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Cambridge Swim & Dive Team Places Highest in Program History at Fulton County Championships

Cambridge Swim & Dive Team Places Highest in Program History at Fulton County Championships

On Wednesday, January 10th, Cambridge traveled to the West Gwinnett Aquatic Center to take on the best schools in the area. With Johns Creek and Alpharetta established as such powerhouses in the region, it was more of a race to see who will land just behind them. The girls' team certainly gave Alpharetta a run for their money and it became a deciding race at the end of the meet where Cambridge's A relay needed to beat the Alpharetta A relay (which they did) but the Cambridge B relay needed to beat the Alpharetta B relay and that did not happen, so the Bears fell short by just 3.5 points. Last year, the Cambridge squad finished in fourth place, but the team is inching its way to the top and bypassed Centennial this year to secure third place. 

Combined Team Score

  1. Johns Creek 893.50
  2. Alpharetta 751.50
  3. Cambridge 539
  4. Centennial 503
  5. Milton 496
  6. Riverwood 365.50
  7. Chattahoochee 359
  8. Northview 208.5
  9. North Springs 161

Girls Team Score

  1. Johns Creek 452.50
  2. Alpharetta 352.5
  3. Cambridge 349
  4. Centennial 322
  5. Chattahoochee 214
  6. Milton 183
  7. Riverwood 158.50
  8. Northview 67.50
  9. North Springs 58

Boys Team Score

  1. Johns Creek 441
  2. Alpharetta 399
  3. Milton 313
  4. Riverwood 207
  5. Cambridge 190
  6. Centennial 181
  7. Chattahoochee 145
  8. Northview 141
  9. North Springs 103

The first event of the day was diving. Diving for the boys' team was Turner Mignerey and Maddox Riddick. For the girls' team, Cambridge had Haley Copeland, Noor El-Gazairly, Kate McKay and Margeaux Messier. Cambridge had an incredibly strong performance on both sides. For the boys' team, Turner Mignerey captured the top finish with 282.65 points. Last year, Simon Finlayson from Cambridge took first place, so Cambridge has been able to hold the top diving spot for the last two years. Mignerey's performance was solid and had the highest level of difficulty of any other diver in the competition. The second placed diver was a full 30-points behind Mignerey. Mignerey has placed in first or second in every competition he has done this season. He is certainly the diver to watch at state this year! We're looking at a potential podium finish, which would be the first in program history for any event at state. Maddox Riddick finished in seventh with 136.60 points, showing a lot of great improvement and greater confidence on the board. On the girls' side, Haley Copeland was the top girl performer from Cambridge. She finished in sixth place with 173.35 points. Noor El-Gazairly took eighth with 169.55 points, Kate McKay took ninth with 163.20 points and Margeaux Messier took tenth with 163.05 points. All of the Cambridge divers scored points with their finishes that went towards the overall team points listed above. The program wouldn't be nearly as successful as it has been without these divers. They've had a tremendous season! 

Once the dive competition had concluded, the swimmers took over the pool. For the boys' 200-medley relay A team (Phillip Ryzhkov, Konata Ford, Cole Pieroni, Gabe Montes) took tenth place, followed by the B team (John Empoliti, Nathaniel Champion, Aiden Goodnight, Nick Iline) took fifteenth. On the girls' side, the A-relay (Maggie Duffner, Katie Fishman, Eva Medici, Libby Jones) took ninth, followed immediately by the B-relay (Isabella Empoliti, Grace Ghent, Carolyn McLain, Jayci Brown) in tenth. 

In the boys' 200-yard freestyle event, Matthew Gaines placed fifth with a time of 1:47.17. Gaines will compete in this event at the state meet in February. Billy Blood took 12th, followed by Don Cofrancesco in 13th with a new best time. For the girls' team, Abby Grottle finished the race as Fulton County Champion! Grottle finished first with a time of 1:56.42, a new best time for the high school meet season. Morgan Young was the next to touch the wall from Cambridge with a 13th place finish, followed by Anna Kerber in 18th with a new best time, and Sydney Chambers in 22nd with a new best time.

In the boys' 200-yard individual medley, Gabe Montes took 12th with a new best time, and Ben Balmes took 15th. For the girls' team, Libby Jones took 10th with a new best time, Carolyn McLain took 12th with a new best time, Maggie Duffner took 14th, Rachel Henderson in 19th with a new best time, Grace Ghent in 20th, and Rachel Avant in 23th with a new best time by over five-seconds.  

