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Flowery Branch, Riverside repeat as county swimming champions
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Riverside Military Academy freshman Ayaz Mustafa swims butterfly at the Hall County Championships on Friday at Frances Meadows Aquatic Center . Riverside won the boys title. - photo by Erin O. Smith

2015 Hall County swimming championship

Friday

At Frances Meadows Aquatic and Community Center

Team scores

Girls

1. Flowery Branch 275

2. North Hall 223

3. Chestatee 74

4. Gainesville 37

5. West Hall 33

6. Lakeview 11

Boys

1. Riverside 178

2. Chestatee 161

3. Gainesville 139

4. Flowery Branch 125

5. North Hall 93

6. West Hall 55

7. Lakeview 41

Combined

1. Flowery Branch 400

2. North Hall 316

3. Chestatee 235

4. Riverside 178

5. Gainesville 176

6. West Hall 88

7. Lakeview 52

Winners

Boys 200 medley relay: Chestatee (Tristan Taylor, Luke Hene, Trace Austin, Eric George) 1:40.20

Girls 200 medley relay: North Hall (Emily Frederick, Jordon Battle, Ashley Johnston, Rosemary Schofield) 1:59.18

Boys 200 freestyle: Colin Monaghan, Gainesville, 1:44.01

Girls 200 freestyle: Lindsey Grater, Chestatee, 1:59.13

Boys 200 IM: Tristan Taylor, Chestatee, 1:54.51

Girls 200 IM: Jordon Battle, North Hall, 2:22.56

Boys 50 freestyle: Ty Powers, North Hall, 21.64

Girls 50 freestyle: Rosemary Schofield, North Hall, 25.12

Boys 100 butterfly: Colin Monaghan, Gainesville, 51.09

Girls 100 butterfly: Sidney Cochran, Gainesville, 1:02.05

Boys 100 freestyle: Ty Powers, North Hall, 49.24

Girls 100 freestyle: Rosemary Schofield, North Hall, 55.21

Boys 500 freestyle: Luke Hene, Chestatee, 4:59.09

Girls 500 freestyle: Lindsey Grater, Chestatee, 5:18.47

Boys 200 freestyle relay: North Hall (David Schofield, Timothy Peterson, Stone Daniel, Ty Powers) 1:34.76

Girls 200 freestyle relay: North Hall (Ashley Johnston, Emily Frederick, Jordon Battle, Rosemary Schofield) 1:44.98

Boys 100 backstroke: Andy Yap, Riverside, 54.80

Girls 100 backstroke: Ashley Johnston, North Hall, 1:02.26

Boys 100 breaststroke: Brian Monaghan, Gainesville, 1:00.79

Girls 100 breaststroke: Sarah Robles, Flowery Branch, 1:15.59

Boys 400 freestyle relay: Chestatee (Luke Grater, Luke Hene, Eric George, Tristan Taylor) 3:26.72

Girls 400 freestyle relay: Flowery Branch (Sarah Robles, Jena Killian, Riley Whitwell and Alex Miller) 4:06.21

The Flowery Branch girls swimming team closed out its seventh straight Hall County championship in style Friday, sweeping the top two spots in the meet-capping 400-yard freestyle relay at Frances Meadows Aquatic and Community Center.

“It really helps our girls and guys get a lot of confidence going into that state meet,” Flowery Branch coach Valerie Lancaster said. “They’re looking forward to swimming there now because they’ve got this big burst of positivity.”

Meanwhile, the Riverside Military Academy boys repeated as county champion with a consistent performance in which Andy Yap’s 100-yard backstroke in 54.80 proved to be the lone race win for the Eagles.

Yap said he enjoyed winning and taking part in his first county championship, but the highlight for him was the team pushing coach Marc Paglia into the pool after the victory.

Flowery Branch’s girls finished with 275 points, followed by North Hall’s 223 in second and Chestatee with 74 in third. The Lady War Eagles earned those points with only four swimmers.

The Riverside boys tallied 178 points, while second-place Chestatee had 161, Gainesville was third with 139 and Flowery Branch fourth with 125.

Paglia knew Chestatee and Gainesville would provide the toughest competition, and he was concerned early when his team was behind. But the 500 freestyle, 200 freestyle relay and 100 backstroke helped turn the tide.

“We were really neck and neck, and all of a sudden we just pulled ahead,” Paglia said. “It was over with by then. We still had to swim our events and do well, but that put us ahead.”

Flowery Branch also took the combined championship with 400 points, outdistancing North Hall’s 316 and Chestatee’s 235.

The Lady Falcons’ Sarah Robles, Jena Killian, Riley Whitwell and Alex Miller set a county record of 4:06.21 to win the finale relay, and the group of Gabrielle Heata, Rachel Cohn, Hailey Pierson and Kesley Fain was second in 4:36.20 for Flowery Branch.

Robles accounted for the lone individual victory for the Lady Falcons, turning in a time of 1:15.59 to edge North Hall’s Jordon Battle (1:16.25) in the 100-yard breaststroke. Once Robles got to her final 25 yards, she began to realize the possibility of victory and told herself she needed to speed up.

“I did it,” said Robles, a junior. “I was really surprised.”

North Hall’s Ty Powers and Rosemary Schofield, Gainesville’s Colin Monaghan and Chestatee’s Lindsey Grater each prevailed in two races apiece.

Powers took first place in the 50 freestyle (21.64) and 100 freestyle (49.24), while Schofield took victories in the 50 freestyle (25.12) and 100 freestyle (55.21) on the girls side.

Schofield, a sophomore, broke her county records in both of her individual wins.

“It’s a great time to swim because whenever you’re with people that you love, you end up loving swimming,” Schofield said. “And there’s nothing that will change that.”

Monaghan secured victories in the 200 freestyle (1:59.18) and 100 butterfly (51.09).

Grater earned wins in the 200 freestyle (1:59.13) and 500 freestyle (5:18.47).

Chestatee coach Slade Dale said he was pleased with both of the War Eagles’ team showings.

“We were so close to Riverside, a couple little missteps here and there, but we’re very proud,” Dale said. “And our girls took third against some very stiff odds.”

North Hall’s Ashley Johnston edged Gainesville’s Sidney Cochran in the closest race of the night for the 100-yard freestyle victory, clocking a 1:02.26, three-hundredths of a second ahead of Cochran.

North Hall’s girls won the 200 medley relay (1:59.18) and 200 freestyle relay (1:44.98), and the Trojans boys won the 200 freestyle relay (1:34.76).

Chestatee’s boys took wins in the 200 medley relay (1:40.20) and 400 freestyle relay (3:26.72).

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