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North Hall's Powers qualifies for finals in 50 freestyle, 100 backstroke
Finals on Saturday at Georgia Tech
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North Hall’s Paul Powers is in the running for a state title in the 50-yard freestyle.

After swimming the fourth best time in the preliminaries of 21.70 on Friday, Powers is one of 16 swimmers that have qualified for the finals Saturday at Georgia Tech. Today, the top eight preliminary qualifiers will swim in the first heat, followed by the next eight in the consolation heat. The top eight times earn a spot in the championship race.

“I think Paul’s got a good chance (of making the finals),” North Hall coach Debbie Duncan said. “He’s a phenomenal, phenomenal swimmer.”

Powers also qualified for the finals in the 100 backstroke with a preliminary time of 54.32, the 11th best time. His state qualifying time in the 100 was 56.76.

Other area swimmers qualifying include Gainesville junior Andy Doan (49.27) and Flowery Branch’s Zack Miller-Hogg (49.37) in the 100 freestyle.

In the girls’ 50 freestyle, North Hall’s Sydney Pereira (25.13) qualified as an alternate for today’s final in the 50 freestyle.

Her preliminary time at Georgia Tech was 1.16-seconds faster than the state qualifying time she swam. Those that place 17th-20th in the preliminaries are considered alternates.

“Sydney was so excited with how she finished,” Duncan said. “Our whole area where our team in sitting has been absolutely charged.”

In the 200 freestyle, Habersham Central’s Scott Weyrich finished in 1 minute, 48.73 seconds, followed by Miller-Hogg (1:49.92).

Chestatee’s 200 freestyle relay team of Cory Hene, Jack Hene, Rob Minor and Ben Hassler finished with a time of 1:40.93 in the prelims.

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