March 27, 2018
National ranking swims and record setting performances helped the fifteen-member GPAC sectional team finish 13th among nearly 90 teams at the Eastern Section of the Southern Zone Age Group Championships held in Atlanta, GA March 15-18.
“It was an awesome meet,” said head age group coach Greg Johnson. “I am so proud of the way the team carried themselves and so many of the swims were just beyond impressive.”
Megan Corcoran, 12, who was the most outstanding swimmer for GPAC at the Southeastern Championships three weeks prior, proved to have even more to show as she kicked off the meet Thursday night with a convincing win in the 1,000-yd freestyle. Corcoran obliterated her old team record and also set a nation-leading time of 10 minutes, 23.44 seconds for her age group.
Corcoran went on to win the 100-yd and 200-yd butterfly events, setting new team records in both, and won the 100-yd backstroke. She claimed the silver medal in the 50-yd backstroke and set another team record in the 200-yd backstroke and the 50-yd butterfly, placing fourth in each. Corcoran set six out of eight new life-best times and five new ‘AAAA’ times.
Landry Hadder, 13, had an outstanding meet as well, dropping time in all seven of her individual events. Hadder was a four-time championship finalist at the meet and was the bronze medalist in the 13-14 girls’ 1,650-yd freestyle. Landry cut over 11 seconds from her bronze medal swim at the Southeastern championships in the mile and shaved another 16 seconds in her 1,000-yd freestyle, nabbing sixth place. She also made the finals in the 400-yd IM and 500-yd freestyle, setting new best times in each.
GPAC had six other swimmers make the final heats at the meet. Claire Han, 13, swam a terrific 200-yd freestyle in the morning preliminaries to make the finals and a new ‘AAA’ time.
Sara Lypko, 13, and Aiden Morgan, 14, both made the finals in the 200-yd breaststroke, and Maren Mackey, 14, made the finals in both the 200-yd and 400-yd individual medley, placing ninth in the 200-yd event.
Emma Wortman, 13, made the finals in three events including both the 100 and 200-yd breaststroke, as well as the 200-yd IM, where she set a new ‘AAA’ time.
Trinity Devanney, 14, scored top-twenty finishes in both her 1,000-yd and 1,650-yd freestyle. She set a new life-best time in her mile swim.
Not all of GPAC’s points were scored by these finalists. GPAC’s quartet of 10-and-under swimmers Landon Garcia, Max Little, Ian Malone and Cain Scoggins came through for the team with some big impressive swims.
Garcia, 9, set life-best times in all nine of his individual events and set five new ‘AA’ times. Landon, while on the younger end of the age group, came through with 27 points for the team, scoring in both 50 and 100-yd breaststroke races as well as the 200-yd IM and 500-yd freestyle.
Max Little, 10, swam four out of five life-best times, including a scoring swim in the 500-yd freestyle, and set three new ‘AA’ times.
Ten-year-old Ian Malone swam his way to six new personal best times and put up 37 points individually for GPAC. His times in the 50-yd butterfly and 50-yd freestyle were his first-ever ‘AAA’ times.
Cain Scoggins, 10, swam a new best time in his 100-yd butterfly, and was a key leg in the boys’ 200-yd freestyle relay that erased the 29-year old team record, beating his last split from the relay at Southeasterns by over two seconds.
The four boys missed the team record the day before in the 200-yd medley relay by a mere .81 seconds, and they would all have to swim incredibly to get the record in the freestyle relay. Although seeded more than four seconds slower than the team mark, all four boys raced faster than their best times in each 50 to put their names in the GPAC record book.
Congratulations to all the GPAC swimmers who competed at the sectional meet. All 15 swimmers, including Kat Ralls, 12, Jack Rowell, 14, and Noah Scoggins, 14, earned at least one new life-best time at the meet and helped GPAC to its highest finish in over eight years.