With their usual large contingent of swimmers, the Lady Wildcats are a top contender in the Class A-AAAAA competition, along with Marist and Woodward.
“I’m very happy with where we are,” Westminster coach Pete Higgins said. “I’ll put it this way — I wouldn’t want to trade places with anyone else. Our stiffest competition is going to be Marist and Woodward Academy on the girls’ side of the coin. We beat Woodward in a dual meet, lost to Marist by one point in a dual meet and Woodward beat Marist in a dual meet, so it will probably be up to whoever has the hot hand on Feb. 8 and 9.”
Stanford signee Nicole Stafford will aim for her fourth consecutive state championship in the 200-yard freestyle, while Katie Christy attempts to repeat as 100 breaststroke champion. The Lady Wildcats will also go for a second straight title in the 400 freestyle relay.
The Westminster boys will try to make it a sweep of the A-AAAAA titles as they look to improve on last year’s fifth-place finish.
“I’m excited about our chances,” Higgins said of his boys’ squad. “I think we might surprise a lot of people. My goal is to be the state champions each and every year and that’s been my goal since I started coaching.”
Derek Cox is a strong contender in the 200 IM, while Gabriel Bellott-McGrath is among the top candidates in the 100 breaststroke and the 200 IM.
The Pace boys will be led by Harrison Moncino, who is once again a top contender in the boys’ diving competition after finishing runner-up a year ago.
For the Lady Knights, Gwynnie LaMastra is among the top contenders in the girls’ 100 breaststroke, while their 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams are top-10 hopefuls in their events.
Holy Innocents’ enters the state meet with a number of swimmers who have earned spots in most or all of the events.
“I am expecting my boys’ relays to do very well and I am also expecting Kathleen Charron, Clayton DeHaven, Mark Kale and Bates Jones to do well at state, also,” Holy Innocents’ coach Andy Morrison said. “Kathleen and Clayton qualified for every swimming event, which is very hard to do and is a big accomplishment.”
North Springs has high hopes for Scott Berry, who is a contender for a top-10 finish in both the boys’ 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, and Morgan Plowman, who is aiming for an equally impressive showing in the girls’ 50 freestyle.
The North Atlanta boys have a shot at top-10 finishes from Niko Stines in the 100 and 200 freestyle races as well as their 200 freestyle and 200 medley relay teams.