And though Lassiter came up short Saturday, it still finished in the top three of the Class AAAAAA state meet at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.
The Lady Trojans had a tough battle with Lambert and Peachtree Ridge and ended up third with 197 points. Lambert ultimately clinched its first state championship with 292, with Peachtree Ridge second at 222.
Lassiter is lacking the depth up top that it had two years ago.
“For the girls, it was tough,” Lassiter coach Lauren Barnes said. “Expectations are always high after that four-peat. Lambert’s girls just stepped up big-time.”
Kennesaw Mountain returned to the top 10, finishing sixth with 170 points, and Walton was eighth with 149.
The Lady Trojans’ best times came in the 200-yard medley and 200 freestyle relays, but Lambert had its way in both races — winning both by split-second margins.
The Lady Longhorns’ Katherine Aikins edged Lassiter’s Micaela Janco in the freestyle leg of the 200 medley with a time of 1 minute, 46.32 seconds —.07 seconds ahead of Lassiter. Jordan Drake didn’t fare any better against Aikins in the anchor leg of the 200 freestyle relay, which Lambert won in 1:37.02 — by an even slimmer gap of .02 seconds.
Drake did have some individual success, however, taking second overall in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.47). She was also seventh in the 100 freestyle (53.41), in which Micaela Janco was ninth (53.52) and Lexi Glunn 10th (53.59).
Also leading Lassiter were Lauren O’Malley’s seventh-place time in the 50 freestyle (24.33), one slot ahead of teammate Micaela Janco (24.58). Maddie Hester was sixth in diving with 357.45 points.
Kennesaw Mountain, meanwhile, showed it has the strongest divers in the Cobb County.
Alex Hart finished second with 439.40 points, with Jordan Shealy fifth (384.10). Wheeler’s Graylyn Jones (416.90) was in between.
In the pool, the Lady Mustangs’ Rebecca Postoll won a pair of state titles in the distance freestyle events, fending of challenges from Brookwood’s Rachel Muller in the final 25 yards. Postoll clawed her way to a victory in the 200 freestyle (1:51.98), and Muller nearly caught up to her in the final turn of the 500 freestyle, but the Postoll secured the win in 4:48.49.
Postoll, along with sister Melissa Postoll, Savannah Long and Maggie Layde won the 400 freestyle relay for the second straight year, with a time of 3:29.98.
Melissa Postoll was fourth in the 100 backstroke in 57.30.
“We had a disappointing Friday, but they came back and swam their best (Saturday), and that’s why they’re one of the best teams we’ve ever had,” Kennesaw Mountain coach David Reason said.
For Walton, Kira de Bruyn clinched her second straight state title in the 200 individual medley, but she had to come from behind to do it. While de Bruyn struggled in the opening leg — the butterfly — she used the breaststroke and backstroke to catch up, and she ended up winning on the freestyle leg.
“It hurt while I was swimming, but it felt good when I finished,” de Bruyn said.
Walton also took fourth in the 200 freestyle (1:38.95) behind de Bruyn, Johanna Keeline, Anna Marino and Mary Beckwith, and seventh in the 200 medley (1:50.18) with Jane Watts taking Marino’s place.
Class A-AAAAA meet
The Pope girls wrapped up the Class A-AAAAA meet with a seventh-place finish.
Had the Lady Greyhounds not been disqualified for a false start in the 200 freestyle relay, they most likely would have cracked the top five.
Westminster won the meet with 306 points, with Woodward Academy and Marist tied for second at 239.
Emma Murray led Pope by finishing second in the 100 breaststroke (1:05.35) and fourth in the 200 IM (2:08.07). Katie Bell also chipped in individually by finishing seventh in the 500 freestyle (5:05.49) and ninth in the 200 freestyle (1:55.10).
Pope’s relay teams were ninth in the 200 medley (1:52.49) and 15th in the 400 freestyle (3:52.35).
The Lady Greyhounds also got help in diving, with Kelly Morris taking fourth (410.15).
Allatoona standout Aja Malone won state in the 100 backstroke by .01 seconds, in a time of 56.26. The title helped the Lady Buccaneers finish 12th overall.
Malone and Calvary Day’s Patricia Forrester were side-by-side during the final 25 yards of the race, but Malone just inched in front at the end.
Malone nearly pulled off a second individual crown, claiming second in the 100 butterfly (54.46). She also helped Allatoona’s 200 freestyle team finish 11th and the 200 medley finish 13th.