. The quick pace easily awarded the Bulldogs’ team with a trip to the state meet after swimming under the 1:40.00 qualifying time.
The lone girls relay team of Heritage’s Willette, Baehre, Dyer and Bowers narrowly beat out Clark Central (1:52.74) with a time of 1:51.64. The group’s time was easily under the 1:53.00 time needed to qualify for state.
On an individual front, both Rockdale’s Kidd and Heritage’s Willette qualified for state with Willette earning spots in two separate events. Kidd swam his way to a first-place in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 57:40, nearly three seconds under the state qualifying time of one minute.
Willette qualified in the 200-yard individual medley with a blistering time of 2:14.27 to beat out Rockdale’s Laura Goldgar, who finished in second with a time of 2:33.78, nearly 20 seconds behind. Willette’s time was just shy of 10 seconds under the state qualifying time of 2:24.00. She also punched her ticket in the 100-yard breaststroke with a more than 9-second victory over teammate Baehre. Her time of 1:11.05 locked her into state after beating the 1:15.00 qualifying time.
After qualifying for state in two individual events Saturday, Willette has now qualified for six of the eight individual state events after only two meets to start the season. Last week, the senior qualified in the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard backstroke.
Her relay team’s 200-yard freestyle relay qualification for state is one of three events the team has qualified for, so far.
In team competition, the Heritage girls took home second place overall with 182 points, narrowly losing to Clark Central who finished with 183 points. Rockdale County took home third with 133 points. Alcovy finished in fifth with four points.
The Heritage boys cruised to a team victory after accumulating 204 points. Rockdale finished in second with 153 points while Clark Central finished in third with 129 points. Alcovy finished in fourth with 45 points.