On Friday and Saturday, January 19-20th, Cambridge swimming and diving traveled to Westminster to compete in the 48th Metro Swimming and Diving Championship Invitational. After almost a full week without practice due to weather, it was unclear what Cambridge was going to do in the water, but they far exceeded expectations and turned out a new group of state qualifiers.
North Atlanta 58
Atlanta International 48.5
Tallulah Falls 19
Greater Atlanta Christian 11
Weber School 11
North Springs 8
North Atlanta 133
Tallulah Falls 19
Atlanta International 10
St Pius X 4
Social Circle 2
Combined Team Scores (Top 10)
North Atlanta 191
Metro Championship is a test for the athletes every year. For the last three years, Metros has been the last meet before the state championship, so it's the last chance for the athletes to qualify and it is consistently an incredibly competitive meet. The schools listed above were the school who managed to score points by swimming in finals or, for divers, qualifying to finish their 11-dive routine, which required them to qualify through two rounds of cuts. There were more schools than those listed, but these are the schools that performed well enough to score and Cambridge was among those teams.
In the dive competition, Cambridge had Haley Copeland, Kate McKay, Margeaux Messier and Noor El-Gazairly representing the girls' team and then Turner Mignerey for the boys' team. To qualify to compete at the meet, a diver has to have a routine that meets state qualifying requirements, which represents a certain level of difficulty as well as proficiency in all dive categories. Unfortunately for the girls, none of the four Cambridge divers were able to make it past the first round of cuts after their fifth dive. Turner Mignerey was able to qualify to move on for the boys' team through the first round and the second round, so he was able to finish his entire state routine. While Mignerey qualified for state back at the first meet of the season, preparation for the state meet has been the goal. The level of competition and the strict judging at Metro Championships gave Mignerey a good idea of what to expect in a few weeks at Georgia Tech. Mignerey was able to place in eighth overall out of 22 divers which is incredibly impressive.
On Saturday morning, the Cambridge swimmers participated in the preliminary heats of the swim competition. In order to make it to finals, swimmers has to finish in the top 20 athletes.
In the 200-yard medley relay, the girls' team (Lauren Jonsson, Katie Fishman, Kathryn Suplee, Emma Guy) finished in fifth overall which qualified them to come back in the top finals heat in the evening. On the boys' side, finishing in 13th, the relay team (Billy Blood, Konata Ford, Phillip Ryzhkov, Don Cofrancesco) also qualified to return in the evening for the B-final heat.
In the girls' 200-yard freestyle event, Lauren Jonsson was the top finisher and took fourth place overall. Maggie Duffner dropped over two-seconds to finish in ninth, and right behind her was Morgan Young in 10th, so all three girls qualified to return to the top finals heat, which takes the top 10 finishers from prelims. Anna Kerber also dropped some time and finished in 18th place to earn a spot in the B-finals heat. For the boys' team, Matthew Gaines fought a tight race and snuck into the wall seven-hundredths of a second sooner and clinched the first place finish in prelims with a time of 1:47.73. Ben Balmes secured an alternate spot in the event.
In the 200-yard individual medley, Kathryn Suplee touched the wall in 11th place and a time that was just off the state qualifying requirement, but she would have another chance to swim the event later that evening. Carolyn McLain also qualified for the B-final heat with over a second and a half improvement in time. For the boys' team, Billy Blood secured an alternate position for the evening session.
For the girls' 50-yard freestyle event, Brooke McLain touched in 17th place to secure a return appearance.
In the girls' 100-yard butterfly, Kathryn Suplee qualified for her second finals event by taking 12th place, again with a time just off the state qualifying requirement. Teammate Carolyn McLain took 20th to qualify to join Suplee in the finals event later that evening. In the boys' event, Phillip Ryzhkov dropped over a second and a half to sneak into 10th place and secure a place in the top finals heat. Ryzhkov's time of 57.30 was also a state-qualifying time. Billy Blood secured the alternate position in the event.
In the girls' 500-yard freestyle event, Lauren Jonsson once again took fourth place overall, followed by teammate Eva Medici in sixth place. Medici dropped an incredible ten-seconds to make her first individual state-qualifying event with a time of 5:30.50. Morgan Young also secured her second swim for finals with an 18th place finish and Libby Jones also making it into the B-finals with finishing in 20th place. For the boys' team, Matthew Gaines touched just under five-minutes to finish in third overall. Don Cofrancesco also qualified for the finals by taking 18th in prelims.
In the girls' 200-yard freestyle relay (Isabella Empoliti, Katie Fishman, Morgan Young, Brooke McLain) touched in sixth, right in the middle of the top finals heat. The boys' relay (Matthew Gaines, Ben Balmes, Gabe Montes, Nick Diponzio) took 12th overall and secured a spot in the B-final heat.
In the 100-yard backstroke event, Eva Medici squeezed into the top finals heat with a 10th place finish and a time just off the state qualifying requirement, even after dropping two-seconds from her seed time. Libby Jones qualified by taking 13th and Maggie Duffner in 18th, both girls had new best times. Isabella Empoliti took the first alternate position.
In the girls' 100-yard breaststroke event, Ashleigh Hays took 12th overall, with teammates Katie Fishman finishing in 14th. For the boys' team, Konata Ford took ninth with a new best time, which secured his spot in the top final. Gabe Montes took the alternate position.
