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GPAC swimmers shake off the chill with hot swims at Winter Invite

A great team effort led to many new best times, multiple new cuts and a couple team records as GPAC claimed the team win at the 2018 Winter Invitational held at the UWF aquatic center January 12-14. GPAC swimmers combined to set over 55 % best times in all individual events contested, and over 98% of the swimmers on the team finished the weekend with at least one new life-best time.

“It’s always exciting to see where the team is at this point in the season,” said GPAC head age group coach Greg Johnson. “Even after a small break for the holidays, I thought we demonstrated great improvement over the performances we had in November, and we hope to continue the momentum into our championship season next month.”

Leading the way for the GPAC were a handful of individuals who, facing formidable competition from local teams, as well as teams from Louisiana and Tallahassee, stepped up and won multiple events at the meet.

Megan Corcoran, 12, won four individual events and set seven new life-best times in her nine-event program. She began her meet with back-to-back wins on Friday evening, touching first in the 50-yd freestyle and a new team record in the 1,000-yd freestyle, shaving over 10 seconds from the old record. Her time was a new ‘AAAA’ time and ranks her in the top-20 in the country in that event. She also broke the team record in the 200-yd butterfly, erasing the previous mark held by the outstanding GPAC swimmer Morgan Farrell from 2002. Megan rattled a third team record in the 400-yd IM, coming up a few tenths shy of it, but set another ‘AAAA’ time in the event as well as taking first. She went on to win the 100-yd freestyle and set two new ‘AAA’ times and two new ‘A’ times over the weekend.

Newly-turned 13-year-old Claire Han had an impressive meet, winning three individual events and setting three new ‘AA’ times and three new ‘A’ times in the age group. Claire swept the wins in the 50-yd and 100-yd freestyle races in new personal best times, and won the 200-yd butterfly in her event debut, setting a new ‘A’ time. Claire finished the weekend with nine-out-of-ten personal best times in her events, including three new age group sectional cuts (50 fr, 100, 200 bk) and four new Southeastern cuts (1,000 fr, 100, 200 bk, 200 fly).

Makayla Ludwick, 16, demonstrated her distance prowess by winning both the 1,000-yd and 500-yd freestyle races at the meet, dropping nearly 12 seconds from her previous best time in the 1,000-yd event. She also raced to a win in the 50-yd backstroke, setting another personal best time.

Sweeping the 13-14 sprint butterfly events, Maren Mackey, 14, claimed the top spot in the 50 and 100-yd stroke races, setting new best times in both. Her time in the 100 fly was good for a new age group sectional cut. She also won the 100-yd IM and the 50-yd backstroke in new personal-best times. Maren went on to set a total of six new life-best times at the meet.

Pulling in the largest haul of gold for the GPAC team was Aiden Morgan, 14, who captured five individual wins over the weekend. Aiden demonstrated a fine range of talents by winning the 200-yd and 500-yd freestyles, the 200-yd backstroke, and the 100-yd and 400-yd IMs. Aiden finished second in the 50-yd free and 100-yd backstroke, and finished third in the 100 and 200-yd butterfly and the 1,000-yd free. Morgan went on to set three new age group sectional cuts (1,000 fr, 200 bk, 100 fly), one new SES cut (100 bk), three new ‘AA’ times (200 bk, 100, 200 fly) and one new ‘A’ time (100 bk).

Along with these multi-event winners, GPAC boasted several other individual event winners at the meet including Johanna Beauchamp, 7 (100 fr), Sydney Dodson, 14 (50 br), Landon Garcia, 9 (50 br), Renee Henderson, 15 (50 br), Max Little, 10 (100 br), Grace Matthews, 16 (50 fly), Korbin Menser, 12 (400 IM), Blaise Presnell, 8 (50 bk), Grace Sill, 18 (200 fr), Alex Sullivan, 10 (500 fr), and Nevada Wood, 17 (50, 200 br).

