Friday, April 03, 2020



Quick Links 






Defending Champions Repeat at the 2019 AHSAA Swimming & Diving Championships Saturday

                                                       By MIKE PERRIN
                                                       FOR THE AHSAA

AUBURN – Familiar faces returned to the top of the 54th AHSAA State Swimming & Diving Championships Saturday with all four defending state champions repeating at the feat at Auburn University’s James E. Martin Aquatics Center.
    The Westminster Christian Academy girls took first place in the Class 6A/7A division and UMS-Wright of Mobile took the 1A/5A crown. For the boys, Huntsville won its fourth straight championship and its sixth in eight years in the 6A/7A big-school division while T.R. Miller captured the 1A/5A crown outright in 2019 after sharing the title with Boaz a year ago.
    Westminster’s girls of Huntsville have won four straight titles, two in 6A/7A and two in the smaller-school division. The Wildcats totaled 290 points to top Auburn (181), Spain Park (169), Grissom (165) and Fairhope (163). Auburn won the big-school division from 2013-17.
    In the girls’ 1A/5A division, UMS-Wright of Mobile edged Whitesburg Christian Academy of Huntsville 273-271 for the championship in the most exciting competition of the 2019 state meet. Bayside Academy of Daphne was third with 173 points, followed by Madison Academy (124) and Birmingham’s Briarwood Christian School (118).
   Huntsville earned 188 points to win the 6A/7A boys title. Daphne finished second with 236 points, followed by Auburn (209), St. Paul’s Episcopal (205) and Grissom (199).
    T.R. Miller of Brewton registered 215 points to repeat as 1A/5A champ. Runner-up St. Michael Catholic of Fairhope finished with 196 points, followed by Boaz (182), Briarwood Christian (180) and Whitesburg Christian Academy (173).

    Several AHSAA state swimming records fell Saturday with Westminster Christian Academy junior Rebekah Hamilton captured the 200-yard freestyle with a blistering 1:46.91 finish. The previous mark was 1:48.39, set by Paige Madden of UMS-Wright in 2015. Hamilton also finished first in the 500-yard freestyle with a winning time of 4:57.95. She clocked 4:54.27 in the prelims on Friday. No other girls’ swimmer clocked under 5:04.
    Eboni McCarty of Westminster Christian also set a new record in the 50-yard freestyle, winning the prelims Friday with a 22.62 times. She set the record in 2018 with s 22.81 winning time. She won the 2019 finals clocking 22.88. McCarty also won the 200-yard freestyle title Saturday with a 50.07 time in the finals, which was just 29/100ths of a second shy of the state mark.
   In the boys’ 100-yard breaststroke preliminaries, Trey Sheils of Daphne bettered his own state record from a year ago with a 54.95 finish in the prelims Friday. He won Saturday with a 55.90 time, which was just shy of the record (55.34) time he set in 2018. Sheils also won the 200-yard individual medley Saturday with a winning time of 1:50.52.
   Daphne’ boys 400-yard freestyle relay team swam a 3:09.01 race to break Bob Jones High School’s record of 3:09.93 set in 2009.
   St. Paul’s Episcopal’s boys won the 200-yard medley relay with a record time of 1:34.30, which was 22/100ths of a second faster than the previous record (1:34.52) set by Bob Jones in 2015.
    Complete results are available at the following link:
    The complete team scoring can be found at the following link:

UMS-Wright Sophomore Wins 4th Straight Diving Title at State Swimming Championships

   AUBURN – UMS Wright High School’s Blakeslee Elliott won her fourth straight diving title Friday to highlight the first day of the 54th AHSAA State Swimming & Diving Championships at Auburn University’s James E. Martin Aquatics Center.
    The state meet concludes Saturday afternoon with finals in all swim events. The NFHS Network is live-streaming all finals over its subscriber-based NFHS Network platform.
     Elliott won her first state crown in the Class 1A-5A division 1-meter event as a seventh-grader at the Mobile school. Her championship on Friday came thanks to her 313.35 final score. UMS swept the top four of five divers in the meet.

     Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa’s M’Kay Gidley won the girls’ 6A-7A diving championship with 322 points. Gidley, a senior, was fourth last year in the state finals.

