GPAC wins three events, sets new records at Southeasterns

Gregory Johnson

GPAC wins three events, sets new records at Southeasterns


               NASHVILLE—Three individual champions and multiple new team records were the highlights of the weekend, as 42 GPAC swimmers raced to a 10th place team finish at the 2021 Southeastern Swimming Long Course Championships held in Nashville, TN July 16-18.

               “The team really came together over the weekend,” said GPAC head coach Greg Johnson. “I believe that the support of their teammates really made a difference in their racing and the swimmers had fun doing it.”

               Winning the 100-meter breaststroke on the very first night of competition, just-turned 13-year-old Taylor Clements surprised the whole heat and herself by dropping over three seconds from her best time to win the gold. Taylor’s time of one minute, 16.12 seconds was a new ‘AAAA’ for her, as well as qualified her for the NCSA Junior National meet in the spring. Taylor nabbed the silver medal in the 50m breaststroke and finished fifth in the 200m race. Taylor was also selected to represent GPAC and Southeastern Swimming on the SES Zone team, which is a select team that will compete against other teams in Tupelo, MS in late July.

               Landry Hadder, 17, after several years of placing in the top-three in multiple events at the Southeastern championships finally had her day, as she blew past the field in the breaststroke leg of the 200m individual medley to bring home the gold. Landry, who swam six-for-seven personal best times, was the highest scoring girl for GPAC. She took the bronze on the 400m freestyle and placed just off the medal podium with a fourth-place finish in the 400m IM and a seventh-place finish in the 200m backstroke. Landry went on to set three new ‘AAA’ times at the meet.

               Senior Jack Rowell, 17, won his second Southeastern championship title this year, as he beasted the field in “the mile”—the 1500m freestyle, his specialty. Jack obliterated the GPAC team record by over 24 seconds, and in the same race, beat his own team record in the 800m freestyle in his split. Jack posted 80 points for GPAC behind his five championship final appearances. He swam all life-best times as well as set new team records in the 400m free and 400m IM. Jack also earned two new ‘AAAA’ times in the mile and 400 free.

               GPAC’s top scorer and multiple team record-breaker at the meet was Ian Malone, 13, who came close to winning several events—placing second in three events and third in three others.  Ian scored 99 points individually and set three new team records—50m freestyle, 100m freestyle and 200m freestyle. Ian also swam all life-best times at the meet, including two new ‘AAA’ times. Ian was selected to the SES Zone team as well, and will travel to Tupelo with Taylor. GPAC coach Nathan Smith, who will be the lead coach for the 13-14-year-old boys’ team, was also selected to help coach the team.

               GPAC had 12 other swimmers make the finals and score points at the meet: Jillian Beardsley, 14 (8th 200 bk), Lila Brock, 12 (6th 200 IM, 7th 100 br), Marcela Dos Santos, 9 (7th 400 fr, 8th 200 IM), Ella Freeman, 16 (7th 200 br), Aidan Hall, 12 (3rd 50/100 br), Claire Han, 16 (6th 100 fr, 13th 200 fr, 16th 200 IM), Braedan Jacobs, 15 (12th 1500 fr), Sara Lypko, 16 (8th 1500 fr), Maren Mackey, 18 (15th 200 IM), Lane Robinson, 9 (5th 100 fly, 5th 50 fly), Hudson Trammell, 16 (13th 50 fly), and Emma Wortman, 16 (6th 200 br, 6th 200 IM).

               Along with Jack and Ian, GPAC had several other swimmers post personal-best times in all their individual events: Brandon Carney, 12, Jack Hebert, 15, William Shoesmith, 12, Lily Stockton, 17, and Audrey Turner, 12.

               After coming up just .01 seconds short of his cut time for the USA Swimming Futures Championship in his individual race of the 100m butterfly, Hudson Trammell opted for a time trial at the end of the meet on Sunday and blasted his first-ever ‘AAAA’ time and qualified for the meet. He will now join Freeman, Hadder, Han, Mackey, Rowell and Lindsey Rauscher in Huntsville, AL the last week of July for the Futures championship.

               Along with these grand achievements, several GPAC swimmers earned new motivational times at the meet:

BB:         Brandon Carney, Jackson O’Neill, Lane Robinson

A:           Noah Jacobs, Korbin Menser, Jackson O’Neill, Klara Shoesmith, William Shoesmith

AA:         Jillian Beardsley, Ella Freeman, Noah Jacobs, Belle McNally, Korbin Menser, Emma O’Neill, Cain Scoggins, William Shoesmith, Caroline Smith, Lily Stockton, Lily Walker

AAA:      Lila Brock, Taylor Clements, Landry Hadder, Sara Lypko, Ian Malone, Jack Rowell, Emma Wortman

AAAA:    Taylor Clements, Claire Han, Jack Rowell, Hudson Trammell

               Aside from the two remaining championship meets for some of the team in Tupelo or Huntsville at the end of July, this meet marks the end of the summer season for the GPAC team. The team now will take a two-week break before returning to school, and the next GPAC season.