On Saturday, December 16th, the Cambridge swim and dive team took on 14 elite schools in the area in the 11th Annual Madeleine Jude Brown Meet of Champions held at Marist this year due to renovations at Emory University. The women did exceptionally well, taking 5th overall, while the men's team struggled with a short roster and took 10th.
Women's Team Scores
Johns Creek 430
Atlanta International 41
Saint Pius 34
Mount Vernon 9
Men's Team Scores
Johns Creek 355
Atlanta International 108
Saint Pius 30
Lady of Mercy 8
Combined Team Score
Johns Creek 785
Atlanta International 149
Saint Pius 64
Mount Vernon 9
Lady of Mercy 8
In the 200-yard medley relay, the boys' A relay (Aiden Goodnight, Nathaniel Champion, Cole Pieroni, Nick Iline) ) took 20th overall. The girls' A relay (Libby Jones, Katie Fishman, Lauren Jonsson, Morgan Young) took 10th, followed immediately by the B relay (Isabella Empoliti, Brigs Riddick, Carolyn McLain, Rachel Henderson) in 11th. The C relay (Rachel Avant, Grace Ghent, Adyson LeeMaster, Sydney Chambers) took 20th, and the D relay (Rebecca Ho, Irazu Lara, Anna Kerber, Katie Fox) took 27th.
In the 200-yard freestyle event, on the boys' side, Matthew Gaines easily won his heat, dropping almost eight seconds from his seed time to swim 1:45.40 (just a little over two seconds from the school record) and take third in the event overall. Gaines' time puts him in good standing in the event going into the state meet in February. Phillip Ryzhkov took 25th overall and Aiden Goodnight took 34th overall. On the girls' side, Lauren Jonsson swam a solid race and took sixth overall, followed by Brooke McLain in ninth, and Morgan Young in 10th.
In the 200-yard individual medley, Ben Balmes took 16th. For the girls' team, Maggie Duffner took 13th, followed by Carolyn McLain in 15th with a new best time by almost five-seconds, Grace Ghent in 18th with a new best time by almost a second and a half, and Rachel Henderson in 21st.
In the 50-yard freestyle event, Aiden Goodnight took 43rd, Nick Iline took 46th, and Nathaniel Champion took 67th. For the girls' team, Katie Fishman took 19th with a new best time, Isabella Empoliti took 20th with a new best time, Brigs Riddick took 44th with a new best time, Anna Kerber took 46th, Katie Fox took 57th with a new best time, Rebecca Ho took 64th with a new best time, and Irazu Lara took 68th with a new best time.
In the 100-yard butterfly, for the boys' team, Phillip Ryzhkov took 12th with a new best time and less than a second off the state qualifying time, and Cole Pieroni took 19th with a new best time. For the girls' team, Carolyn McLain took 17th with a new best time by almost five-seconds, Emma Guy took 22nd, Rachel Henderson took 25th, and Adyson LeeMaster took 26th with a new best time.
In the boys' 100-yard freestyle, Nick Diponzio took 20th, Nick Iline took 37th with a new best time, and John Empoliti took 48th. For the girls' team, Brooke McLain took eighth overall and touched the wall at exactly the state qualifying time for the event (58.50) which clocks her first career state qualifying individual swim! Isabella Empoliti took 22nd, Sydney Chambers took 23th and clocked a new best time, Anna Kerber took 31st, Adyson LeeMaster took 41st with a new best time, Rachel Avant took 42nd with a new best time, Katie Fox took 50th, Rebecca Ho took 51st with a new best time, and Irazu Lara took 57th with a new best time of almost three-seconds.
In the boys' 200-yard freestyle relay, the A relay (Matthew Gaines, Ben Balmes, Phillip Ryzhkov, Nick Diponzio) took eighth overall with a new best time for the season. Additionally, Matthew Gaines qualified for state in his leadoff leg of the relay with a time of 22.79. On the girls' side, the A relay (Emma Guy, Katie Fishman, Isabella Empoliti, Brooke McLain) took seventh overall and shaved off some time, the C relay (Carolyn McLain, Rachel Avant, Brigs Riddick, Delaney Goodell) took 13th, and the B relay (Sydney Chambers, Grace Ghent, Rachel Henderson, Maggie Duffner) took 15th.
In the boys' 100-yard backstroke, Matthew Gaines dropped almost four-seconds from his seed time to swim a state qualifying time of 55.56 and take fifth overall. Nick Diponzioo took 22nd and John Empoliti took 23rd. For the girls, Libby Jones took 14th, Maggie Duffner took 16th, Sydney Chambers took 25th, and Rachel Avant took 30th.
In the boys' 100-yard breaststroke, Ben Balmes shaved off some time to take 15th overall, followed by Cole Pieroni in 18th, and Nathaniel Champion took 25th. For the girls, Katie Fishman swam an amazing race and dropped almost a full second from her time to be a tenth of a second from the state qualifying time. We know she'll get it at the next meet! Fishman took sixth overall. Grace Ghent took 14th, Brigs Riddick shaved off almost two-seconds to take 18th, and Emma Guy dropped over a second to take 22nd.
In the last event of the swim session, the boys' 400-yard freestyle relay A team (Matthew Gaines, Ben Balmes, Phillip Ryzhkov, Nick Diponzio) took ninth overall and shaved off almost two-seconds from their seed time. Gaines once again was the leadoff leg and qualified for the individual 100-yard freestyle with a time of 50.60. The B relay (John Empoliti, Aiden Goodnight, Nick Iline, Cole Pieroni) took 16th. On the girls' side, the A relay (Brooke McLain, Morgan Young, Emma Guy, Lauren Jonsson) took seventh overall, followed by the B relay (Maggie Duffner, Delaney Goodell, Anna Kerber, Libby Jones) in 12th, and the C relay (Adyson LeeMaster, Irazu Lara, Rebecca Ho, Katie Fox) took 22nd.
Wiith the swim portion over, the pool cleared out for the diving competition to warm up and begin. The Bears had three divers competing: Haley Copeland, Margeaux Messier, and Noor El-Gazairly. This meet is historically challenging and brings some of the best divers from the area. The meet is also a cut meet, where the list of divers is cut down after the first five dives, then after the eighth dive. The top diver from Marist is a Division I committed diver and won the meet by almost 150 points. After the first cut, all three Cambridge divers progressed to the next round. After the second cut, Noor El-Gazairly was the only Cambridge diver still in the competition. El-Gazairly finished in 16th overall. We are excited to see what the girls will do on the boards next month and hopefully they will join the growing list of Cambridge athletes slotted to compete at Georgia Tech in February.
The divers will be competing in the Lambert Holiday Invitational on January 6th at Cumming Aquatic Center. Come and cheer them on! The swimmers and divers will return from break to Fulton County Championships happening on Wednesday, January 10th at West Gwinnett Aquatic Center!