LAST YEAR, the Jefferson Swim Dragons made quite the splash in their inaugural season.
The Dragons qualified two swimmers – Camille Porter and Jacob Musgrove – for the state meet last winter.
This season, the Dragons are hoping a larger roster will translate into even more success for the Jefferson swim program.
Last season, the team housed nine high school swimmers and 17 middle school competitors. Jefferson retained all its swimmers from last season and increased to a 36-man roster (16 high school swimmers and 19 middle school swimmers).
This year we hope to have girls relay teams qualify (for state), said Dragon head coach Lane Guzman. “We have several very good swimmers moving up to the ninth grade. Our boys’ team should be more competitive as they are all more experienced. We expect our team to become more successful each year as we have very talented middle schoolers moving into high school.”
Most of the Dragons practice at the YMCA in Gainesville where the coaches of Lanier Aquatics train swimmers four days a week. However, several of the Dragon swimmers train year-round at various locations and compete in USA swim meets.
Saturday, the Dragons competed in their first meet of the season in Clarksville.
Jefferson High School finished in first-place overall out of the 11 teams that competed in the meet.
The Lady Dragons scored 424 points leading all girls’ teams, while the Jefferson boys’ team earned 196 points, finishing with the fourth most among men’s’ teams.
The Lady Dragons’ 200-yard medley relay team of Camille Porter, Heather Perry, Lilli Blackstock and Bree Hanson swam a first-place time of 2:06.56 which qualified the team for the state meet. The Lady Dragons’ 200-yard freestyle team of Camille Porter, Heather Perry, Ryan Childress and Caroline Mitchell also qualified for the GHSA state swim meet with a first-place time of 1:52. Porter also qualified for state in the 50-yard freestyle individual event.
Cole Holbrook earned a first-place finish in the boys’ 500-yard freestyle event in his first ever swim competition. Victoria Swaim finished third in the girls’ 500-yard freestyle.
Jefferson Middle School will compete in the Middle School Championships on Dec. 7. The JHS Dragons will travel to the University of Georgia for their next meet on Dec. 14.