MONTGOMERY, Ala. – More and more student-athletes are joining the 128 high school varsity girls’ and boys’ swim teams in Alabama. And, those Alabama High School Athletic Association swimmers are finding success beyond the confines of the pools in this state.
Wade Thaxton, swimming and diving coach at Bob Jones High School in Madison, said, “The state of swimming in Alabama is as good as it’s ever been. We are seeing more and more kids take it to college, it’s a good avenue for scholarships.”
Thaxton, who was an assistant for two boys’ state titles at Bob Jones and has been head coach for the past four years, said he was thrilled with the spirit his swimmers bring to the pool. “With high school swimming, it’s all about the team,” he said. “I asked my kids what was different between their summer league teams and our team and they told me, ‘We are together. We do things together besides what we do at the pool.’ One of my swimmers told me, ‘It is all about the school spirit, not just about yourself.’
“To see them celebrate with each other and the parents taking pictures, not of their swimmer in the pool but the team on the sidelines, that is really something that stands out.”
According to the latest reports, 72 AHSAA schools offer varsity girls’ swimming and 56 field boys’ teams. The 716 boys’ varsity swimmers is an 11.5 percent increase over the 2016-17 academic year. Girls’ participation jumped 3.8 percent to a total of 844 swimmers.
The Bob Jones swim teams do agility and weight training along with their work in the pool – which is at a local recreation center, since none of the Madison City Schools System teams have pools at school. “We practice five days a week, about 2½ hours a day,” Thaxton said. “Some of our kids also swim on their own, too. Sometimes in practice, I just want them to do sets for speed – ‘OK, just go as fast as you can on this, just get there.’ Other times, I ask them to go 60-70 percent so we can work on technique. They need individual instruction to know what they need to work on. It’s about doing every little thing that is going to make their time faster.”
Faster pays off for the high school teams – Bob Jones has won nine boys AHSAA championships, including seven straight in the 2000s, and one girls title in 2007 – and for the individual swimmers. Former Patriots standout Zach Harting, who now swims for the University of Louisville, won a bronze medal this year in the Pan Pacific Championships with a personal best time (1:55.01) after finishing second in the 2018 U.S. National Championships in the 200-meter butterfly.
High school swim season for the AHSAA began with the opening of practice on Aug. 6 with the first contests on Aug. 23. The sectional meets – in Huntsville, Birmingham and Mobile – are Nov. 16-17 with the State Meet set for Nov. 30-Dec. 1 at Auburn University.
The Alabama High School Athletic Association, founded in 1921, is a private agency organized by its member schools to control and promote their athletic programs. The purpose of the AHSAA is to regulate, coordinate and promote the interscholastic athletic programs among its member schools, which include public, private and parochial institutions.
AUBURN – Fifteen AHSAA state swimming records were set Saturday and defending champions Westminster Christian, Auburn, St. Paul’s Episcopal and Huntsville repeated as team winners as the 58th AHSAA State Swimming & Diving Championships concluded at James. E. Martin Aquatics Center at Auburn University.
Huntsville’s boys, coached by Arthur Fortin, won the 6A/7A state title with 321 points as the Panthers notched their fourth state title in the last 16 years and recorded their 14th overall. Auburn was second with 259 points. Auburn’s girls of Coach Jeff Dellinger posted 339.50 points captured the Tigers’ fifth girls’ AHSAA crown in a row to beat runner-up Huntsville (263). Westminster Christian, coached by Roger Von Jouanne, out-pointed runner-up and Huntsville rival St. John Paul II Catholic of 331-285 to claim its second Class 1A/5A girls’ state championship, and St. Paul’s Episcopal, coached by Tyler Kerns, accumulated 357 points to win the Saints’ fourth consecutive Class 1A/5A boys’ crown.
Of the 15 records that fell in the swimming competition this weekend, senior Kolbie Melton of Athens broke one all-time mark – winning the Class 1A/5A 100-yard backstroke in a record 54.67-second time. Paige Madden of UMS-Wright had held the previous record (54.91) since 2014. Eight boys’ AHSAA records fell and seven girls’ records were broken in the 2017 state meet.
