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Lady Bears Swimmers Take 1st, Team Finishes 2nd at Forsyth Winter Classic, Saturday, Jan. 13th

Lady Bears Swimmers Take 1st, Team Finishes 2nd at Forsyth Winter Classic, Saturday, Jan. 13th

On Saturday, January 13th, the Cambridge swimmers and divers competed in the Forsyth Winter Classic at Cumming Aquatic Center. Only a few days after the Fulton County Championships meet, the athletes were tired, but energized by their earlier performances. Another component of excitement for the meet was that there were three new faces in the pool. The first is a new addition to the Cambridge program. We are pleased to welcome freshman Kathryn Suplee to the swim and dive family! Moving to Milton from Chicago, Illinois, Suplee will bring a lot of talent to the program. Even though we only get to have her for the last few weeks of the season, her contributions and the potential of her talent in future seasons is apparent. The team was also happy to have Connor Christiansen, back after a stress fracture, and Ashleigh Hays, back after shoulder surgery, in the pool for the first time this season. Welcome back! 

Combined Team Scores

  1. West Forsyth 993
  2. Cambridge 981
  3. Forsyth Central 926
  4. North Forsyth 576
  5. Morgan County 197
  6. Lumpkin County 196
  7. Mt. Pisgah 137
  8. Jackson County 114
  9. Dawson County 86
  10. Lambert 68
  11.  Kings Ridge 42
  12. South Forsyth 29

Girls Team Scores

  1. Cambridge 595
  2. Forsyth Central 511
  3. North Forsyth 348
  4. West Forsyth 334
  5. Morgan County 148
  6. Lumpkin County 90
  7. Jackson County 85
  8. Mt Pisgah 71
  9. Lambert 68
  10. Kings Ridge 16

Boys Team Scores

  1. West Forsyth 659
  2. Forsyth Central 415
  3. Cambridge 386
  4. North Forsyth 228
  5. Lumpkin County 106
  6. Dawson County 86
  7. Mt Pisgah 66
  8. Morgan County 49
  9. Jackson County 29
  10. South Forsyth 29
  11. Kings Ridge 26

The meet started with the dive competition. With only one diver (Turner Mignerey) on the state meet roster, there were four other divers that were attempting to join him. Turner Mignerey had another outstanding performance and finished with a score of 406.40 which earned him first place overall. This was Mignerey's second first-place finish that week. The next diver was almost 50-points behind Mignerey. He was solidly the best male diver at the competition. He has his eyes on the state meet podium in a couple weeks. Maddox Riddick competed in the 6-dive competition and placed third overall. 

For the girls' team, Haley Copeland, Margeaux Messier, Noor El-Gazairly, and Kate McKay were attempting to make their state dreams a reality. This was McKay's first time doing an 11-dive routine, but she still believed that state was within her grasp. With some really solid dives and a little bit of luck, all three girls took care of business and earned state qualifying scores. Kate McKay was the top finisher from Cambridge in seventh place with a score of 306.80, followed by Haley Copeland in eighth place with a score of 290.90, Margeaux Messier in ninth with a score of 289.35, and Noor El-Gazairly in 13th with a score of 270.85. We are so excited to send FIVE divers to the state meet this year! Three years ago, we sent two divers, two years ago we sent three divers, last year we sent four divers, and this year we will send five. The Cambridge dive program is growing and it is so exciting!

After the dive portion was finished, the swim competition began with the 200-yard medley relay. The boys' A-relay (Gabe Montes, Konata Ford, Cole Pieroni, Connor Christiansen) took fifth. For the girls' team, the A-relay (Eva Medici, Katie Fishman, Carolyn McLain, Libby Jones) took third, followed by the B-relay (Isabella Empoliti, Grace Ghent, Rachel Henderson, Sydney Chambers) in sixth.

In the 200-yard freestyle, Matthew Gaines swam an exciting race against the top swimmer from Forsyth Central, but touched first with a time of 1:47.05 to bring significant points to the Bears. Nick Iline took seventh with a new best time, and John Empoliti touched in ninth with a new best time of almost nine-seconds. For the girls' team, Kathryn Suplee took third with a time less than a second from the state qualifying time, Mogan Young took fifth, Carolyn McLain took ninth with a new best time, Anna Kerber took 11th, and Brigs Riddick took 17th with a new best time by over four-seconds.

In the boys' 200-yard individual medley, Konata Ford took third with a new best time. For the girls' team, Kathryn Suplee took to the water again without much rest to touch in second place, also just about two-seconds off the state qualifying time. Maggie Duffner took fourth, Rachel Henderson took fifth, and Rachel Avant took sixth with a new best time.