      Huntsville High School senior Hampton Jarres (362.85) and St. Michael Catholic of Fairhope junior Ben Adamski (295.15) won the boys’ diving titles. Jarres was third a year ago in the large-school division while Adamski finished second in 1A-5A in 2018.

     UMS-Wright freshman Tori Waters finished second in the small-school girls’ event with 280.05 points, teammate Mae Elliott – a seventh-grader – was third at 248.10 and eighth-grader Ann Chason Brock was fourth with 242.75. Whitesburg Christian Academy’s Michaela Houser was fifth at 214.55.

    In the 6A-7A girls’ competition, sophomore Anna Cate Goodson of the Randolph School finished second with 282.75 points. Auburn junior Maggie Rendleman (275.45) was third, followed by Daphne eighth-grader Rose Gilder (272.95) and James Clemens sophomore Ashley Ahrens (271.15).

     Avery Balch, a junior from Hartselle, was second in the 6A-7A boys’ event with 360.80 finish. Senior Parker Inman of Davidson (354.95) was third, followed by freshman Daniel Coffman of Huntsville (343.45) and Alec Benzek, a junior from James Clemens (311.65).

     In 1A-5A, Kaje Jordan, freshman from Scottsboro High, finished second with a 259.70 score. Whitesburg Christian Academy senior Joey Houser (255.20) was third, followed by Elmore County freshman Coleman Rogers (253.85) and UMS-Wright eighth-grader Harrigan Weston (253.35).

    Saturday’s swimming finals begin with warm-ups at 1 p.m. and competition at 2 p.m. Admission is $10.

Westminster Christian Girls, Huntsville Boys Aiming for 4th Straight AHSAA State Titles

                                                    By MIKE PERRIN
                                                    For the AHSAA

    MONTGOMERY -- The 59th AHSAA Swimming & Diving Championships get underway Friday at Auburn University’s James E. Martin Aquatics Center with streaks on the line in both the girls’ and boys’ competitions.
    The girls from Westminster Christian Academy of Huntsville and boys from Huntsville High will be looking to capture their fourth straight team titles in the Class 6A/7A division while St. Paul’s Episcopal School’s boys will be on the hunt to ascend the winners’ stand for the fifth time in six years after Boaz and T.R. Miller shared the 1A/5A title in 2018. The 2018 1A/5A girls’ champion was UMS-Wright.

      Westminster’s 2018 crown came in the girls’ team’s first year in the large-school division.  Auburn High’s girls won the championship 2013-17.
      “The state meet is a special experience,” Westminster Coach Roger Von Jouanne said, “as the swimmers from around the state produce times you can hardly believe. Our Westminster guys and girls have always stepped up at state. They’ve worked hard all season long with this meet in mind.”
    Von Jouanne, in his ninth year at Westminster, was a 12-time All-American swimmer at Southern Illinois University who set an American record in the 200 butterfly and won the U.S. Nationals in the 200 Individual Medley while in college. He finished in fourth in the Olympic Trials in 1984. He also broke the U.S. Masters’ record in the 200 IM for the 40-45 age group after an almost two-decade absence from the competitive pool.
    “I really never anticipated a Westminster swim team competing on the level that our girls have achieved,” he said. “In the early years, we were focused on ‘mining the treasure’ that God had placed into Westminster’s hallways. We enjoyed the pursuit each year of trying to be a top-ranked 3A school in the state. Every year, I did a little bit of research among the other 3A schools to see where we stood, and we always had either the best guys’ or girls’ team in Alabama – which we celebrated in our little circle.
    “In 2014, when the AHSAA divided the sectional and state competition into large and small schools, we were in legitimate contention with our boys’ team and finished second at state. Then our top boys graduated, but there began a groundswell of young girls who began to qualify for state in 2015. The next year, our girls fired each other up all season long and in 2016, glory to God, we were able to win the small-school title over the established powerhouse St. Paul’s team. The following year, our girls were hard-pressed against a loaded St. John Paul II team and had an amazing state meet to repeat as small school champions.”