Two additional records were set by senior Kailee Lusk of Thompson in the Adaptive Sports 50 and 100-yard freestyle events. She bettered her prelim time in the 50-yard race from 41.29 seconds to 39.83 in the finals to establish an AHSAA record in the adaptive division. She also swam 1:32.62 in the 100-yard freestyle prelims and then established the adaptive record in the event in the finals with a time of 1:29.39.
For complete event results, go to the following link at www.ahsaa.com.
For complete team results go to:
AHSAA 58th annual Swimming & Diving Championships
At James E. Martin Aquatics Center, Auburn University
AHSAA STATE RECORDS SET
CLASS 6A/7A BOYS
200-Yard Medley: Huntsville clocked 1:36.43 in the finals to beat the previous record of 1:36.65 set by Auburn in 2016. The Panthers’ relay team consisted of Caleb Chance, Alexander Nurre, Evan Vela and Stephen O’Neil.
100-Yard Freestyle: Northview junior Wen Zhang tied his own 6A/7A record set in 2016 with a winning time of 44.78 in the finals Saturday.
500-Yard Freestyle: Sophomore Ward Lockhart of Spain Park set the 6A/7A state record in the prelims with a time of 4:40.91 in the prelims and broke his own mark in the finals with a 4:38.88.
100-Yard Backstroke: Huntsville’s Caleb Chance set a new 6A/7A record in the prelims with a time of 50.54 and bettered that mark in the finals (40.46) to set a new record on Saturday.
100-Yard Breastroke: Daphne’s Trey Sheils won the event Saturday with a time of 57.51 seconds – just shy of the 57.08 time he swan in Friday’s prelims to set a new 6A/7A record.
CLASS 1A/5A BOYS
50-Yard Freestyle: Junior Dexter Brown of Jackson set a new 1A/5A record in the prelims with a 21.50 time and broke that mark in the finals swimming 21.39.
200-Yard Freestyle Relay: The St. Paul's Episcopal relay ream of Addison Sims, Antoine Seurot, Stephen Conrad and Noah Prevost swan 1:33.91 to set a new Class 1A/5A state meet mark – topping the Saints’ record-setting time of 1:34.22 swan in 2016.
100-Yard Breastroke: Senior Kyle Vosen of Scottsboro clocked 58.48 in the finals to better the 1A/5A record he set in 2016 and won the event by almost two seconds.
Class 6A/7A Girls
200-yard Medley Relay: Auburn’s relay team of Maggie Casey, Annie Frances Dallas, Hadley Dowdle and Anna Kate McGinty swam the distance in 1:46.24, just shy of the record set by Auburn in 2016.
100-Yard Backstroke: Athens senior Kobie Melton clocked 54.67 seconds in the finals to set the 6A/7A record she set Friday in the prelims (55.08) and also broke the AHSAA’s all-time mark of 54.91 set by UMS-Wright’s Paige Madden in 2014.
100-Yard Breastroke: Grissom’s Alison Hu clocked 1:03.19 in the finals to break the 6A/7A state record of 1:03.77 set in the prelims by freshman Letitia Sims of Spanish Fort. Sims bettered her own prelim time in the finals swimming 1:03.64 and finished second in the event.
Adaptive 50-Yard and 100-Yard Freestyle: Kailee Lusk, a senior at Thompson, established the AHSAA record with a time of 39.83 seconds in the finals. She followed with a time of 1:29.39 in the 100-yard freestyle finals to set another adaptive record.
AUBURN – Opelika High School senior Conner Pruitt posted a 510.95 score in the finals Friday afternoon to win the AHSAA State Diving Championship for Class 6A/7A for the fourth year in a row.
Pruitt fell just short of the AHSAA state-meet record (532.90) he set last year in the 1-meter competition, but still finished 119.45 points ahead of runner-up Zachael El-Fallah of Spain Park. The Jaguars junior scored 391.50 to edge Grissom’s James Hughes for second place.
The 58th annual AHSAA State Swimming & Diving Championships got underway Friday at Auburn University’s James E. Martin Aquatics Center with diving semifinals and finals. Swimming event prelims were scheduled for Friday night. The swimming finals will get underway Saturday at 2 p.m. All finals will be live-streamed by the NFHS Network Saturday with veteran announcer Jerry Young handling the commentary. The link for NFHS Network subscribers is: http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/ahsaa/d1dabc183c
None subscribers can sign up by registering at www.nfhsnetwork.com
Madison Academy junior Taylor Young won the Class 1A/5A boys’ diving competition for the second year in a row Friday with a 369.85 score. Dominic Bechen, a sophomore at St. John Paul II Catholic, finished second at 244.65.
