Two county swimmers win individual state championships

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

AUBURN – The AHSAA State Swim and Dive Championships took place in Auburn over the weekend. While no team in the county won an overall state championship, several teams made it to state, which is an accomplishment amongst itself and several had strong individual performances as we saw Sadler McKeen of Briarwood Christian School win two individual races and Rachel Cunningham of Spain Park win one event.

Overall team standings:

On the guys side in the 1A-5A division, the Briarwood Lions finished fourth with 50 points in the event, while Westminster at Oak Mountain finished eighth with 16 points. The Knights girls’ team was the only girls team to place at state in the 1A-5A division as they came in 12th with 14 points. 

Over on the 6A-7A side of things, the Spain Park boys came in seventh with 130 points, while the Lady Jags finished 10th with 91 points. The Chelsea Hornets finished 26th in the guy’s standings with three points.

1 Meter Diving Finals:

Westminster junior Olivia Brookins finished third in the 1 Meter Diving finals of the 1A-5A division. She had a score of 179.60 in finals 127.55 in the prelims.

Spain Park had two guys finish in the top five of the event in the 6A-7A division with Zach El-Fallah finishing in third with a score 246.70 in the prelims and 345.30 in the finals. Freshman teammate Jon Picket finished right behind El-Fallah in the four spot after posting scores of 253.50 finals 181.35 prelims.

200-Yard Freestyle Finals:

Briarwood senior Sadler McKeen, a Notre Dame commit, won the boys 200-yard freestyle in the 1A-5A division with a time of 1:37.84, which was .26 off state record. Teammate Mason Mathias finished fifth in the event with a time of 1:48.38.

Spain Park freshman Ward Lockhart finished fifth in the 6A-7A boys final with a time of 1:49.17.

200-Yard Indvidual Medley Finals:

Sarah Stephenson, a junior at Westminster, finished fifth in the girls 1A-5A race with a time of 2:25.47, while Spain Park’s Rachel Cunningham finished eighth in the 6A-7A race with a time of 2:12.56.

50-Yard Freestyle Finals:

Oak Mountain sophomore Haley Burt finished seventh in 6A-7A girls 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.14. Burt also finished seventh in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 52.40.

Freshman Carson Desocio of Indian Springs finished eighth in the boys 1A-5A race with a time of 24.05.

500-Yard Freestyle Finals:

Briarwood’s McKeen took home his second individual honor of the state championships by winning the boys 500 free 1A-5A race with a time of 4:24.91, which set the state record. Campbell Lemons, a freshman at Westminster, finished fourth in the race with time of 4:56.06. Mathias finished fifth with a time of 5:04.63. Spain Park’s Lockhart finished fifth in the 6A-7A division with a time of 4:52.30.

200-Yard Freestyle Relay Finals:

The Briarwood Lions finished third in the boys 200-yard freestyle relay of the 1A-5A division with a time of 1:3738. The Lions were led by Mathias, Thomas Dillard, Brooks Souders and McKeen at the anchor.

Spain Park finished seventh in the 6A-7A side of the event with a time of 1:35.37.

100-Yard Backstroke Finals:

Westminster’s Lemons finished sixth in the 1A-5A 100-yard backstroke with a time of 58.81. Justin Zhang finished sixth for Spain Park in 6A-7A division with time of 55.79.

100-Yard Breaststroke Finals:

In an extremely tight race, Rachel Cunningham won the girls 6A-7A 100-yard breaststroke race with a time of 1:04.19. Cunningham won by .10 seconds over Annie Dallas from Auburn, while the top four finishers were within .80 seconds of each other.

Indian Springs sophomore Mia Karle finished sixth in the 1A-5A girls race after posting a time of 1:15.60.

400-Yard Freestyle Relay Finals:

The Lions had another strong performance in the 400-yard team relay as they finished in third with a time of 3:36.00 in the 1A-5A race. Westminster finished seventh in the race after posting a time of 4:00.26.

In the girls races, the Westminster Lady Knights finished seventh in the relay with a time of 4:11.75 in the 1A-5A division, while Spain Park took eighth in the 6A-7A race with a time of 3:30.97.