The Georgia Coastal Aquatic team had a strong showing last weekend in the Age Group State Championships held at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Complex in Atlanta.
GCAT head coach Bill Forrester had 31 of his top junior athletes make the trip, and the results were impressive as GCAT took fourth place overall in the large team division.
“This is a dedicated and talented group of athletes who have a positive attitude and the support of their teammates and their families,” Forrester said. “Our swimmers performed at the highest levels in the state and nationally, too. I feel grateful to be a part of their development as swimmers and young adults.”
John McNamara, 10, won three titles (50 meter and 100m breaststroke, 50m backstroke) and placed in the top three in six other events in the U10 division.
Gaby Van Brunt solidified her standing as one of Georgia’s top junior swimmers, winning eight State titles (100 backstroke, 50m, 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle, 50m, 100m, and 200m butterfly) in the 11-year-old division. Elyssa Maust won the 100m fly title and placed in the top three in five events in the girls U10 division.
Maust also anchored the championship winning 200m medley relay team with Lilly Helton, Addy Czarnecki and Peyton Brady. Brady also won the 50-meter fly crown.
Other swimmers to make the podium as top finishers in the state were Camryn Baraniak (thirrd in 100m fly, 11-year-old division) and Addy Czarnecki (thirrd in U10 100m breast).
Individual top ten finishers included Kadin Dibkey (fifth in 200m and 400m free, 11-year-old division); Lilly Helton (eighth in 50 fly); Emma Maust (eighth in 200m fly, 14-year-old division); Avery Nelson (seventh in 50m breast and ninth in 200m breast ,11-year-old division).
Ella Nelson (fourth in 50m breast and seventh in 100m breast, U10); Emily Padgett (eighth in 50m breast, 12-year-old division); Ryder Racinelli (seventhth in 400m free, U10); Benjamin Thomas (eighth in 50m free, 12-year-old div.) and Delaney White (eighth in 400m free, ninth place in 50m fly, 10th in 100m breast and 10th in 100m free, 11-year-old div.).
Other GCAT qualifiers were Corban Anderson, Sydney Brady, Victor Rosario, Ethan Dibkey, Will Gratias, Aiden Gray, Kaylin Hatfield, Fabian Marrero, Yenna Park, Sam Parker, Sydney Reynolds, Cameron Roark, Sebastian Olivas, Aaron Seymour, Alex Wayner and Tyler Wood.
At the conclusion of the meet, Gaby Van Brunt was selected for the Georgia Zone Team, comprised of the top performers in the state. She will be headed to Tupelo, Miss., in a few weeks to compete against the top swimmers in the southeast region.
“Gaby is the next swimmer in a long line of our Savannah athletes to make this highly competitive Georgia Zone team,” Forrester said. “She has worked very hard and she deserves the accolades.”