In the girls’ competition, Auburn junior Ava Talorico edged defending state champion Emilie Hunter of Daphne by 401.25 to 400.05 to capture the Class 6A/7A 1-meter diving title Friday. Hunter, a junior, improved her winning score from 2016 by 94 points but it wasn’t enough to hold off Talorico. Finishing third was Huntsville’s Julie Keller (365.95).
Eighth grader Blakeslee Elliott of UMS-Wright posted a 307.80 score to win the Class 1A/5A competition. She also won as a seventh grader in 2016 with an almost identical score (306.25). Freshman Lexi Cubitt of Cottage Hill Christian finished second at 272.75 and Elliott’s UMS teammate Tori Waters, a seventh grader, was third with a 252.05 point total.
Huntsville’s boys and Auburn’s girls are defending 6A/7A state champions while St. Paul’s Episopal and Westminster Christian are the defending 1A/5A state champs.
AHSAA 58th annual Swimming & Diving Championships
At James E. Martin Aquatics Center, Auburn University
Friday’s Diving Results
1. Taylor Young, Madison Academy 369.85
2. Dominic Bechen, St. John Paul II Catholic 244.65
3. David Clary, Randolph 220.85
4. Ross Cummings, St. Paul’s Episcopal 207.20
1. Conner Pruitt, Opelika 510.95
2. Zachiary El-Fallah, Spain Park 391.95
3. James Hughes, Grissom 387.10
4. Alex Benzek, James Clemens 312.00
5. Hampton Jarres, Huntsville 304.75
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (April 19, 2017) — Among the changes to high school swimming and diving rules for 2017-18 are ones that address risk minimization and requirements for use of the championship meet format.
The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Swimming and Diving Rules Committee recommended seven rules changes at its March 19-21 meeting in Indianapolis, and all changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
Rule 1-3-12 now requires state associations to identify culminating meets, which require use of the championship format. Due to the variations in conference, league and postseason championships within states, the committee believes it is appropriate for the respective state association to determine which meets shall be considered culminating meets.
“The championship meet format features preliminaries and finals rounds, which are thought to provide athletes the best opportunity to excel in their events,” said Sandy Searcy, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the Swimming and Diving Rules Committee. “However, the format also prescribes specific rules associated with team and individual entries, dual confirmation, declared false starts and applicable penalties for violation of these rules.
“The committee agreed that state associations are in the best position to determine which competitions must adhere to the championship meet format. The language also allows non-championship meets to be conducted using the championship meet format.”
An addition to Rule 8-3-5c specifies where a second, third and fourth swimmer’s feet must be when a relay exchange occurs. One foot must be in contact with the surface of the starting platform in front of the starting block wedge during takeoff to minimize risk during relay exchanges.
Rule 3-6 was reorganized to provide clarity regarding the potential conduct issues within a meet. As a result, the committee believes these issues are now easier to compare and categorize for appropriate action and/or penalty. Rule 4-1-8 was also affected by this rule change and now includes language regarding appropriate conduct for meet officials.
Other rules changes include:
· Rule 9-5-2, which addresses the approach and hurdle requirements in diving. This clarifies the intent for hops, leaps and/or jumps to count toward the three-step forward approach requirement.
· Rule 3-3-2a, which provides consistency for all NFHS sports regarding what school and competitor information is permitted on the uniform which, in swimming and diving, consists of the suit and swim cap.
· Rule 4-6-4, which requires dual confirmation for relay exchanges during championship meets. The referee and the starter may serve as the relay takeoff judges.
· Rule 3-4, which provides competitors more flexibility when competing in 500-yard events to count either up or down with visual lap counters. This practice permits flexibility for the competitor, and is in keeping with current trends in the sport.
“The Swimming and Diving Rules Committee was intentional in deliberation of this year’s rules proposals,” Searcy said. “Its main focus this year was to minimize risk but also clarify existing rules.”
Swimming and diving ranks ninth in popularity among girls with 166,747 participants and 10th among boys with 133,470 participants, according to the 2015-16 NFHS Athletics Participation Survey.
