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North Hall's Powers dominates at state swimming championships
Trojans sophomore won 50 yard freestyle, placed second in 100
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State swim championships
at Georgia Tech
Boys races

50 Yard Freestyle
Paul Powers, North Hall    1st
Andy Doan, Gainesville    6th
Ty Powers, North Hall    9th
100 backstroke
Andy Doan, Gainesville    10th
100 breaststroke
Colin Monaghan, Gainesville    9th
200 freestyle
Zack Miller-Hogg, Flowery Branch    8th
Scott Weyrich, Habersham Central    13th
500 freestyle
Tristan Taylor, Chestatee    14th
200 Individual medley
Colin Monaghan, Gainesville    5th
Tristan Taylor, Chestatee    13th
200 freestyle relay
North Hall    9th
Flowery Branch    13th
400 freestyle relay
Flowery Branch    15th
Girls races
100 backstroke

Brittany Litke, Buford    15th
200 freestyle
Danielle Brooks, Buford    15th
400 freestyle relay
Buford        10th

ATLANTA - It took North Hall's Paul Powers only a couple hours to solidify his status Saturday as one of the state's top high school swimmers in the Class A-AAAA division.

At Georgia Tech, Powers ran away with a state title in the 50-yard freestyle in 20.62 seconds and followed it up with a second place time in the 100 freestyle (45.91) at the Georgia High School Association state championship meet.

Both times were in line with All-American consideration and an improvement over his qualifying times from Friday.

"It's been a really good day," said Powers, who won the 50 freestyle by nearly 1/2 of a second.

Powers said he's generally struggled in the past with Saturday finals in a weekend meet, given there is usually a fast turnaround from Friday's qualifying or preliminaries.

Not this time.

In the 50 freestyle, he sprung from the board and took a comfortable lead against D.J. Bouette of St. Pius X, who finished second at 21.08.

Powers finished the race just .16 seconds off of the all-time state record in the 50 freestyle.

"When I made the turn, I looked and saw I was in the lead," said Powers, who was fifth at state last year. "I felt I had my technique really good today."

Making his win even sweeter was the fact that Paul's younger brother, Ty, finished first in the ‘B' heat, which translated into a ninth place overall finish at 21.57.

Ty Powers, a freshman, was standing on the side once his race was complete to cheer on his older brother during the championship race in the 50 freestyle.

"As soon as it was over, I was just saying, ‘Oh my gosh, my brother just won state,'" said Ty Powers.

With two more years remaining in his high school career, Paul hopes to race beside his brother in the finals in the 50 freestyle next year.

Ty Powers had the sixth fastest time in the 50 freestyle, but couldn't finish any higher than ninth since he was racing in the ‘B' race.

"I really feel like Ty is going to step it up and be in the finals next year," Paul said.

Paul Powers feels like bringing home a state title will help with the team's expectations going into next year, knowing that North Hall can compete against the rest of the state's best and also be successful.

North Hall coach Debbie Duncan was ecstatic with the way the finals came together for Paul Powers.

"I'm just tickled pink with the day he had," Duncan said.

In the 200 freestyle relay, North Hall's team of Ty Powers, Paul Powers, David Schofield and Bradley Brown finished ninth overall at 1:31.21.

Also in the 50 freestyle, Gainesville senior Andy Doan placed sixth overall at 21.83, then he placed 10th in the 100 backstroke (53.74).

Also for the Red Elephants, freshman Colin Monaghan placed fifth in the 200 individual medley at 1:55.9 and ninth in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.39).

The Flowery Branch boys also came away with a solid showing in the state championship.

Senior Zack Miller-Hogg finished eighth in the 200 freestyle (1:47.34). The Falcons also placed 13th in the 200 freestyle relay (1:32.53), and then 15th in the 400 freestyle relay (3:26.61).

Chestatee freshman Tristan Taylor took 13th in the 200 IM and was 14th in the 500 freestyle.

For the Buford girls, Brittany Litke, Libby Muret, Molly Moran and Danielle Brooks finished 10th in the 200 freestyle relay.

Brooks took 15th individually in the 200 freestyle (1:58.06), and Litke was 15th in the 100 backstroke (1:00.84).


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