In the 50-yard freestyle event, Nick Iline took 40th and Aiden Goodnight took 41st. For the girls' team, Brooke McLain took 3rd with a time of 26.20, which is a state qualifying time. McLain has now qualified for two individual events. Emma Guy took 16th with a new best time, Katie Fishman took 17th, Isabella Empoliti took 18th, Brigs Riddick took 29th with a new best time, and Katie Fox took 40th with a new best time.

In the boys' 100-yard butterfly, Cole Pieroni took 19th with a new best time, Konata Ford took 22nd, and Aiden Goodnight took 30th with a new best time by almost 4.5 seconds. On the girls' side, Lauren Jonsson took eighth, Carolyn McLain took 14th with a new best time by almost two-seconds, and Rachel Henderson took 17th with a new best time by almost five-seconds.

In the boys' 100-yard freestyle, Nick Diponzio took 13th with a new best time, Ben Balmes took 16th with a new best time, and Nick Iline took 31st with a new best time. For the girls' team, Brooke McLain took third again with a new best time of 57.30, which improves her seed going into the state meet. Jayla Brown took fourth, Emma Guy took eighth with a new best time, Jayci Brown took tenth with a new best time, Isabella Empoliti took 21st with a new best time, Anna Kerber took 24th with a new best time, and Katie Fox took 37th with a new best time.

In the boys' 500-yard freestyle, Matthew Gaines took fifth overall with a time improvement of almost 14-seconds. Billy Blood took 12th overall. For the girls' team, Abby Grottle sailed into another top finish with a time of 5:08.03, so Grottle got to claim the title of Fulton County Champion in the 500-yard freestyle as well as the 200-yard freestyle. Eva Medici took ninth with an improvement in time of almost 13-seconds. Medici touched the wall a half-second off the state qualifying time. Maggie Duffner finished in 13th, and Morgan Young took 15th.

In the 200-yard freestyle relay, the Cambridge boys' A relay (Matthew Gaines, Nick Diponzio, Ben Balmes, Billy Blood) took ninth place, and the B relay (Nick Iline, Aiden Goodnight, Konata Ford, Don Cofrancesco) took 11th. On the girls' side, the A-relay (Abby Grottle, Brooke McLain, Lauren Jonsson, Jayla Brown) took second place overall with a time of 1:45.47, which is a new season best time by almost three-seconds. The B-relay (Emma Guy, Libby Jones, Isabella Empoliti, Katie Fishman) took ninth.

In the boys' 100-yard backstroke, Phillip Ryzhkov took 12th with an over three-second improvement in time, Nick Diponzio took 14th, John Empoliti took 26th, and Don Cofrancesco took 28th with a new best time. For the girls' team, Lauren Jonsson took fourth place, Libby Jones took eighth with a new best time, Eva Medici took 13th, Sydney Chambers took 16th with a new best time, and Rachel Avant took 20th with a new best time.

In the boys' 100-yard breaststroke, Konata Ford took seventh with a time of 1:06.08, which qualifies him to swim the event at the state meet for the second year in a row. Phillip Ryzhkov took ninth, Gabe Montes took 12th with a new best time, and Cole Pieroni took 22nd. For the girls' team, Jayla Brown took fifth place, and in an exciting race to the end, Katie Fishman took eighth place, touching the wall at exactly the state qualifying time of 1:15.00. Grace Ghent took 12th, Jayci Brown finished in 13th with a new best time of almost 2.5-seconds, and Brigs Riddick took 23rd.

In the boys' 400-yard freestyle relay, the A relay (Matthew Gaines, Ben Balmes, Nick Diponzio, Billy Blood) took eighth overall, followed by the B relay (Phillip Ryzhkov, Don Cofrancesco, Cole Pieroni, Gabe Montes) which took 13th. In the girls' 400-yard freestyle relay, the A relay (Abby Grottle, Lauren Jonsson, Brooke McLain, Jayla Brown) took third overall, followed by the B relay (Emma Guy, Maggie Duffner, Morgan Young, Eva Medici) in ninth.

The Bears will be competing in the Forsyth Winter Classic on Saturday, January 13th at Cumming Aquatic Center and then the last sanctioned meet of the season will be Metro Championships on January 19th and 20th. The divers will compete on Friday, the 19th at Westminster starting at 4:00 PM and the swimmers will start at 9:00 AM on Saturday, January 20th, with preliminary heats. The top finishers will return to finals at 6:30 PM. The team will honors its seniors at the Spartan Relays on January 27th at Mountain View Aquatic Center in Marietta. The meet is scheduled to start at 2:00 PM.

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