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF STATE
HIGH SCHOOL ASSOCIATIONS
Bob Jones’ Gunner named 2016 National Swimming Coach of the Year Selected by NFHS Coaches Association
INDIANAPOLIS, IN — Bob Jones High School swimming Coach Michael Gunner has been selected the 2016 National High School Boys’ Swimming Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association.
Gunner, who guided the Patriots to nine AHSAA state boys’ swimming championships from 2004-2015, is one of 22 coaches nationally receiving NFHS Coach of the Year awards. He was also named AHSAA State Coach of the year for the 2015-16 school year and Section 3 Coach of the Year. Section 3 is comprised of the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee. Gunner’s teams won seven boys’ state titles in a row from 2004-09 and has been at Bob Jones for more than 40 years. He announced his retirement from coaching after the 2016 season. He will remain as assistant principal at Rainbow Elementary in Madison.
“Coach Gunner has been instrumental in the growth of high school swimming and diving in the state of Alabama,” said Marvin Chou, AHSAA Assistant Director and former prep swim coach himself. “He has served on the AHSAA Swimming & Diving committee for the last three years. He has been a positive advocate for school-based sports who has been committed to high school sports. He has been a tremendous asset for Bob Jones as well as the state of Alabama. Coach Gunner has truly left a mark in the sport.”
Gunner also coached at Austin, Decatur and Athens high schools and was has been the Bob Jones swim coach since 2000. “I’m floored and honored, of course, but when you’re doing something you really like, that’s enough,” Gunner told Al.com. “It’s not about me. It’s about the kids, (and) I’m really going to miss working with the kids. … It’s a good way to end a career.”
The NFHS, which has been recognizing coaches through an awards program since 1982, honors coaches in the top 10 girls sports and top 10 boys sports (by participation numbers), and in one “other” sport that is not included in the top 10 listings. The NFHS also recognizes a spirit coach as a separate award category. Winners of NFHS awards must be active coaches during the year for which they receive their award. This year’s awards recognize coaches for the 2015-16 school year.
Other recipients of the NFHS national awards for boys sports are: David Walker, football, Martinsburg (West Virginia) High School; George McCabe, Jr., track and field, East Bridgewater (Massachusetts) High School; Richard Kortokrax, basketball, Kalida (Ohio) High School; Kirk Bock, baseball, Bryant (Arkansas) High School; Philip Savitz, soccer, Lexington (South Carolina) River Bluff High School; Anthony Carter, wrestling, El Paso (Texas) J.M. Hanks High School; Jeff Horsley, cross country, Soda Springs (Idaho) High School; Peter Ceprano, tennis, North Scituate (Rhode Island) Scituate High School; and Hal Rossow, golf, Panora (Iowa) Panorama High School.
The recipients of the 2016 NFHS national awards for girls sports are: Don Berger, track and field, Salem (Oregon) North Salem High School; Anne Long, basketball, Columbia (South Carolina) Spring Valley High School; Gwenn Pike, volleyball, Fairway (Kansas) Bishop Miege High School; Katherine Stackel, soccer, Copenhagen (New York) Central High School; Ronnie Ooten, softball, Chapmanville (West Virginia) Regional High School; Scott Ball, cross country, Tigard (Oregon) Westside Christian High School; Peggy Holecek, tennis, Northbrook (Illinois) Glenbrook North High School; Andrew Pedersen, swimming and diving, Fishers (Indiana) Hamilton Southeastern High School; Reid Sclafani, golf, Garden City (New York) High School; and Danielle Gallagher, lacrosse, Manhasset (New York) High School.
The recipient of the National Coach of the Year Award for spirit is Erikka Ault of Edmond (Oklahoma) North High School, and Martha Faust of Mt. Horeb (Wisconsin) High School was chosen in the other sports category for Girls Gymnastics.
In addition to the 22 National Coaches of the Year, the NFHS Coaches Association has selected David McClusky, M.D. of Twin Falls, Idaho, as the recipient of the National Coach Contributor Award.
A total of 530 coaches will be recognized this year with state, sectional and national awards.
AUBURN – Auburn High School’s girls won their fourth straight state swimming championship Saturday as the 56th AHSAA State Swimming and Diving Championships concluded at Auburn University’s James E. Martin Aquatic Complex.
Coach Jeff Dellinger’s Lady Tigers set records in three relays and totaled 385 points to win the Class 6A-7A division for the third straight year. Auburn also won the 2013 championship when all schools competed in just one division.