     Westminster moved up to the 6A/7A division in 2018 and didn’t miss a beat on the way to their third straight title.
    Two Westminster girls – Rebekah Hamilton and Eboni McCarty – have verbally committed to swim for Auburn University and Georgia, respectively. “They are top-notch swimmers,” Von Jouanne said, “not to mention wonderful young ladies who will be a blessing in terms of their character and their worth ethic. If you’ve ever met them, you know they are the nicest people, but in the water, they are absolute sea-monsters!”
   Von Jouanne, whose full-time job is as a Boeing engineer, said the competition in the AHSAA has improved throughout this tenure at the Huntsville private school. “I think Alabama high school swimming has moved into a good place and is continuing to move in the right direction. My three kids swam for Bob Jones High School over a span of 13 consecutive years, and in the early years of that span there were no state meet qualifying times.
    “After the first wave of qualifying times, around 2005, the caliber of the state meet began to increase, and the caliber increased the qualifying times. As interest and participation increased, the next stage was warranted to divide into small school and large school divisions. That added another level of excitement and it continued to enhance participation.”
     “High school swimming should be the pinnacle of our sport at this stage of an athlete’s life and the AHSAA has made the necessary changes to bring that experience to our athletes.”

AHSAA 59th State Swimming & Diving Championships
James E. Martin Aquatics Center, Auburn University

Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6-7

Friday, Dec. 6 – Swim prelims – 5 p.m. (warm up 3:30-4:45 p.m.)

Friday, Dec. 6 – Diving – 9 a.m. (warm up 8 a.m.)

Saturday, Dec. 7 – Swim finals – 2 p.m. (warm up 12:45-1:45 p.m.)
Admission: $10 per day.
Live-Streaming: NFHS Network will live-stream the championships over its subscriber-based on-line network. Go to for more details on becoming a subscriber.


BIRMINGHAM – Briarwood Christian edged Jasper 219-217 to claim the AHSAA Class 1A/5A Girls’ Swimming & Diving Section title at the Birmingham CrossPlex Saturday. John Carroll Catholic finished third with 160 points and Trinity Presbyterian was fourth with 144.
     In the Class 6A/7A division, Auburn outscored runner-up Hoover 389-307 to claim the girls’ Central Section crown. Spain Park was third at 271 and Opelika finished fourth at 234.
     Team and individual qualifiers advance to the AHSAA’s 60th annual State Swimming and Diving Championships at James E. Martin Aquatics Complex on the Auburn University campus Dec. 6-7.  Section meets concluded at the Central, North and South sites Saturday.
    Capturing the Class 1A/5A Central Section boys’ championship was LAMP of Montgomery with 321 points. Briarwood Christian was runner-up with 288 points and Jasper was third with 236. In the boy’s Class 6A/7A division, Auburn took first place with 464 points. Vestavia Hills had 340.50 and Spain Park had 241.
    Individual winners in each were:
Class 1A/5A Girls
200-Yard Medley Relay: Briarwood Christian, 2:05.28.
200-Yard Freestyle Relay: Briarwood Christian, 1:50.65.
400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Jasper, 4:12.73.

50-Yard Freestyle: Prather Hargrove, Trinity Presbyterian, 24.05.
50-Yard Freestyle (adaptive):
100-Yard Freestyle:
Macey Stewart, Tallassee, 54.12.
200-Yard Freestyle: Kathy Hammond, LAMP, 2:03.15.
500-Yard Freestyle: Elizabeth Davis, Appalachian, 5:41.12.
100-Yard Backstroke: Danielle Davis, Appalachian, 1:05.38.
100-Yard Breaststroke: Amelia Steiner, Briarwood Christian, 1:09.38.
100-Yard Butterfly: Prather Hargrove, Trinity Presbyterian, 59.15.
200-Yard Medley: Claudia Steiner, Briarwood Christian, 2:26.53.
Diving (1-Meter): N/A

Class 6A/7A Girls
200-Yard Medley Relay: Opelika, 1:50.03.
200-Yard Freestyle Relay: Opelika, 1:41.26.
400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Auburn, 3:39.86.