In the girls' 400-yard freestyle relay (Emma Guy, Brooke McLain, Lauren Jonsson, Kathryn Suplee), the team finished in fifth, which put them in the middle of the pack for the top final heat. For the boys' team, the relay (Matthew Gaines, Nick Diponzio, Ben Balmes, Billy Blood) took 12th overall, also securing a spot in the evening program.
In the evening session, the girls' started off in the medley relay (Eva Medici, Katie Fishman, Lauren Jonsson, Kathryn Suplee) by switching up the order and some personnel. Medici was having a great day and dropped her backstroke split from the morning session and the rest of the team had strong performances to drop over three-seconds from the morning session and take sixth overall with a time of 1:58.15.
In the girls' 200-yard freestyle event, the Bears had four representatives to earn points. Lauren Jonsson kept her spot from the morning session to finish in fourth overall and also drop two-seconds to improve her state seed time. Maggie Duffner also dropped time in her event to keep her ninth place finish and Morgan Young earned points by taking 10th with a new best time. Anna Kerber took 20th place.
In the boys' 200-yard freestyle, Matthew Gaines maintained his third-place positon into final with almost a full second shaved off.
In the girls' 200-yard individual medley, Kathryn Suplee dropped over five-seconds to swim a time of 2:20.79 which qualified her for the state event. This would be Suplee's third state-qualifying event in only two meets. Carolyn McLain took 15th and shaved off almost a full second.
In the 50-yard freestyle event, Brooke McLain improved her time from the morning session by a half-second and took 12th overall.
In the 100-yard butterfly, Kathryn Suplee shaved off over a second from her time to finish in 1:04.19 which is what she needed to make her fourth state qualifying event. Suplee finished in 12th overall. Carolyn McLain took 19th in her last event of the day.
In the same event, Phillip Ryzhkov shaved off over a half-second more to swim a time of 56.82, which improved his state seed time and earned him ninth overall. Billy Blood was able to swim due to a scratch in the event at the last minute and he certainly took advantage of the opportunity by swimming a 57.94 and taking 14th overall. His time qualified him for his second individual event at state.
In the 500-yard freestyle event, Lauren Jonsson dropped over two-seconds from her morning swim to place fifth overall with a time of 5:20.27, which will improve her state seed. Morgan Young took 17th and Libby Jones took 20th, both scoring points for the Bears. Eva Medici scratched the event to rest for her 100-backstroke event.
In the boys' 500-yard freestyle, Matthew Gaines had a close race that came down to the final 75-yard. Gaines began to pull away and he never looked back. Gaines finished in second by a body-length with a time of 4:50.32, which is over nine-seconds faster than the morning session. Don Cofrancesco also had a great race with a time drop of 11.5-seconds to swim a final time of 5:27.18, just seven-seconds off the state qualifying time.
In the girls' 100-yard backstroke, Eva Medici continued with her day of incredible performances by taking fifth overall with a time of 1:03.77, which was almost 2.5-seconds faster than the morning session and earning her second state-qualifying time of the day. Libby Jones took 15th and Maggie Duffner took 16th with a new personal best time in her last event of the evening.
In the girls' 100-yard breaststroke event, Ashleigh Hays took 16th with a faster finish than this morning, immediately followed by teammate Katie Fishman in 17th, also with a faster time from this morning.
In the boys' breaststroke event, Konata Ford took 10th. Gabe Montes also got to slide in as an alternate in the event and compete.
In the final event of the evening, the girls' 400-yard freestyle relay (Emma Guy, Brooke McLain, Lauren Jonsson, Kathryn Suplee) dropped an incredible 6.5-seconds to advance their seeded position and take fourth overall. In addition to the time drop, first-leg Emma Guy was able to qualify for state in the event with her leadoff time of 57.88. This was her first state qualifying time of the season.
At the conclusion of the evening, the Cambridge Bears had certainly performed their best and the state team grew a little larger and a little busier! The roster to state includes 25 swimmers and divers, which is the most people representing Cambridge that we've had in program history. Additionally, Cambridge has more individual events than any previous years and more divers than we've ever had. The program is growing and becoming stronger every year, so it will be exciting to see what they are able to do next week at Georgia Tech!
This Saturday, Cambridge will celebrate their seniors and the conclusion of the regular season with a relay meet at Mountain View Aquatic Center at 2:30 PM. The following Thursday, February 1st, is when the divers will compete at Georgia Tech. The girls will have their championship meet at 9 AM and the boys will begin as soon as the girls finish. The diving competition will have cuts after the first five dives, then again after the eighth dive. Thirty divers will qualify to complete all 11-dives after the second cut. The top 20 of those divers wills core for their team. Haley Copeland, Margeaux Messier, Noor El-Gazairly, and Kate McKay will compete to represent the Bears one more time this season on the big stage. Wish them luck!
On Friday, February 2nd, the swim preliminary session will take place at 9 AM at Georgia Tech. The girls and boys will compete at the same time in concurrent sessions. The top 30 finishers will compete in finals, with the top 20 scoring for their time. The final three heats of each event will take place on Saturday morning at 11:30 AM. The fastest 20 times from any heat will score for their team. For the first time, GHSA will score the 6A conference and the 7A conference separately. Cambridge has high expectations coming into the meet and is hoping to see some Bears on the podium this year. Come and support the swimmers and divers as they attempt to make program history at state championships!