Huntsville was second with 204 points and McGill-Toolen Catholic was third at 188.
Westminster Christian of Huntsville, coached by Roger Von Jouanne, captured the girls’ 1A-5A state championship with 95 points. It was the Wildcats’ first swimming title in AHSAA history. Defending champion St. Paul’s Episcopal was second with 82 points and St. John Paul II Catholic of Huntsville was third with 72 points. A total of 27 schools competed in Class 6A-7A and 22 competed in 1A-5A.
In the boys’ division, Huntsville, coached by Arthur Fortin, captured its first 6A-7A state title and the school’s 13th overall dating back to 1968 with 362.5 points. Auburn was second with 262 and James Clemens was third with 228. Defending champion Bob Jones was fifth.
Coach Tyler Kern’s St. Paul’s Episcopal Saints won the 1A-5A state championship for the third straight year. The Saints dominated the competition posting 128 points. Runner-up Randolph had 69 and Scottsboro was third with 57.
Class 1A-5A Girls
Lauren McAdams, Jewel Krings, Olivia Conners and Eboni McCarty won the 200-yard medley relay with a winning time of 1:51.43 to help jump-start Westminster Christian’s state championship effort. Krings, Conners, McCarty and Rebekah Hamilton also won the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:40.18.
Paige Madden of UMS-Wright, which came into the 2016 meet holding state records in the 200 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke, added the 500-yard freestyle state record to her accomplishments winning in 4:46.98 seconds to eclipse the old record set by Chloe Sutton of Hoover in 2004 by seven seconds. She also won the 50-yard freestyle in 22.91 seconds to set a sixth girls’ AHSAA state record.
Randolph senior Sarah Cimino won the 100-yard backstroke (56.43) and 100-yard butterfly (56.14) to post two wins Saturday.
Class 6A-7A Girls
Auburn’s 200-yard medley relay team comprised of Harley Lopez Miro, Annie Frances Dallas, Hadley Dowdle and Anna Kate McGinty clocked 1:44.80 to set a state record. Hadley Dowdell, Peyton Dowdell, Audrey Phillpott and McAuley Parker also swam the 400 freestyle relay in a state-record time of 3:20.02.
McGinty, Phillpott, Dallas and Peyton Dowdle clocked 1:35.50 in the 200-yard freestyle relay to set a third state mark.
Senior Jewels Harris of Northridge set a state record in the 100-yard butterfly with a winning time of 53.69 seconds. Margaret Carey of McGill-Toolen also eclipsed the old record of 55.01 to finish second.
Mallory Underwood, a senior at Auburn, broke Paige Madden’s record (2:04.13) in the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:03.60.
Class 1A-5A Boys
St. Paul’s won the 400-yard freestyle relay, 200-yard freestyle relay and 200-yard medley relay to spark the Saints’ third state title.
Sadler McKee of Briarwood Christian established a new AHSAA boys’ state record in the 500-yard freestyle with a winning time of 4:24.91, seven seconds better than his prelim time in the event.
Class 6A-7A Boys
Huntsville’s team of Robert Overbeek, Caleb Chance, Jadie Burney and Austin Smith won the 400-yard freestyle with a winning time of 3:11.04. Overbeek, Burney, Smith and Wiliam Crawford also won the 200-yard freestyle relay with a winning time of 1:27.57. Garrison Chandler, Connor Duggan, Brady Stabler and Jackson Mathis also won the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:37.54 to give the Panthers a sweep in the relays.
Smith also won the 500-yard freestyle for the Panthers in 4:43.50 and won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:41.54. Overbeek, a senior, won the 100-yard butterfly (50.19) and also finished in a dead heat with Northview junior Wen Zhang in the 50-yard freestyle. Both clocked 20.56 to split the first and seconds-place points. The time was just .22 off the state record.
Complete results can be found at www.ahsaa.com.
AUBURN – Opelika High School junior Conner Pruitt captured the AHSAA State Diving Championship for the third year in a row Friday as the 56th AHSAA State Swimming and Diving Championships got underway at Auburn University’s James E. Martin Aquatic Complex.
Pruitt’s 532.90 performance set an AHSAA state record for boys’ diving – eclipsing the old record (531.95) set by Murphy’s Robert Railey in 2011.