50-Yard Freestyle: Erica, Han, Hoover, 24.65.
50-Yard Freestyle (adaptive):
100-Yard Freestyle:
Maggie Casey, Auburn, 51.80.
200-Yard Freestyle: Maggie Casey, Auburn, 1:51.82.
500-Yard Freestyle:
Caroline Lawrence, Hoover, 5:08.05.
100-Yard Backstroke: Elizabeth Dawe, 1:00.24.
100-Yard Breaststroke: Bradi Jones, Opelika, 1:04.12.
100-Yard Butterfly: Norah Simich, Oak Mountain, 58.44.
200-Yard Medley: Caroline Lawrence, Hoover, 2:09.01.
Diving (1-Meter): M’Kay Gidley, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa, 430.95.

Class 1A/5A Boys
200-Yard Medley Relay: LAMP, 1:45.55.
200-Yard Freestyle Relay: Jasper, 1:40.39.
400-Yard Freestyle Relay: LAMP, 3:43.59.

50-Yard Freestyle: Jalen McDade, Alabama Christian, 23.67.
50-Yard Freestyle (adaptive):
100-Yard Freestyle:
Andrew Groves, Briarwood Christian, 51.50.
200-Yard Freestyle: Mason Mathias, Briarwood Christian, 1:45.35.
500-Yard Freestyle: Mason Mathias, Briarwood Christian, 4:42.55.
100-Yard Backstroke: Campbell Lemons, Westminster-Oak Mtn, 57.67.
100-Yard Breaststroke: Mark Underwood, Indian Springs, 1:03.83.
100-Yard Butterfly: Brian Hammond, LAMP, 55.95.
200-Yard Medley: Mark Underwood, Indian Springs, 2:06.23.
Diving (1-Meter): Roger Coleman, Elmore County, 340.95.

Class 6A/7A Boys
200-Yard Medley Relay: Auburn, 1:39.61.
200-Yard Freestyle Relay: Spain Park, 1:31.16.
400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Spain Park, 3:20.22.

50-Yard Freestyle: Austin Stallworth, Spain Park, 22.46.
50-Yard Freestyle (adaptive):
100-Yard Freestyle:
Josh Cobia, Thompson, 48.82.
200-Yard Freestyle: Ward Lockhart, Spain Park, 1:44.25.
500-Yard Freestyle: Ward Lockhart, Spain Park, 4:44.34.
100-Yard Backstroke: Chris Rubin, Vestavia Hills, 53.55.
100-Yard Breaststroke: Tyler Prince, Auburn, 1:01.05.
100-Yard Butterfly: Tyler Prince, Auburn, 54.64.
200-Yard Medley: Chris Rubin, Vestavia Hills, 2:00.28.
Diving (1-Meter): Michael Helton, Vestavia Hills, 329.05.



HUNTSVILLE – Defending state champions Boaz (1A/5A) and Huntsville (6A/7A) captured boys’ 2019 AHSAA North Section Swimming & Diving titles Saturday at the Huntsville Aquatics Center, and defending state champ Westminster Christian’s girls won the 6A/7A girls’ section crown. Whitesburg Christian won the 1A/5A girls’ North title.
     Team and individual qualifiers advance to the AHSAA’s 60th annual State Swimming and Diving Championships at James E. Martin Aquatics Complex on the Auburn University campus Dec. 6-7.  Section meets concluded at the Central, North and South sites Saturday.
     Boaz, which tied with T.R. Miller for the co-championship in the 1A/5A division at last year’s state championships, ran away with the North Section championship Saturday with 401 points. Scottsboro finished second with 299 and Whitesburg Christian had 264. Huntsville, which won its 15th state boys’ swimming championship last season, out-pointed runner-up Bob Jones 494-361 to win the section crown. Grissom was third with 298 points.
     In the girls’ North section competition, Whitesburg Christian had 360 points to win the 1A/5A division over runner-up Scottsboro (218) and third-place finisher Madison Academy (175). Westminster Christian outscored Huntsville 384-302 to win the North 6A/7A section title. James Clemens was third with 286 points.
    No individual  results are currently available.


Class 1A/5A Girls
200-Yard Medley Relay: Madison Academy, 1:58.01.
200-Yard Freestyle Relay:  Whitesburg Christian, 1:47.53.
400-Yard Freestyle Relay:  Whitesburg Christian, 3:58.44.

