On Saturday, November 12th, the swim team took first place against Centennial High School and South Forsyth High School. Both teams, especially South Forsyth, have a solid record of strong performances each and every year and presented difficult competition for the Bears. At the end, the Bears were able to clench top finished in some key relays and individual events to seal the win. As separate squads, the boys' team really ensured the victory for the team combined score by topping South Forsyth by almost 30 points, which gave some buffer when the girls fell just a few points shy of the top finish.
- Cambridge High School 1,089
- South Forsyth High School 1,066
- Centennial High School 941
- Cambridge High School 552
- South Forsyth High School 523
- Centennial High School 464
- South Forsyth High School 543
- Cambridge High School 537
- Centennial High School 477
Also scoring some significant points for the Bears was Jason Hink in the 200-yard freestyle event by taking second place overall. Clayton Johnson and Sean McGinty also scored in the event by taking fifth and sixth place.
The girls continued to have a solid day with freshman Ashleigh Hays taking first overall in the 200-yard freestyle event by swimming a state qualifying time of 2:04.83. Paula Morales and Morgan Young also scored points for the Bears in this event by taking third and fourth place.
The state qualifying events kept rolling in with freshman Matthew Gaines in the 200-yard individual medley. Swimming a time of 2:07.61 placed Gaines in third overall, followed by teammates Ben Balmes and Nick Diponzio who also scored points for the team. The girls' performance was equally impressive with freshman Abby Grottle finishing in second overall with a state qualifying time of 2:17.51. Teammates Maggie Duffner and Carolyn McLain also scored points by taking seventh and tenth overall.
In the 50-yard freestyle event, Cameron Chong, Connor Fleming and Konata Ford all scored points for the Bears by taking fifth, eighth and ninth overall. For the girls, freshman Libby Jones and junior Katie Fishman also scored points by taking sixth and seventh overall.
In the 100-yard butterfly, freshman Zak Parker took second overall with a time of 59.67, which is about a second and a half off the state qualifying time. His swim earned the team significant points and was immediately followed up by a long line of Cambridge Bears. Jason Yang took third place, followed by Connor Christiansen in fourth, Connor Fleming in fifth, and Cole Pieroni in sixth. For the girls, senior Katie Durden took third overall with teammates Rachel Henderson and Carolyn McLain also in scoring positions by taking sixth and ninth.
The 100-yard freestyle event was one that the Cambridge Bears took a dominating place in. Senior Jason Hink took first place with a time of 54.62, followed up by Zak Parker having another impressive swim immediately following his butterfly with a time of 54.71. Senior Cameron Chong was also in scoring position by taking fifth overall. For the girls, Brooke McLain had an impressive swim with a time of 1:01.97, which earned her fifth, followed by teammate Morgan Young in sixth. Also in scoring position was Katie Durden.
The boys' 500-yard freestyle was certainly a competitive event. The top three spots went 5:00 or below. Matthew Gaines finished third with a time of 5:00.11, which clears the GHSA state cut by 20 seconds. Following Gaines was Sean McGinty in fourth and Don Cofrancesco in fifth. For the girls, freshman Abby Grottle had an incredible showing by swimming a first place and state qualifying time of 5:11.75, about 15-second before the next person touched the wall. Teammate Maggie Duffner took third, followed by Ella McIlvain in fifth and Caroline Butler in seventh.
The freestyle relays are always some of the most exciting events of the day and this proved to be no different, especially for the boys' team. The A-relay (Jason Hink, Zak Parker, Matthew Gaines, Sean McGinty) took first place in an incredible fast and competitive race. South Forsyth trailed the Cambridge A-relay by only about one second. The boys' team missed the state cut by two-tenths of a second.
Backstroke proved to be another strong event for the Bears. Freshman Nick Diponzio took first place with a time of 1:08.07, followed by junior Connor Christiansen in second. For the girls' team, freshman Libby Jones was the first Bear to touch the wall with a third place finish and a time of 1:10.60, followed by Darby Goodyear in fourth and Paula Morales in fifth.
In the 100-yard breaststroke event, sophomore Konata Ford took third with a time of 1:07.42, less than a half-second off the state qualifying time. Senior Jason Yang trailed just a few tenths of a second behind to touch in fifth, followed by Ben Balmes in seventh. For the girls, freshman Ashleigh Hays had an incredible swim to take second place with a state qualifying time of 1:14.44, followed closely by teammate Katie Fishman in fourth.
The last event of the day proved to be the most exciting events. The 400-yard freestyle relay has always been a strength for the Bears and the boys' and girls' team showed up to defend that title. The boys' A-relay (Sean McGinty, Matthew Gaines, Zak Parker, Jason Hink) took first place with a state qualifying time of 3:38.91. While they have quite a bit of time to drop to beat the school record of 3:17.30 from state championships last year, these boys definitely have their eyes on the prize and they are only going to get faster. The boys relay was able to beat out the South Forsyth A-relay by two-seconds. The girls' A-relay (Ashleigh Hays, Abby Grottle, Katie Durden, Paula Morales) fought every single leg of the race. At times they were neck-and-neck with the Centennial and South Forsyth relays and coming into the last leg, Cambridge had a slight lead over the other two squads. The race came down to the last leg and whether Cambridge could hold on. Morales fought every turn and every stroke to maintain the lead and at the end, she was able to touch the wall almost two-seconds ahead of the Centennial A-relay. Their state qualifying time of 3:56.98 is still off the school record set at state last year (3:48.21) but there are no doubts that these girls will break that record this season.
On Wednesday, November 16th, the Bears will travel to Riverside Military Academy to face off against a multitude of teams in a fast pool with almost the entire squad able to attend. With the Bears in full force, many of the times set on Saturday will be broken and we will see once again this incredible batch of freshman athletes make their mark on this program early in the season.
Still to come are the divers! They will be in action at the beginning of December, so come support them as they break in the boards and pave the way to state where Cambridge is anticipated to be a strong representative of the best that Georgia has to offer.