Now in the collegiate ranks, Sammie Bosma (Texas A&M), Shannon O’Malley (Georgia) and Kim Carducci (North Carolina) were freshmen when Lassiter started its run in 2008, and they’ve left it to others to carry on the torch.
Lassiter has enough returning experience, not to mention a batch of talented freshmen, to keep the streak going. It just doesn’t know yet which of those newcomers will rise to the occasion.
“They have a desire to keep (the streak) going,” Lassiter coach Glenn Meeden said of his roster for the upcoming season. “Everyone has seen a taste of it, and the freshmen are aware of it because they’ve swam with the team in the past. It’s the will and desire to keep it on. These girls don’t want to be the ones that give it up.”
The pressure to keep the streak going will be on Lassiter’s returning upperclassmen. Senior distance freestylists Allie Crenshaw, Sarah Williford, Hannah Clark and Kylie Dickman bring the most experience, with Dickman, Clark and Williford expecting to contribute in the 200-yard individual medley.
Junior Jordan Drake is also expecting to do big things in the backstroke and butterfly.
Brookwood and Mill Creek could be in the mix to challenge Lassiter after placing second and third, respectively, at last year’s state meet, while Walton could be back into the mix for a top-five finish with its depth and experience after undergoing a transition year.
Harrison and Kennesaw Mountain are also expecting to field solid teams.
The Lady Hoyas are returning most of their key swimmers after finishing ninth, and their Due West rivals, who also have a large contingent of swimmers returning, weren’t far behind at 12th.
Harrison senior Madison Jacobi, a recent Florida State commitment, is in the running to win state in both distance freestyles. The Lady Hoyas also return senior Mackenzie Payment and Jacobi’s younger sister, Olivia, a sophomore. Payment and the Jacobi sisters will likely pair up again in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays, which finished sixth and fifth, respectively, in the state meet.
“Minus Missy DeVelvis, we’re returning the core of that (relay) group,” Harrison coach Doug Forster said. “They definitely want to improve on that ninth-place (team) finish.”
Kennesaw Mountain’s prime ingredients come from reining state diving champion Alexandra Hart, who is only a junior. The Lady Mustangs will also have senior Morgan Stephenson, another Florida State commitment, back to swim the breaststroke and IM. Junior Melissa Postoll could contribute in a variety of events after a stellar sophomore season.
But one of the bigger stories for Kennesaw Mountain could be Postoll’s younger sister, freshman Rebecca. A member of the Cobb Stingrays swim team, Rebecca Postoll set several meet records in the distance freestyles during last summer’s Stu Hixon Invite.
“Up top, I think we’re stronger,” Kennesaw Mountain coach David Reason said. “I will put our top 10 swimmers and divers against anyone in the state.”
Walton lost a lot of talent to graduation after finishing second in state in 2010, and the Lady Raiders had to rebuild last year, but they now have enough returning experience to be a top-10 team. Senior sprint freestylists Charlotte Holz and Corinne Nabors return to lead a team filled with experienced sophomores.
The Pope girls will have plenty of holes to fill after placing eighth in last year’s Class AAAA/A state meet. The Lady Greyhounds have to replace the huge freshman class of 2008, led by backstroke state champ Anna Neumeister (Georgia), which put the program on the map.
Like the newcomers of ’08, Pope will have a talented pool of freshmen to depend on this season, with freshman IM swimmer Emma Murray spoken highly of.
Junior sprinter Kodi Day is also returning to help Pope, and the Lady Greyhounds also welcoming the return of junior distance freestylist Katie Bell, who swam for Pope her freshman year before moving out of state.