In the boys' 50-yard freestyle, Aiden Goodnight took 17th with a new best time, Nathaniel Champion took 35th with a new best time. For the girls' team, Brooke McLain took third, Katie Fishman took fourth with a new best time, Ashleigh Hays took eighth, Sydney Chambers took 23rd, Katie Fox took 28th with a new best time, Rebecca Ho took 33rd, and Irazu Lara took 39th 

In the boys' 100-yard butterfly, Cole Pieroni took fifth with a new best time of over two-seconds, and Connor Christiansen took sixth. For the girls' team, Carolyn McLain took third, Eva Medici took fourth, and Rebecca Ho took tenth with a new best time of over seven-seconds.

In the boys' 100-yard freestyle, Ben Balmes took fifth with a new best time, Nick Diponzio took sixth with a new best time, and Nick Iline took 16th with a new best time. For the girls' team, Brooke McLain took third, Grace Ghent took sixth with a new best time, Isabella Empoliti took seventh with a new best time, Morgan Young took eighth, Anna Kerber took 13th, Rachel Henderson took 14th, and Sydney Chambers took 17th.

In the boys' 500-yard freestyle, Gabe Montes took third. In the girls' event, Eva Medici took third, and Libby Jones took fifth with a new best time.

In the boys' 200-yard freestyle relay, the B-relay (Aiden Goodnight, Nathaniel Champion, John Empoliti, Nick Iline) took second place. The A-relay (Connor Christiansen, Nick Diponzio, Matthew Gaines, Ben Balmes) touched in first, but the officials claimed there was an early take-off. The call was questionable, but resulted in a disqualification of the relay time and score. In the girls' event, the A-relay (Brooke McLain, Libby Jones, Katie Fishman, Isabella Empoliti) took first, followed by the B-relay (Kathryn Suplee, Morgan Young, Maggie Duffner, Carolyn McLain) in second. Suplee's takeoff leg touched with a state qualifying time of 26.40. The C-relay (Anna Kerber, Brigs Riddick, Rachel Avant, Sydney Chambers) took 11th, the D-relay (Katie Fox, Rebecca Ho, Irazu Lara, Adyson LeeMaster) took 13th.

In the boys' 100-yard backstroke, Matthew Gaines had another first place finish for the day, with a time of 56.48, which was almost two-seconds before the second place person touched the wall. Nick Diponzio took fourth with a new best time, and John Empoliti took 12th. For the girls' team, Libby Jones took fourth with a new best time, Maggie Duffner took seventh with a new best time, Isabella Empoliti took ninth, and Rachel Avant took 16th.

In the boys' 100-yard breaststroke, Konata Ford took first place overall, Gabe Montes took third with a new best time, Ben Balmes took sixth, Cole Pieroni took seventh, and Nathaniel Champion took ninth with an over three-second drop in time. For the girls' team, Katie Fishman took third, Ashleigh Hays took fourth, Grace Ghent took sixth, Brigs Riddick took eighth, Adyson LeeMaster took 13th, Katie Fox took 20th, and Irazu Lara took 22nd.

In the 400-yard freestyle relay, the boys' A-relay (Matthew Gaines, Ben Balmes, Gabe Montes, Nick Diponzio) took first place by about 1.5-seconds. Gaines finished with a slightly improved leadoff leg time of 50.33, which qualifies him with a better seed in that event at state. The relay time (3:32.93) is a new season-best time by almost five-seconds and improves their seed at state. The B-relay (Aiden Goodnight, John Empoliti, Nathaniel Champion, Cole Pieroni) took seventh. For the girls' team, the A-relay (Kathryn Suplee, Eva Medici, Morgan Young, Brooke McLain) took second overall. Suplee's leadoff leg qualifies her for state in the event, with a time of 58.40. The B-relay (Anna Kerber, Maggie Duffner, Rachel Henderson, Grace Ghent) took sixth, the C-relay (Brigs Riddick, Rachel Avant, Katie Fox, Adyson LeeMaster) took tenth.

The Cambridge program is performing beyond expectations this season. It's been very exciting to watch this group improve and come together to take some major wins. The biggest competition will take place next weekend, January 19-20th at the Metro Championships at Westminster. Last year the girls' team took third, so the team is hoping for a top finish to round out the competitive season before getting into gear for the state meet. Cambridge will be taking its biggest state meet roster in history and carrying the greatest potential for top finishes and maybe even some podium appearances. We are excited to see what these kids will do! This is definitely not a team to discount or disregard.

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