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Swimmers shine at Sunkist meet

A small squad of GPAC swimmers took advantage of the last regular-season meet to continue to improve many swims and combine to score a third-place team finish at the Sunkist Winter Blast Invitational in Flowood, MS January 26-28.

“It was a fun meet, and I think we all had a good time there,” said head age group coach Greg Johnson. “I was impressed to see how many swimmers were able to improve their times after just two weeks out of the last meet. I think it bodes well for what these swimmers will do at the championship meets.”

Leading the way for GPAC was seven-year-old Johanna Beauchamp, who won the 7-8 girls’ high-point award. Beauchamp swam an impressive 11-event program at the meet, and won four of her individual events. She scored top-three in all her other events and went on to set six new life-best times.

Although he came up a few points shy of winning the high-point award for his age group, Ian Malone, 10, had his best meet this season, dropping time in nine out of his 10 events. Ian won four individual events (50, 100 fly, 200 IM, 100 back), and claimed the silver medal in four other events. More impressive was that Ian set four new ‘AA’ times and seven new age group sectional cuts at the meet.

Along with Ian, the GPAC 9-10 boys were a force to be reckoned with. Max Little, 10, continued his streak of time improvements, setting eight new life-best times. Little captured the win in the 100-yd and 200-yd breaststrokes, and finished third in the 200-yd IM, 50-yd backstroke and 100-yd backstroke. Max also earned a new SES cut in the 50-yd free and a new ‘A’ time in the 100-yd backstroke. Teammate Landon Garcia, 9, added to the medal count by winning the 50-yd breaststroke, taking silver in the 100-yd and 200-yd breaststroke and bronze in the 50 and 100-yd butterfly and the 50-yd freestyle. Landon went on to set six new life-best times, including a new ‘A’ time in the 100-yd butterfly. Between these three swimmers, GPAC swept the 1-2-3 finish in four events.

Noah Scoggins, 14, won four individual events at the meet including the 200-yd IM, 200-yd freestyle, 100-yd backstroke and his signature event, the 100-yd butterfly. He also finished second in the 100-yd freestyle and third in the 100-yd breaststroke,

GPAC had several other individual event winners, including Gabrielle Beauchamp, 5, who made her competitive debut at the meet. She won the 6 & under 25-yd backstroke and finished third in the 25-yd freestyle. Also showing GPAC 8 & under power was Graeson Garcia, 8, who took the gold in the 100-yd freestyle, 100-yd backstroke and 25-yd breaststroke. Jameson Walker, 12, won the 200-yd IM and Liam Winans, 15 also won his age group’s 200-yd IM. Jameson also posted his first-ever age group sectional cut in the 200-yd backstroke, which now qualifies him for the meet in Atlanta in March.

Congratulations to Emma O’Neill, 13, who posted life-best times in all 10 of her individual events at the meet, including a new ‘BB” time (100 free) and to Lily Walker, 9, who swam a perfect six-for-six personal best times in her events at the meet, including one new ‘BB’ time and two new ‘B’ times.

                The following swimmers posted new motivational times at the meet:
B:            Lex Vaughn, Jameson Walker, Lily Walker

BB:         Emma O’Neill, Cain Scoggins, Jameson Walker, Lily Walker

A:            Sydney Dodson, Landon Garcia, Max Little, Ian Malone, Jameson Walker

AA:         Ian Malone

The GPAC team now sets its sights on the Southeastern Swimming championships in Huntsville next month. The team hopes to finish in the top ten teams in the LSC.