The Rome swim teams have had a successful regular season this year, and today and Saturday, the Wolves and Lady Wolves will be looking to capitalize on that at the GHSA State Swimming Championships.
That successful season included 17 swimmers qualifying for the state meet by swimming their event in under the set state-qualifying time during the regular season.
Despite the stiff competition that the Rome teams will face at the Georgia Tech swim facility today, Rome coach Joey Powers and his team are staying positive about making it to the second-day finals.
“We’re being optimistic that we will make it to the finals,” he said in a phone interview on Thursday evening as him and the state swimmers were enjoying the bus ride to Atlanta.
“Based on where we are seeded, we’re going to have to do best times and take some time off.”
At the championship meet each swimmer is assigned a seed, in order from fastest to slowest state qualifying times, and the top 16 swimmers in each event will qualify for the finals on Saturday.
Powers sees the meet as an opportunity for swimmers to show improvement and swim top-notch final-advancing times, no matter where they are seeded.
“The whole point in coming to this meet is to peak at the right time, and I’m expecting them to swim faster than the seed times.
“I just hope for us that everyone has the best time of the season and makes improvement.”
The state swimmers include the girls 200 medley relay team of Caroline Finn, Joy Buford, Christine Hostetler and Charlynn Andrews, whose state qualifying time was 2:03.94.
Finn will swim the backstroke, Buford will swim the breaststroke, Hostetler will swim the butterfly and Andrews will swim the freestyle in this event.
The foursome is looking to improve their already-strong time.
“We’re hoping to do another two seconds better than their best times,” said Powers of the girls 200 medley relay team, which includes two freshman swimmers Finn and Hostetler.
In the same event for the boys, James Douglas will swim the backstroke, Carter Hightower will swim the breaststroke, Winstron McCormick will swim the butterfly and Grady Edmondson will finish with the freestyle. This group’s state qualifying time was 1:50.51.
In the girls 400 freestyle relay, Finn will swim the first leg, Emily Ann Burger the second, Hostetler the third and Andrews will finish on the fourth leg.
Powers is hoping that these four girls can cut more time off off their state qualifying time of 4:07.06, an accomplishment that they’ve already proven capable of this season.
“I’m very impressed with these girls, because in our last meet some of them dropped two to three seconds on their 100 time,” he said. “I think they can drop another two to three seconds tomorrow.”
McCormick, Bogan Silvey, Hightower and Edmondson will swim the same event for the boys, as they qualified with a time of 3:35.50, which put them at a loftier 26th seed out of 49 seeds.
The same swimmers qualified in the boys 200 freestyle relay event at an even higher 18th seed with a time of 1:35.53.
Finn, Hostetler, Burger and Andrews will also swim the 200 freestyle relay as they qualified with a time of 1:50.47.
The Wolves also had two swimmers qualify for individual events. Andrews qualified for the 100 freestyle with a time of 58.09 and Edmondson, with a state qualifying time of 23.17, will compete in the 50 freestyle.
Rome’s alternates, who will be at the meet in case one of the event swimmers are unable to swim , are Alexandria Dickens, Rachel Jochimsen, Reagan Calhoun and Haiden Bramont.