On Saturday, December 17th, Cambridge participated in their toughest meet yet this season. With the move to the 6A conference this year, this meet gave the team a good idea of the competition they will be seeing at the state meet in January and the Bears held their own. Out of 25 teams, both the boys' and girls' teams finished among the top half, with the girls' team finishing especially strong with the highest finish Cambridge has ever had at the Meet of Champions.
Girls' Team Scores Top 16:
Johns Creek 298
Blessed Trinity 158
North Atlanta 74
Boys' Team Scores Top 16:
Johns Creek 231
North Atlanta 115.5
Blessed Trinity 64.5
The following is a rundown of the top performances from the Cambridge team. Not all swimmers that competed in the events are listed, these are just the top finishers from the day.
The Cambridge boys' A-Medley Relay (Sean McGinty, Konata Ford, Jason Yang, Cameron Chong) took 24th place overall out of 57 teams. The girls' A-relay (Lauren Jonsson, Ashleigh Hays, Abby Grottle, Brooke McLain) took 13th overall with a slight time improvement to their already state-qualifying time, out of 59 teams.
In the 200-yard freestyle event, Austin Daniel took ninth, followed by Jason Hink in 29th, out of a total of 62 swimmers. In the girls' event, freshman Abby Grottle took second place overall with a new state qualifying time of 1:56.90 and a new school record, out of 63 swimmers.
In the 200-yard individual medley event, freshman Matthew Gaines took 20th place overall out of 54 swimmers, followed by Lauren Jonsson taking 14th overall with a state qualifying time of 2:22.99 out of 59 swimmers.
In the 50-yard freestyle, all boys in the event dropped time. Cameron Chong took 36th with a time of 24.91 and Connor Fleming finished just behind him in 38th with a time of 24.95. There were 204 swimmers total in the event. For the girls, Paula Morales swam a new best time of 26.93 which places her in 24th overall, followed by Brooke McLain in 41st. There were 236 swimmers in the event.
In the 100-yard butterfly event, Zak Parker swam a new season best time of 58.02 to earn him 18th out of 67 swimmers, but just missing the state qualifying time by two one-hundredths of a second. There is no doubt Parker will make the time he needs to swim the event at the state meet before the end of the season. In the girls' fly event, Ashleigh Hays took 12th out of 61 swimmers followed by Katie Durden in 32nd.
In the 100-yard freestyle event, Jason Hink took 18th overall out of 192 swimmers with a new best time of 52.47. He is now within half a second of the state qualifying time in the event. Cameron Chong took 46th and Connor Fleming took 48th, both dropping time. Fleming dropped a full second. For the girls, Paula Morales took 19th out of 214 swimmers with a new best time of 58.24. Brooke McLain also had a solid swim to take 33rd place overall.
In the 500-yard freestyle event, Cambridge really stood out. Matthew Gaines took 11th overall out of 51 swimmers with a new season best time of 4:54.08, which was over six-seconds faster than his previous state qualifying time. The improvement will put him in good seeding going into the state preliminary round. Abby Grottle had an amazing swim where she came back at the end to overtake the top girl from Etowah and earn first place in the event out of 47 swimmers. With a time of 5:04.41, if Grottle chooses to swim the event at state she will be among the top seeded girls in the state and easily breaks the existing Cambridge school record for the event.
In the 200-yard freestyle relay, the boys' A-relay (Austin Daniel, Zak Parker, Matthew Gaines, Jason Hink) took eighth place overall with an improvement of almost a full second to touch in 1:34.47. There were 60 relays teams entered in the event. The girls' relay (Paula Morales, Morgan Young, Brooke McLain, Katie Durden) took 12th overall.
In the 100-yard backstroke event, Austin Daniel took seventh overall, followed by Zak Parker in 21st, out of 68 swimmers. Lauren Jonsson took 23rd in the girls' event and was only a half-second off the state qualifying time. Libby Jones took 30th out of the total of 72 swimmers.
In the 100-yard breaststroke event, Konata Ford took 18th and Jason Yang finished just behind him in 22nd out of 79 swimmers in the event. In the girls' event, freshman Ashleigh Hays earned her state qualifying time of 1:14.74 which earned her eighth overall out of 71 swimmers. Katie Fishman finished in 19th.
In the last event of the day, the boys' 400-yard freestyle A-relay (Austin Daniel, Jason Hink, Zak Parker, Matthew Gaines) took eighth overall with a slight time improvement to their already state qualifying time of 3:26.38. In the event, there were 44 relay teams entered. The girls' team had an incredible finish to their day with half of the relay team members swimming new best relay split times. The A-relay (Ashleigh Hays, Paula Morales, Lauren Jonsson, Abby Grottle) dropped an incredible four-seconds from their entry time to finish in 3:52.21 and earning them sixth place overall out of 53 relay teams.
The diving events also produced solid performances from the Cambridge Bears. For the boys' team, Simon Finlayson and Turner Mignerey both qualified to continue competition through all qualifying cuts throughout their event. Many swimmers in this 11-dive format, only perform a few of their dives because their score does not qualify them to continue. Both Finlayson and Mignerey were able to compete through the entire event and finish all 11 dives. Finlayson finished in fourth place overall, his highest finish in this meet in three years, with a total of 382.65 points. Mignerey finished in 11th place overall with 301.55 points. Both have already qualified for the state meet, but this provided practice and exposure to them for the kind of people they will see at Georgia Tech in February.
For the girls' event, Cambridge had six girls entered in the event. With 62 girls entered in the event, the cuts made it so that many did not get to finish all 11 dives. Maddie Chaloux finished in seventh overall with a score of 340.15. Chaloux finished in the top 20 in the state at Georgia Tech last year and her prospects for finishing even higher this year are good. Chaloux was the only girl to make it to the state finals last year, but we anticipate she will be joined by sophomore Haley Copeland this year. Copeland was also able to complete all 11 dives and finished with a score of 243.70. Her points earned her 19th overall. Copeland has shown tremendous improvement in her technique and skill and should earn her a place at state in February. New diver Noor El-Gazairly made it through multiple cuts, but was unable to finish all 11 dives. Her contributions and talent are apparent when you watch her dive. Her potential is tremendous and we look forward to seeing her develop into a top diver this season. She finished in 28th. Also new diver Brooke Darnell has shown a lot of potential with her talents and lack of fear on the board. She earned 41st place, followed by another new diver Margeaux Messier in 46th, and returner Renee Wang in 50th place.
The month of January is a hectic one of the Cambridge Bears. The divers will participate in a Holiday Invitational hosted by Lambert High School on January 7th at Cumming Aquatic Center, and then the swimmers and divers will be competing in three meets the week students return to school after break. After that, the team only has Metro Championships left to qualify for state. The seniors will be honored at the relay meet hosted by Campbell High School at the end of January.
Come out and support your Bears!