Grant Davis, a senior at Sequoyah High School, achieved an Olympic trials qualifying time at last weekend’s Spring Invitational in Cumming.

Davis, representing the Woodstock-based Chattahoochee Gold swim club, won the 800-meter freestyle with a time 8 minutes, 8.22 seconds, qualifying himself to compete in the event at the Olympic trials next month in Omaha, Nebraska.

“I was very excited to about making my trials cut,” Davis said. “I was really hoping to make a Wave 1 cut, but when I saw I made the Wave 2 cut, I was shocked. Having my family with me when I got the cut was a very cool moment because they haven’t been able to be at the previous swim meets for the last year due to COVID-19. They are my biggest fans and motivators, so it was amazing to have them there with me.”

Davis said he will begin his training for Omaha over the next few weeks, and while it will be hard training, it will be worth it once the meet approaches.

Chattahoochee Gold coach Mark Schilling said Grant achieving a Wave 2 cut was both impressive, and also surprising.

“Due to COVID-19, the Spring Invitational meet was be divided into a first and second wave this year,” Schilling said. “The second wave was designed so that no more than about 40 swimmers in each race would be invited to Omaha, Nebraska, and then the top two would make the U.S. Olympic team. Grant made this accomplishment, which was even a little faster than I thought he was capable of. It was a great surprise for sure. The time, he went was the third-fastest 18-and-under athlete time in the nation and around top 20 of any age.”

Davis also competed in the Atlanta Classic last weekend at the Georgia Tech’s McAauley Aquatic Center, which also took place the same weekend. Both meets had anywhere from 30, to 50 to 100 swimmers in each event from different parts of the country and world.

At the Atlanta Classic, Davis competed in the 200 freestyle, placing 45th with a time of 1:54.21. He also placed 13th in the 400 freestyle (3:58.35) and fourth in the 1,500 freestyle (15:51.20).

Other Chattahoochee Gold swimmers that participated at the Atlanta Classic included Lassiter’s Elizabeth Tilt, who achieved an Olympic trials qualifying time in the 100 butterfly. Sequoyah junior Delaney Harrison and sophomore Laurel Blase, River Ridge senior Sarah Brown, Etowah senior Payton Smith, and Eli Brinkman also competed, as did Woodstock sophomore Ashley Case with the Stingrays swim club.

Harrison’s best finishes came in the 50 freestyle (35th, 26.97) and 100 freestyle (26th, 58.20), while Blase’s best finishes were in the 400 individual medley (23rd, 4:57.44) and 200 IM (36th, 2:24.36).

Brown also competed in a few events, with her best finishes coming in the 100 breaststroke (38th, 1:17.69) and 200 breaststroke (34th, 2:47.82). Smith’s best finish came in the 200 butterfly (22nd, 2:18.78) and Brinkman placed 31st in the 200 backstroke (2:10.63).

Case had a couple of top-40 finishes, placing 37th in the 100 butterfly (1:04.01) and 29th in the 200 butterfly (2:21.57).

“The Atlanta Classic meet was an exciting opportunity for our top swimmers,” Schilling said. “Everyone made finals for the meet — top 40 — and we had lots of new personal bests that would be top-100 in the nation for their age groups. At Chattahoochee Gold, we talk to the swimmers constantly about training and working on being as good as anyone in the nation, so this definitely validates all the hard work these kids have done.”

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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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