A number of Chattahoochee Gold swimmers placed in the top 10 at the 14-and-up state championships two weekends ago at the Cumming Aquatic Center, continuing the Woodstock-based club’s success this year at state championships.

Cherokee County-based Gold swimmers Delaney Harrison, Laurel Blase, Grant Davis, Sarah Brown, Payton Smith and Cole Dallas all placed in the top 10 at the meet, while others placed within the top 20.

“After a great 14-and-under state meet, we had high expectations as a coaching staff on what some of our older students would do at their state meet,” Chattahoochee Gold coach Mark Schilling said. “They did not disappoint as we had several state champions, and a huge number of top-10 finishes by more than 20 of our athletes from different counties.”

Sequoyah’s Davis led the way with a first-place finish in the 1,650-yard freestyle, a second-place finish in the 500 freestyle, a sixth-place finish in the 200 freestyle and a seventh-place finish in the 200 backstroke.

“I felt really good about my 1,650 time the other weekend and was proud of my time, but I know there is more there in the future to work on,” Davis said. “I was hoping to go a little faster, but it was my last event of the weekend. The event I personally felt the best about was the 500-yard freestyle, where I dropped about 3 seconds and went 4:23.73.”

Fellow Sequoyah swimmers Harrison and Blase also had a number of top-10 finishes to their names.

Harrison claimed a top-five finish in two events, placing fifth in both the 50 freestyle and 50 butterfly. She also placed sixth in both the 100 and 200 freestyles, seventh in the 100 butterfly and eighth in 100 backstroke.

Blase earned two third-place finishes in the 400 individual medley and 500 freestyle, sixth in the 200 individual medley and 1,000 freestyle, eighth in the 200 backstroke, ninth in the 100 individual medley and 10th in the 200 freestyle.

River Ridge’s Sarah Brown claimed a top-five finish in the 200 breaststroke, finishing fifth. She also finished eighth in the 100 individual medley and ninth in the 100 breaststroke.

Etowah’s Payton Smith placed sixth in the 200 butterfly and ninth in the 100 butterfly. Etowah’s Cole Dallas also earned a top-10 finish, finishing 10th in the 50 butterfly.

Other local top-20 finishers included Bianca Santiago, Hudson Evans and Harper Johnson.

“Many of these swimmers spend more than 20 hours a week training for these moments, so it is great to see all that dedication pay off,” Schilling said. “One of our goals at Gold Swimming is to create an environment where our swimmers can consistently compete at the highest levels of the sport, and the performances at this meet were a great showcase of that.”

The meet, which usually takes place at Georgia Tech’s McAuley Aquatic Center, took place at two separate locations due to COVID-19 restrictions — Cumming and Georgia Tech. Swimmer and team scores were not tallied at the meet.

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Ethan is a reporter covering the cities of Holly Springs & Canton. He also covers city governments and lifestyle. He is a graduate of Kennesaw State University.

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