Knowing that this meet would be essentially the last opportunity to qualify for the Southeastern championship meet in Huntsville next month, GPAC had 19 swimmers account for 29 new automatic qualifying times. Congratulations to Braden Barkley, 15 (1,000 fr), Megan Corcoran (100 br), Trinity Devanney, 14 (1,000 fr), Landon Garcia (50 bk), Landry Hadder, 13 (1,000 fr), Claire Han, Renee Henderson (1,000 fr), Max Little (500 fr), Sara Lypko, 13 (200 bk), Ian Malone, 10 (50 br, 50 fly), Aiden Morgan, Carson Rice, 10 (100 fly), Jack Rowell, 14 (200, 500 fr, 400 IM), Noah Scoggins, 14 (100 fly), Tanker Speck, 15 (1,000 fr), Alex Sullivan (50, 100 br, 50, 100 fly), and Jameson Walker, 12 (50 bk, 200 fr). A special recognition goes out to Noah Jacobs, 9, and Logan Robinson, 11, who each posted their very first Southeastern qualifying time.

Eleven GPAC swimmers set new qualifying times for the sectional-level meets coming up in March. On the age group side, the qualifiers were Megan Corcoran (1000 fr, 200 fly), Trinity Devanney (1000 fr), Landry Hadder (1000 fr), Claire Han, Max Little (50, 100 br), Sara Lypko (1000 fr), Maren Mackey, Ian Malone (50 bk), and Aiden Morgan. For the senior meet, James Tracey, 16, and Nevada Wood each set a new sectional qualifying time in the 1,000-yd freestyle.

GPAC had many swimmers excel at the meet by posting life-best times in all their events; a great testament to the work they have been doing daily at practice. Leading the way for the team by swimming an impressive 12-event program and dropping time in all his events was 10-year-old Max Little. Max, along with his two first-ever age group sectional cuts and additional Southeastern cut, went on to set three new ‘A’ times, two new ‘BB’ times and his first-ever ‘AA’ time. Joining Max in dropping time in all individual events was Alyssa Bryan, 13, Mo De La Garza, 14, Haley Dunckel, 12, Sara Gray, 10, Lily Green, 12, Parker Guy, 14, Noah Jacobs, 9, Owen Mayer, 12, Emma O’Neill, 13, Paisley Presnell, 7, Lindey Rauscher, 13, Zach Smith, 14, Hannah Trammell, 10, and Hollyn Will, 12.

Congratulations to these standard breakers who posted new motivational times at the meet:

B:            Xander Brown, Ian Bunting, Peyton Bunting, Madison Carmichael, Jaysa Ciccone, Alexa Foutain, Sara Gray, Lily Green, Isabel Harris, Drew Henry, Noah Jacobs, Kouper Kraus, Addison Lee, Sydney London, Bella Loos, Brina Loos, Shayla Manthey, Sarah Marks, Belle McNally, Grace McNally, Kiley Menser, Emma O’Neill, Brandon Pieretti, Lindsey Rauscher, Maya Sekhon, Brianna Smith, Jordan Stull, Lex Vaughn, Laurel Kate Voeltz, Jameson Walker, Lily Walker

BB:         Braden Barkley, Symone Bey, AP Daigle, Sydney Dodson, Gracie Fountain, Sara Gray, Noah Jacobs, Kouper Kraus, Jordan LaBryer, Addison Lee, Alex Little, Max Little, Justin Liu, Kyle Longley, Ian Malone, Shayla Manthey, Sarah Marks, Grace McNally, William McNally, Kobi Menser, Korbin Menser, Emma O’Neill, Jaydah Phelan, Kat Ralls, Lindsey Rauscher, Logan Robinson, Cain Scoggins, Noah Scoggins, Zach Smith, Coulson Voeltz, Jameson Walker, Emma Wortman

A:            Megan Corcoran, Trinity Devanney, Landon Garcia, Landry Hadder, Claire Han, Renee Henderson, William Henderson, Max Little, Sara Lypko, Ian Malone, Aiden Morgan, Logan Robinson, Jack Rowell, Noah Scoggins, Alex Sullivan, James Tracey, Cali Wilson, Emma Wortman

AA:         Braden Barkley, Landry Hadder, Claire Han, Renee Henderson, Max Little, Aiden Morgan, Jack Rowell, Tanker Speck, James Tracey

AAA:      Megan Corcoran, Trinity Devanney, Landry Hadder, James Tracey

AAAA:   Megan Corcoran              

The GPAC team now heads into the championship season, with the Southeastern championships slated for February 16-18 in Huntsville, AL. Currently, the team has 42 athletes qualified to swim at the meet. Beyond that meet, the rest of the team turns its focus to the Region IV championships, which will be hosted by GPAC at the UWF aquatic center March 2-4.