The local swim team had several members drop their times this season and as a team, it had some highlights in 2012 — winning the Griffin Gators Invitational on July 20-21, placing second in the DCS Summer Splash on June 23 and finishing third in the Carrollton Invitational on June 16. And speaking of Carrollton, several of the Gators saw that city on more than one occasion.
Nineteen of the 39 Gators swam so well in Carrollton for the 2012 District IV Swim Meet on July 14 that they qualified for the State Swim Meet on July 27-28. Two of those 19 state-bound swimmers — Dayton Grogan and Connor Ellerbee — were first-year Gators.
At the 2012 GRPA Class “A” State Swim Meet, the Gators did well and the 10 which qualified for the Saturday night state finals placed in the top 10 in their age groups. Gators veteran Dwayne Harry Jr. placed the highest of the state finalist swimmers, finishing 6th in the 50-yard freestyle for 15-18 boys.
This year was the year when the Gators tried to be like Mike — Jordan, that is — and win their home meet for a sixth straight time. They were extremely successful, winning the 2012 Griffin Gators Invitational again with an astounding 2,240.5 points overall, drubbing second-place Swim Macon (565.5) and the rest of the field that weekend.
Gators assistant coach Grant Adams said after the first half of the season that he was happy with the team’s performance in Douglasville at the DCS Summer Splash. The Gators finished second overall and it was truly a team effort as the young and veteran swimmers placed well all meet long. Chelsea Jacobs finished second and Mikayla Stormes placed third in the 15 & Over girls 500 freestyle while Soren Wood placed second in the 15 & Over boys 500 freestyle and Will Davis finishing second in the 15 & Over boys 200 butterfly.
The younger swimmers did their share at the DCS Summer Splash as Susannah Murray, 4, finished third in the 6-Under 25 breaststroke, fourth in the 6-Under 25 backstroke and fifth in the 6-Under 25 freestyle. Ellerbee, 8, placed first in the 50 backstroke for 7 & 8 boys and second in the 8-Under 50 freestyle.
Another young swimmer, Alanna Wood, 6, was the star of the show for the Gators at the Carrollton Invitational, garnering 9 points each for placing first in all six of her events, allowing her to be the High-Point winner in the girls 6-Under division with 54 points. Wood also finished second in the 200 IM.