Pruitt, competing in the 6A-7A division, has shown steady improvement since finishing seventh as an eighth grader in 2013. He posted a 242.00 score in the state meet in ’13, but followed with a 408.35 score to win the state diving title in 2014 as a freshman. He scored 498.40 as a sophomore to win the 6A-7A championship. Friday’s 532.90 also came in the 6A-7A division. The AHSAA split from one division to two last year (6A/7A and 1A/5A).
James Hughes of Grissom was second in 6A/7A Friday with a 351.65 score. Rounding out the Top 8 in 6A-7A were: Zachary El-Fallah, Spain Park (345.30); Jon Pickett, Spain Park (253.50); Garrett Taylor, Huntsville (242.75); Neil Schuetz, Huntsville (242.25); Daniel Phillips, Bob Jones (231.75); and Hampton Jarres, Huntsville (217.15).
Winning the 1A-5A division was Madison Academy’s Taylor Young, who posted 264.70 score. Runner-up was Jonathan Roth of Pope John Paul II at 239.60. Rounding out the Top 8 were, in order: Herbert Martinson, Randolph (228.10); Drew Turnipseed, St. Paul’s Episcopal (208.65); Dominic Bechen, Pope John Paul II (183.70); and Ross Cumming, St. Paul’s (173.80).
Swimming prelims were Friday night with the finals set to start at 2 p.m. Saturday. The Swimming and Diving Championships are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network with veteran sportscaster Jerry Young handling the commentary. To access the live-stream, go to www.nfhsnetwork.com.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (April 19, 2016) — At its March 21-23 meeting in Indianapolis, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Swimming and Diving Rules Committee approved a change to the freestyle portion of the individual medley and medley relay as it relates to body position.
An addition to Rule 8-2-4c will read as follows: “The final leg of the individual medley and the medley relay requires the swimmer to be at or past vertical toward the breast before any stroke, kick or propulsive motion.”
This revision was one of several changes recommended by the Swimming and Diving Rules Committee and subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
The committee also approved a change in the current practice of determining a final time when a touch pad malfunctions in a lane. Searcy said that research has shown that the current practice of calculating the average difference between the primary and backup timing systems, and adjusting the backup time in the malfunctioning lane(s), does not improve the accuracy of the times.
“Using the backup time without adjustment results in a final time that is just as accurate and avoids a mathematical exercise which is both time-consuming and difficult to perform during a meet,” Searcy said.
In addition, the committee defined a deck change as “changing, in whole or in part, into or out of a swimsuit when wearing just one suit in an area other than a permanent or temporary locker room, bathroom, changing room or other space designated for changing purposes.” Beginning with the 2016-17 season, any team personnel/competitor involved in “deck changing” will be assessed a penalty for unsporting conduct, which would disqualify an individual from further participation in a meet.
In diving, the committee approved two rules changes and made three revisions in the official diving chart. In an effort to minimize risk, the committee ruled that a dive is failed if, in the diving referee’s opinion, the diver “performs an additional bounce(s) on the end of the board after the culminating hurdle.”
“The forward approach shall begin with not less than three steps and finish with a hurdle, defined as a jump off one foot to a landing on both feet at the end of the board,” Searcy said. “The diver should not be permitted to perform an additional bounce just prior to the takeoff.”
In Rule 9-5-5, the committee added clarity and consistency to the balk call, requiring a diver to actually commence, then stop the dive.
In the official listing of approved dives, the committee eliminated the Flying Back 1 SS (212) and the Flying Reverse SS (312), and added a new dive – the Forward 2 SS 1 Twist – with degrees of difficulty of 2.6 (tuck) and 2.7 (pike).
Swimming and diving ranks No. 8 in popularity among girls with 166,838 participants and No. 10 among boys with 137,087 participants, according to the 2014-15 NFHS Athletics Participation Survey.