50-Yard Freestyle:  Maddie Bibb, Whitesburg Christian, 25.61
50-Yard Freestyle (adaptive): N/A
100-Yard Freestyle: Maddie Bibb, Whitesburg Christian, 54.68.
200-Yard Freestyle: Virginia Rainer, Cedar Bluff, 2:10.29
500-Yard Freestyle: Mary Hinely, Whitesburg Christian, 6:03.83.
100-Yard Backstroke: Leighton Rainer, Cedar Bluff, 1:00.38.
100-Yard Breaststroke: Katie Pollard, Madison Academy, 1:08.11.
100-Yard Butterfly: Paige Giles, Scottsboro, 1:04.92
200-Yard Individual Medley: Katie Pollard, Madison Academy, 2:14.85.
Diving (1-Meter): Michaela Houser, Whitesburg Christian, 303.45.

Class 6A/7A Girls
200-Yard Medley Relay: Westminster Christian, 1:48.17.
200-Yard Freestyle Relay: Westminster Christian, 1:37.84.
400-Yard Freestyle Relay:  Westminster Christian, 3:43.68.

50-Yard Freestyle: Eboni McCarty, Westminster Christian, 23.23.
50-Yard Freestyle (adaptive): N/A
100-Yard Freestyle: Eboni McCarty, Westminster Christian, 50.82.
200-Yard Freestyle: Rebekah Hamilton, Westminster Christian, 1:52.93.
500-Yard Freestyle: Rebekah Hamilton, Westminster Christian, 5:04.47
100-Yard Backstroke: Julia Krichev, Huntsville, 58.02.
100-Yard Breaststroke: Jewel Krings, Westminster Christian, 1:07.41
100-Yard Butterfly: Samantha Chan, Bob Jones, 59.45.
200-Yard Individual Medley: Jewel Krings, Westminster Christian, 2:13.42.
Diving (1-Meter): Ashley Ahrens, James Clemens, 348.40.

Class 1A/5A Boys
200-Yard Medley Relay: Boaz High School, 1:45.58.
200-Yard Freestyle Relay: Boaz High School, 1:35.60.
400-Yard Freestyle Relay:  Scottsboro High School, 3:42.59

50-Yard Freestyle: Adam Holbrook, Boaz, 23.10.
50-Yard Freestyle (adaptive): Gabe Marsh, Guntersville, 49.74.

100-Yard Freestyle (adaptive): Gabe Marsh, Guntersville, 1:56.52.
100-Yard Freestyle: Heath Isom, Arab, 52.34.
200-Yard Freestyle: Justin Freeman, Whitesburg Christian, 1:58.22.
500-Yard Freestyle: Justin Freeman, Whitesburg Christian, 5:19.41.
100-Yard Backstroke: Reese Cobb, Boaz, 1:01.21.
100-Yard Breaststroke: Levi Webb, Scottsboro, 1:03.62.
100-Yard Butterfly: Levi Webb, Scottsboro, 55.98.
200-Yard Individual Medley: James Hale Thomas, Whitesburg Christian, 2:20.52.
Diving (1-Meter): Joey Houser, Whitesburg Christian, 312.65.

Class 6A/7A Boys
200-Yard Medley Relay: Huntsville High School, 1:40.18.
200-Yard Freestyle Relay: Grissom High School, 1:31.29
400-Yard Freestyle Relay:  Huntsville High School, 3:19.91.

50-Yard Freestyle: Owen Harlow, Grissom, 21.48
50-Yard Freestyle (adaptive): Troy Young, Athen, 5:22.42.
100-Yard Freestyle: Owen Harlow, Grisssom, 47.70.
200-Yard Freestyle: Joe Palenapa, Bob Jones, 1:49.65.
500-Yard Freestyle: Adam Jones, Grissom, 4:59.06
100-Yard Backstroke: Beau Broussard, James Clemens, 51.37.
100-Yard Breaststroke: John Choung, James Clemens, 58.75.
100-Yard Butterfly: Connor Hill, Athens, 51.69.
200-Yard Individual Medley: John Choung, James Clemens, 2:01.46.
Diving (1-Meter): Daniel Coffman, Huntsville, 439.00.



