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Westminster girls win second straight swimming title
by Greg Oshust
February 12, 2013 04:03 PM | 2340 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special / Jennifer Hunter<br>Westminster’s Nicole Stafford won the 200-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly to lead the Wildcats to the Class A-AAAAA championship at the state swimming and diving meet last Saturday.
Special / Jennifer Hunter
Westminster’s Nicole Stafford won the 200-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly to lead the Wildcats to the Class A-AAAAA championship at the state swimming and diving meet last Saturday.
The Westminster girls made it two in a row as they won the Class A-AAAAA title at the GHSA swimming and diving championships Saturday at Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.

With 306 points, the Wildcats won by a convincing margin over runners-up Marist and Woodward — tied for second with 239 points each.

It is the second consecutive state girls’ title for Westminster as well as the school’s 21st girls’ crown overall.

“We’ve had our ups and downs this year, but the girls really came through [at the state meet],” Westminster coach Pete Higgins said. “I’m going to lose some good swimmers, so I’m actually going to have to do some coaching next year.”

St. Pius X (189) finished fourth, while Pace (112) placed fifth in the girls’ team standings.

Nicole Stafford led the way for the Westminster girls with state championships in the 200-yard freestyle and the 100 butterfly.

Stafford, who signed with Stanford earlier in the week, won the 200 freestyle — her fourth consecutive title in that event — with a state-record time of 1 minute, 45.29 seconds. She broke the old mark of 1:46.32, set by former Westminster standout Elizabeth Hill in 2004.

She was also victorious in the 100 butterfly with a time of 53.49.

Sisters Jamie Christy (100 breaststroke, 1:03.40) — a University of Southern California signee — and Katie Christy (200 individual medley, 2:04.40), were the other individual winners for the Westminster girls.

The Wildcats’ girls’ 200 medley relay team of Katie Christy, Jamie Christy, Stafford and Erika Redding won with a state-record time of 1:43.96 — beating the old mark of 1:45.01, set by Lassiter in 2011.

Westminster also set a new state record in clinching the girls’ 400 freestyle relay, with the quartet of Maddie Downs, Katie Christy, Jamie Christy and Stafford breaking the previous standard of 3:26.54 that was set by Brookwood in ’09.

The Wildcats finished second in the A-AAAAA boys’ team standings, scoring 173 points to place behind champion Dalton (192).

St. Pius (135) finished fourth among the boys, while Marist (133) was fifth and Holy Innocents’ (76) was 10th — the best state meet finish in school history for the Golden Bears. North Atlanta (59) finished just outside the boys’ top-10 with an 11th-place showing

Derek Cox was the lone individual winner for the Westminster boys, taking the 200 IM with a time of 1:52.00. He was also third in the 100 butterfly (50.70).

Pace’s Harrison Moncino won the boys’ diving title, scoring 554.35 points to finish ahead of runner-up Walker Wheeler of Riverwood (475.70).

The Westminster boys placed runner-up in the 400 free relay, with Derek Cox, Erek Cox, Sam Beadles and Gabriel Bellott-McGrath finishing at 3:12.05.

Westminster’s 200 freestyle relay team of Redding, Lilly Nunnally, Taylor Penn and Downs placed third with a time of 1:39.25.

Also on the awards podium were Riverwood’s Lila Claire Best with a third-place finish in the girls’ 500 freestyle (4:59.38) and Mount Vernon Presbyterian’s Sean King, who placed third in the boys’ 100 breaststroke (58.63).

Will the Westminster girls win a third straight title in 2014?

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