AUBURN - Bob Jones High School’s boys and Auburn High School’s girls repeated as state champions Saturday in the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Class 6A/7A division as the 56th annual State Swimming & Diving Championships concluded at Auburn University’s James E. Martin Aquatic Center. St. Paul’s Episcopal also won its second straight Class 1A/5A state boys’ and girls’ crowns. The two-division state meet is in its second year. From 1960 to 2013, the AHSAA swimming championships had just one boys’ division for all schools. The girls, which competed for the first time in 1963, had one division from 1963 to 2013. Bob Jones totaled 250 points and runner-up Auburn had 173 in the 6A/7A boys’ final team standings. St. Paul’s tallied 113 points and Randolph 89 to top the 1A/5A team rankings. In the girls’ competition Auburn had 234 points to beat runner-up Huntsville (180). St. Paul’s scored 78 points to nip Pope John Paul II (71.5) in the 1A/5A girls’ division. All swimmers in each division competed in just one individual competition. Senior Helen Legg of Fairhope became just the second girl in AHSAA swimming history to win four straight diving titles. She scored 352.80 to win the girls’ 1-meter diving event for the fourth straight year. Colleen Edmonds of Auburn is the only other diving to win four diving championships. She won four in a row from 1988-91. Opelika sophomore Conner Pruitt won his second 1-meter diving title in a row with a 498.40 score -- up 90 points from his 2014 winning total. Several state-meet records fell Saturday in the swimming competition. Bob Jones junior Andrey Tretyakov turned in a stellar performance with a new state mark in the 200-yard individual medley (1:49.88) and the 100-yard butterfly (48.07 seconds). He also swam a leg in the Patriots’ winning 200-yard medley relay effort which broke the previous state record held by McGill-Toolen since 2012. Mark Johnston, Andrew Sterns, Derek Sander and Tretyakov turned in a winning time of 1:34.52 to win the event and beat McGill’s 1:35.28 mark. Bob Jones beat its own state record in the 200-yard freestyle relay, winning Saturday with a 1:25.57 time to nip the old mark by 37/100ths of a second. Tretyakov swam the third leg, teaming with Sander, Sterns and Logan Black to earn the win and the new record. In the girls’ competition, UMS-Wright junior Paige Madden, who came into the meet holding state-meet records in the 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard individual medley, added the 200-yard freestyle time to her collection with a winning time of 1:48.39. The previous record holder, Kobie Melton of Athens, set the mark in 2014 with a time of 1:49.97. Madden also won the 500-yard freestyle Saturday. Anna-Julia Kutsch of Altamont tied the state mark in the 50-yard freestyle winning the event in 23.09 seconds. Megan Molnar of Auburn has held the record since 2010. Auburn’s 200-yard freestyle relay team comprised of Maggie Casey, Annie Frances Dallas, Peyton Dowdle and Anny Kate McGinty won with a state-record time of 1:38.27. The time erased the previous mark (1:38.50) set by Athens in 2013.
Boys Team Scoring (Top 10) Class 6A-7A Bob Jones 250; Auburn 173; James Clemens 157; McGill-Toolen 138; Huntsville 113; Fairhope 75; Prattville 66; Spain Park 63; Northview 60; Daphne 55. Class 1A-5A| St. Paul’s Episcopal 113; Randolph 89; Faith Academy 59; Pope John Paul II Catholic 50; Holy Spirit Catholic 32; Oneonta 27; Westminster Christian 26; Alabama Christian 18; Jackson 5; Satsuma 4.
Individual Winners 200-yard medley: Bob Jones, 1:34.52; (Mark Johnston, Andrew Sterns, Andrey Tretyakov, Derek Sander). AHSAA state record. 200-yard freestyle: Derek Sander, Bob Jones, 1:38.31. 200-yard IM: Andrey Tretyakov, Bob Jones, 1:49.88; AHSAA state record. 50-yard freestyle: Andrew Shea, James Clemens, 21.02. 100-yard freestyle: Derek Sander, Bob Jones, 44.60; AHSAA state record. 100-yard butterfly: Andrey Tretyakov, Bob Jones,48.07; AHSAA state record. 500-yard freestyle: Sadler McKeen, Briarwood, 4:31.22. 200-yard freestyle relay: Bob Jones, 1:25.57 (Andrew Sterns, Logan Black, Andrey Tretyakov, Derek Sander); AHSAA state record. 100-yard backstroke: James Courtney, St. Paul's, 49.89. 100-yard breaststroke: Andrew Sterns, Bob Jones, 58.03. 400-yard freestyle relay: Auburn, 3:12.49 (Daniel Padgett, Brady Stabler, Garrison Chandler, Connor Duggan). 1-meter diving: Conner Pruitt, Opelika, 498.40.