MOBILE – Defending state boys’ co-champion T.R. Miller rolled up 336 points Saturday to claim the South Section 1A/5A swimming and diving championship over runner-up St. Michael Catholic, which had 276 points. UMS-Wright was third with 251 points.
     UMS-Wright’s girls won the South 1A/5A girls’ crown, St. Paul’s Episcopal captured the 6A/7A girls’ section championship and Fairhope took first place in the 6A/7A boys’ South Section competition.

     Team and individual qualifiers advance to the AHSAA’s 60th annual State Swimming and Diving Championships at James E. Martin Aquatics Complex on the Auburn University campus Dec. 6-7.  Section meets concluded at the Central, North and South sites Saturday.
     Fairhope had 360 points, Daphne 332 and Davidson 254 in the 6A/7A boys’ competition. UMS-Wright out-pointed runner-up Bayside Academy 387-221 in the 1A/5A girls competition, and St. Michael Catholic was  third with 170 points. St. Paul’s totaled 371 points in the 6A/7A division with Fairhope (317) and Gulf Shores (206) taking second and third-place.
    Individual event winners included:

Class 1A/5A Girls
200-Yard Medley Relay: Bayside Academy, 1:56.49.
200-Yard Freestyle Relay: Bayside Academy, 1:46.23.
400-Yard Freestyle Relay:  UMS-Wright, 4:09.37.

50-Yard Freestyle: Marlee, Moore, Bayside, 25.05.
50-Yard Freestyle (adaptive):  Sarah Kate Sligh, St. Michael Catholic, 45.80.
100-Yard Freestyle: Grace Steele, Bayside, 59.88.
200-Yard Freestyle: Lucy O’Neill, St. Michael Catholic, 1:55.54.
500-Yard Freestyle: Clarke Doyle, UMS-Wright, 5:22.39.
100-Yard Backstroke: Elziabeth Chen, Bayside, 58.73.
100-Yard Breaststroke: Addi Bruner, Goshen, 1:09.04.
100-Yard Breaststroke (adaptive): Sarah Kate Sligh, St. Michael Catholic, 2:13.62.
Addi Bruner, Goshen, 1:09.04.
100-Yard Butterfly: Lucy O’Neill, St. Michael Catholic, 57.32.
200-Yard Medley: Elizabeth Chen, Bayside, 2:14.87.
Diving (1-Meter): Blakeslee Elliott, UMS-Wright, 375.90.

Class 6A/7A Girls
200-Yard Medley Relay: Fairhope, 1:54.63.
200-Yard Freestyle Relay: St. Paul’s Episcopal, 1:43.40.
400-Yard Freestyle Relay:  Fairhope, 3:42.63.

50-Yard Freestyle: Emily Beaver, Fairhope, 25.48.
50-Yard Freestyle (adaptive): no results.
100-Yard Freestyle: Lillian Ringold, St. Paul’s Episcopal, 55.97.
200-Yard Freestyle: Lena Amare, Fairhope, 2:00.01.
500-Yard Freestyle: Lena Amare, Fairhope, 5:24.77.
100-Yard Backstroke: Ella McDowell, Fairhope, 1:01.88.
100-Yard Breaststroke: Kai Zhang, Dothan, 1:10.48.
100-Yard Butterfly: Kaleigh Spears, Fairhope, 57.43.
200-Yard Medley: Kaleigh Spears, Fairhope, 2:11.57.
Diving (1-Meter):  Rose Gilder, Daphne, 279.10.

Class 1A/5A Boys
200-Yard Medley Relay: St. Michael Catholic, 1:52.36.
200-Yard Freestyle Relay: T.R. Miller, 1:37.38.
400-Yard Freestyle Relay:  T.R. Miller, 3:36.33.

