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In school athletics, competing at the state level is something few middle school and high school teams ever get to do.
But last month several Franklin County swimmers not just competed, but succeeded in the Middle Tennessee High School Swimming Association’s state meets.
Franklin County’s middle school team made a name for itself, placing eighth out of 33 teams, while the high school team had several swimmers qualify and compete at the state meet.
Beginning first with the results from the Middle School Championship, Franklin County’s middle school team saw swimmers in the top 15 throughout the day’s 24 events.
Swimmers represented Franklin County’s team from both North and South Middle Schools.
The first event of the day was the girls’ 200-yard medley relay, which gave Franklin County its first points of the day.
The team of Ashley Slayton, Lily Jenkins, Jordan Wilkinson, and Chloe Brandon placed third out of 46 teams earning Franklin County 32 team points.
Franklin County middle school’s next points came from the girls’ side in the day’s third event, the girls’ 200-yard freestyle.
Christina Hines finished fourteenth out of 45 qualifiers with a finals time of 2:23.74. Her efforts landed Franklin County three points.
The girls continued their excellent showing in the 200-yard individual medley, as Slayton earned eleventh place out of 37 swimmers.
Franklin County had two girls earn points in the day’s seventh event, the 50-yard freestyle.
Brandon came in second place with a time of 25.30, earning 17 points. Wilkinson finished twelfth with a time of 28.20, receiving five points. A total of 183 swimmers qualified in the preliminaries for the event.
Cameron Smith earned the first points for the boys of Franklin County’s middle school team, placing sixth in the boys’ 50-yard freestyle. Smith’s efforts earned Franklin County 13 more points.
Garret Shaw came just one place short of earning team points, placing seventeenth in prelims out of 131 swimmers.
Jenkins earned Franklin County nine points, placing ninth in the girls’ 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:06.76.
Smith again finished in the top ten again in the boys’ 100-yard butterfly, finishing in eighth place with a time of 1:09.35. Teammate Christian Snead was just behind Smith, finishing in ninth place with a time of 1:10.67. The two earned 20 points combined in the event.
Hines finished in fifteenth place in the girls’ 100-yard freestyle event, earning two points.
In the boys’ 100-yard freestyle, Garrett Shaw finished in thirteenth place with a time of 1:03.95.
Jenkins added another top-10 finish to her day in the fifteenth event, the girls’ 500-yard freestyle. She placed seventh out of 25 swimmers, and earned 12 points for her team.
The team of Jenkins, Slayton, Wilkinson, and Brandon struck again for Franklin County in the girls’ 200-yard freestyle relay, finishing in second place out of 46 teams.
In the boys’ 200-yard freestyle relay, Franklin County’s team of Shaw, Rivers Jenkins, Snead, and Smith finished in tenth place, earning the team 14 points.
Slayton finished in sixth place during the girls’ 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:05.76, and earned 13 points.
Wilkinson and Brandon earned three total points for Franklin County in the same event, Wilkinson placing fifteenth, and Brandon in sixteenth, out of 100 swimmers.
Snead turned in a top-five finish in the boys’ 100-yard breaststroke with a final time of 1:16.88.
Franklin County’s middle school team earned its final points of the day in the twenty-third event, the girls’ 400-yard freestyle relay. The team of Catherine Gray, Jessie Prince, McClain Bailey, and Christina Hines came in tenth place, earning 14 points.
With the final votes tallied, Franklin County’s girls finished in fifth place out of 31 teams, the boys finished fifteenth of 24 teams, and as a team the middle school athletes from Franklin County finished eighth with 215 combined points.
The High School state meet was held on Feb. 14 and 15.
Eight Franklin County Swimmers qualified for the High School State swim meet.
Franklin County’s state swimmers include seniors Sydni Wilkinson and Blake Shaw, juniors Gillian Cline, Jocelyn Taylor, Matthew Dunphy, Stetson Snead, and Colton Clark, and sophomore Michael Cortazzo.
Dunphy was the only swimmer for Franklin County to earn points, with two top-ten finishes.
In the men’s 200-yard individual medley Dunphy placed seventh with a time of 1:55.47. He also placed seventh in the men’s 100-yard breaststroke, with a time of 58.16.
Dunphy’s two top-10 finishes gave Franklin County 24 points, which placed the team at twenty-sixth out of the 43 teams that were represented.
Franklin County continues to be a place of talented swimmers, and with only two of the eight high school team’s state qualifiers being seniors, it looks like the trend of excellence should continue.