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Team places 9th at elite meet in Sarasota

A great team effort and big swims from across all age groups led a 20-swimmer GPAC team to a ninth-place team finish at the Sarasota Shark Open held in Sarasota, FL June 21-24. Teams from as far away as New York City and North Carolina attended the meet.

“I was a little worried that maybe the swimmers would be intimidated by the competition at the meet,” said GPAC head age group coach Greg Johnson. “Not only did they swim with poise and confidence, I thought they excelled.”

Leading the way for GPAC was 12-year-old Megan Corcoran who won four individual events and placed in the top-three in all four of her other events. Corcoran, who has been steadily rewriting the team record book since she joined last summer, set three new team records during the meet. After winning the 800m freestyle in near-team record time the first night, she won the 200m IM on the second night, obliterating the old record set back in 1984 by a GPAC swimmer who went on the Olympics in 1988. Megan then set two new team marks the third night of the meet, winning the 200m freestyle and 100m butterfly. She finished the meet with life-best times in all eight of her events contested and set two new ‘AAAA’ times and one new ‘AAA’ time.

Joining Megan in setting all new life-best times was Noah Scoggins, 14, who dropped over 30 seconds combined across all seven of his individual events. Scoggins set three new ‘AA’ times and three new ‘A’ times. He went on to set two new Southeastern championship qualifying times in the 200m Im and 100m backstroke, and was a consolation finalist in the 200m butterfly.

Team captain Cali Wilson, 17, also swam life-best times in all six of her individual events. Cali set two new ‘AAA’ times (100 fr, 100 br) and two new ‘AA’ times. She also set a new SES qualifying time in the 400m IM.

GPAC had several swimmers set new SES qualifying swims at the meet. Braden Barkley, 15, nabbed a pair of backstroke cuts, qualifying in both the 100 and 200m distances. Trinity Devanney, 14, qualified in the 800m free, dropping over 20 seconds from her best time. Cason Forst, 16, set a new ‘AA’ time in his 50m freestyle for a new cut time and Landry Hadder, 14, picked up a couple cuts, qualifying in the 800m free and the 100m backstroke. Walker Parra, 16, swam a strong 100m breaststroke to set a new cut time in that event at the meet.

Fifteen of the twenty swimmers who went on the trip to Sarasota set at least a new ‘A’ time in an individual event and eight of those swimmers set a new ‘AA’ or higher time standard. Congratulations to these swimmers who set a new motivational time standard:

B:            Isabel Harris, Kobi Menser

BB:         Kobi Menser

A:            Braden Barkley, Paige Connors, Trinity Devanney, Isabel Harris, Walker Parra, Noah Scoggins, Liam Winans

AA:         Trinity Devanney, Cason Forst, Landry Hadder, Maren Mackey, Noah Scoggins, Jameson Walker, Cali Wilson

AAA:      Megan Corcoran, Landry Hadder, Claire Han, Sara Lypko, Maren Mackey, Cali Wilson

AAAA: Megan Corcoran

Although the meet was the focus of the trip and took up most of the time during the five day excursion, the team also got to stop and have a practice in Gainesville as well as spend some down time playing at a local arcade.

The team now turns it focus to the last three weeks of the season that will see many of them traveling to Knoxville, TN for the championship meet, as well extending their seasons for bigger and faster meets in Texas and North Carolina.