50-Yard Freestyle: Zachary Hannah, Rehobeth, 22.42.
50-Yard Freestyle (adaptive):  No results reported.
100-Yard Freestyle: Cole Jernigan, T.R. Miller, 49.67.
200-Yard Freestyle: Connor Tillman, Opp, 1:57.39.
500-Yard Freestyle: Connnor Tillman, Opp, 5:21.65.
100-Yard Backstroke: Andrew Fouty, St. Michael Catholic, 55.20.
100-Yard Breaststroke: Aden Kraft, Faith Academy, 1:03.26.
100-Yard Butterfly: Andrew Fouty, St. Michael Catholic, 53.10.
200-Yard Medley: Aden Kraft, Faith Academy, 2:11.62.
Diving (1-Meter): Ben Adamski, St. Michael Catholic, 315.90.

Class 6A/7A Boys
200-Yard Medley Relay: St. Paul’s Episcopal, 1:40.33.
200-Yard Freestyle Relay: St. Paul’s Episcopal, 1:31.84.
400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Daphne, 3:19.55.

50-Yard Freestyle: Stephen Laraway, Fairhope, 23.20.
50-Yard Freestyle (adaptive): No results reported.
100-Yard Freestyle: Noah Prevost, St. Paul’s Episcopal, 49.22.
200-Yard Freestyle: Andrew Jordan, Daphne, 1:44.01.
500-Yard Freestyle: Andrew Jordan, Daphne, 4:46.39.
100-Yard Backstroke: Stephen Conrad, St. Paul’s Episcopal, 51.38.
100-Yard Breaststroke: Trey Sheils, Daphne, 58.45.
100-Yard Butterfly: Stephen Conrad, St. Paul’s Episcopal, 53.10.
200-Yard Medley: Trey Sheils, Daphne, 1:56.93.
Diving (1-Meter): Parker Inman, Davidson, 338.55.


Boaz, T.R. Miller Tie for Boys 1A-5A Title; Huntsville wins 6A-7A Boys UMS-Wright, Westminster Christian Claim AHSAA Girls’ Swimming Crowns

AUBURN – UMS-Wright High School’s girls captured the AHSAA Class 1A-5A State Swimming championship and Westminster Christian captured the Class 6A-7A girls’ state crown Saturday as the 2018 State Swimming and Diving Championships concluded at James E. Martin Aquatic Center on the Auburn University campus Saturday.
   Boaz and T.R. Miller tied with 161 points each to share the Class 1A-5A boys’ state title, and Huntsville captured the Class 6A-7A championship for the third year in a row.
    UMS-Wright totaled 285 points to claim the first girls swimming crown since 1997. Whitesburg Christian was second with 209 points and Scottsboro was third at 149. Madison Academy finished fourth with 130 points and Briarwood Christian was fifth with 106.  Sarak Kate Sligh, of St. Michael’s Catholic, won gold in the 50 Free and 100 Breatstroke PARA events.
    In the girls’ Class 6A-7A competition, Westminster Christian posted 265 points to win its thirst consecutive crown. The Wildcats won the Class 1A-5A state championship in 2016 and 2017 but moved up to Class 6A-7A this season.  Spanish Fort finished second with 198 points, followed by Grissom (163), James Clemens (162) and defending champion Auburn (150) to round out the top five finishers.
    The 1A-5A boys’ state championship was the first for Boaz and T.R. Miller. St. Michael Catholic was third with 149 points, Jasper was fourth (140.50) and Scottsboro (122) finished fifth. Huntsville totaled 309 points to win the 6A-7A boys’ state title. The championship was the Panthers’ 15th overall, tying the state record set by Grissom from 1984-1999. Huntsville has also won the AHSAA crown five times in the last seven years. Daphne was second with 262 points, Auburn was third with 216, followed by Spain Park (179) and Davidson (164).
     Several records fell in AHSAA’s 59th State Championships in the 6A-7A division but no records fell in the 1A-5A division.
    Among them:

Class 6A-7A Boys
200-Yard Medley Relay:
Daphne set a Class 6A-7A record in the prelims clocking 1:35.81 and then topped that mark in the finals with a 1:1:35.07. The team was comprised of senior Will Robinson, junior Trey Sheils, senior Graham Jenkins and senior Tyler Bailey.
100-Yard Breaststroke: Daphne’s Sheils set a new all-time record in the prelims swimming a 55.39 time, and he then topped that mark in the finals with a 55.34.
50-Yard Freestyle: Wen Zheng of Northview broke the record he set as a sophomore in 2016 (20.56) with a 20.47 time in Saturday’s finals.
100-Yard Freestyle: Zhang also broke the 6A-7A record (44.78) he set in 2016 with a winning time of 44.24 in Saturday’s finals.
500-Yard Freestyle: Spain Park junior Ward Lockhart set the 6A-7A record with a 4:37.02 time in the prelims. He won the finals by breaking that mark clocking 4:36.87.

