On Saturday, the Cambridge Varsity swim team traveled four hours to Darton College in Albany, Georgia to face off with 20 other teams in the Lee County Trojan Invitational. Even with a seventh place finish, the girls finished overall in fourth place and the boys finished in ninth place.
With over 500 swimmers participating in the invitational, the Bears were able to shine in a number of events, especially in the relays. The girls' A-medley relay (Holliday, McGinty, Ho, Newcomer) that has already qualified for state championships placed third overall. The boys' A-medley relay (Humm, Halim, Hammer, Jewell) took 11th out of 37 teams, with a season best time of 1:59.74. The Bears' relays teams continued to be strong throughout the meet with the boys continuing to best their previous times with a finish of 1:42.55 in the 200 freestyle relay (Humm, Hammer, Sannes, Jewell), followed by the girls (Swenton, Newcomer, Henslee, Ho) finishing ninth overall out of 46 teams. The meet ended with the 400 freestyle relay. The boys' A-relay team (Hammer, Knapp, Todd, Sannes) pulled out a third place overall finish, out of 22 teams, with a season best time of 4:01.81, a nine-second improvement. The girls also improved their time with a fifth place finish overall out of 24 teams. The team (Holliday, Henslee, T. Bentley, McGinty) shaved six seconds off to score important points for the girls.
Other notable finishes include Maggie McGinty's second place finish in the 200 individual medley, with teammates Ashley Dale Henslee and Angela Ho backing her up with eighth and ninth place finishes. Shaban Halim came out with a season best in the same event with a time of 2:41.28. Hawk Hammer brought some much needed points to the boys' team with an overall eighth place finish in the 50 freestyle (out of 143 competitors). Other Cambridge boys (Jewell, Sannes, Lara, Sokol) finished in the top 45 swimmers in the same event. Following up with the girls, Lauren Holliday finished fifth overall in the 50 freestyle, with Sydney Swenton and Alex Newcomer following in 11th and 12th place (out of 139 competitors). The rest of the Cambridge girls competing in that event also finished in the top 45.
The Cambridge Bears continued to stand out in the sprint freestyle events with the 100 freestyle. Hawk Hammer, with another important finish for the Bears, swam an impressive 55.65 in his 100 freestyle, placing ninth overall. Sannes (20th place), Jewell (23rd place) and Sokol (36th place) came in with best times out of 100 competitors. The girls also rose to the occasion with Alex Newcomer taking ninth overall with a time of 1:03.74, followed by Sydney Swenton (13th place), Ashley Dale Henslee (19th place), Sydney Anderson (25th place), and Aimee Dervishian (42nd place) out of 102 competitors.
An especially stand out performance for the Bears came with the 500 freestyle. Jake Todd took third overall with a personal best swim of 5:27.77, besting his previous time by eight seconds.
Erek Humm and Lauren Holliday scored some additional point for the team with an eighth place finishes in the 100 backstroke, Holliday with a time of 1:15.71 came in just fractions off of the state cut. Kevin Knapp swam a season best time in the same event, for a time of 1:11.83. Ayana Dudley also swam a season best by over four seconds with a time of 1:25.70.
Breastroke has been a strong stroke for the Bears all season and it continued to prove to be so on Saturday. Kyle Daniel swam a season best time of 1:18.00, as did Maggie McGinty (1:13.12) and Tori Bentley (1:16.00). McGinty placed in second overall and Bentley placed fourth overall out of 62 competitors.
Other season bests include Bryce Jewell in the 100 freestyle, shaving off fractions of a second to swim a 1:01.52, Sebastian Lara in the 50 freestyle with a time of 28.15, Sarah Moore in the 50 freestyle with a time of 32.28, Noah Sannes in the 100 freestyle with a time of 1:01.36, and Jeremy Sokol in the 50 and 100 freestyle with times of 28.28 and 1:04.56.
The team was understandably apprehensive going into this meet. The students were just coming out of a long winter break, the bus ride required the team to leave at 5:00 a.m. and travel a great distance, and the amount of swimmers that were there to compete presented many challenges for the Bears. Ultimately, they overcame all obstacles to post season best times and leave a name for themselves in Lee County, Georgia.
The Bears look forward to next weekend when they will compete in the North Fulton County Championships against many well-known and well-accomplished teams in the county. With a lot of work during the week, the Bears intend to make their first championship appearance a memorable one.