Class 6A-7A Girls
200-Yard Freestyle:
Sophomore Rebekah Hamilton of Westminster Christian swam the distance in 1:49.45 to set the mark for 6A-7A. She set the 1A-5A division record (1:50.35) in 2016 and now holds both marks.
200-Yard IM: Letitia Sim, a sophomore from Spanish Fort, set a new Class 6A-7A and record with a 2:01.64 time. Mallory Underwood of Athens set the record previously with a 2:03.60 time in the 2016 state meet.
100-Yard Breaststroke: Sim set her second record of the 2018 meet with a 1:01.64 time in the breaststroke race. The old mark (1:02.13) was set by Megan Molnar of Auburn in 2010.
50-Yard Freestyle: Sophomore Eboni McCarty of Westminster Christian set a record (22.86) in the prelims Friday and topped that mark in the finals swimming a 22:81 time.
100-Yard Freestyle: McCarty clocked 50.41 seconds to set a new mark in the 6A-7A division.

    Complete results can be found at:

AHSAA Swimming and Diving: ‘It’s All About the Team’

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. 

58th AHSAA Swimming & Diving Championships Westminster, St. Paul’s, Auburn and Huntsville Repeat as AHSAA State Swimming Champions

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

For complete team results go to:

AHSAA 58th annual Swimming & Diving Championships
At James E. Martin Aquatics Center, Auburn University

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.


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.


200-Yard Freestyle:
Freshman Rebekah Hamilton of Westminster Christian set a new AHSAA Class 1A/5A state record with a prelims time of 1:51.85 and then broke that mark with a 1:50.04 time in the finals. She set the previous record (1:51.85) last year as an eighth grader.
200-Yard IM: Katie Pollard of Madison Academy clocked 2:06.85 to win the event break her own record time. The sophomore set the AHSAA mark for 1A/5A in 2016 with a 2:07.19.
100-Yard Freestyle:  Westminster Christian freshman Eboni McCarty set a new AHSAA 1A/5A record in the prelims (51.69) but Altamont’s Anna-Julia Kutsch topped that mark in the finals with a 50.39 time. McCarty finished second at 51.96.
400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Westminster Christian’s relay team bettered Friday’s prelim time by 16 seconds to win the event Saturday with a 1A/5A record time of 3:39.10. The team consisted of Rebekah Hamilton, Amanda Dowling, Lauren McAdams and Eboni McCarty. St. John Paul II Catholic’s relay team finished second with a 3:42.94 time – just short of their prelim-winning 3:42.31 mark that set a short-lived state record on Friday.  

58th AHSAA Swimming & Diving Championships Underway at Auburn Pruitt Wins AHSAA Diving Title for 4th Time

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:
    None subscribers can sign up by registering at
    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
Class 1A/5A
Top 4
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

Class 6A/7A
Top 5
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

Class 1A/5A
1. Blakeslee Elliott, UMS-Wright                            307.80
2. Lexi Cubitt, Cottage Hill Christian                      272.75
3. Tori Waters, UMS-Wright                                   252.05
4. Maddie Guilbert, St. John Paul II Catholic         237.90
5. Olivia Brookins, Westminster-Oak Mtn             232.50

Class 6A/7A
1. Ava Talorico, Auburn                                           401.25
2. Emilie Hunter, Daphne                                        400.05
3. Julia Keller, Huntsville                                         365.95
4. Cameron Wilson, Davidson                                336.95
5. Olivia Foster, Saraland                                        331.60

Swimming and Diving Rules Changes Address Risk Minimization, Championship Meet Policy

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.

Bob Jones’ Gunner named 2016 National Swimming Coach of the Year Selected by NFHS Coaches Association





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 “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.