Despite winning many of the events at the Cobb County Championships, the Trojans lost to Walton based on the Raiders’ depth advantage.
Then, after arriving at Georgia Tech for the state meet, Lassiter’s highest priority became besting its fourth-place showing from last year.
After making a few adjustments in both the individual events and relays, the Trojans achieved their goal by placing second behind Parkview in Class AAAAA.
For his efforts, Meeden is the 2011-12 Marietta Daily Journal/Cobb County Boys Swimming Coach of the Year.
The moves Meeden and his swimmers made to ensure more points were quite amazing.
One that stood out was inserting Jimmy Yoder in the 100-yard butterfly instead of the 500 freestyle. The odds of Yoder beating Northview’s Matias Koski in the 500 were slim — Koski won in 4 minutes, 18 seconds, which was 6 seconds lower than Yoder’s fastest time — and Yoder had experience in the 100 butterfly.
Yoder won a state championship in the 100 butterfly that he probably wouldn’t have gotten in the 500 freestyle. With Yoder swimming the butterfly, that allowed Zach Bunner —normally a buterflier — to win a state title in the 200 individual medley.
“It wound up being great moves,” Meeden said. “I could tell they were eager to do it.”
Lassiter’s depth and experience also helped in the individual events.
Yoder placed second in the 200 freestyle, Bunner was second in the backstroke and Daniel Bridgers and Drew Cuttic were fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 50 freestyle. Zach Marshall was sixth and Cuttic was ninth in the 100 freestyle, and Marshall was also 13th in the 200 freestyle.
Not having anyone in the 100 breaststroke, however, ended up costing Lassiter at the state meet.
The Trojans also changed up the medley relay, with Bunner taking his younger brother Brogan’s place in an attempt to come in faster in the backstroke and ended up fifth in state. With Bridgers being a sprinter, he took Zach Bunner’s place in the 200 freestyle relay and nearly won the title. The 400 freestyle stayed the same, with the Trojans finishing second, but they still set a Cobb County record with a time of 3:07.93.
Though Lassiter will be graduating Cuttic and Henry Loong from this year’s team, it will have most of its key swimmers coming back next fall, including Yoder and Bunner, both of whom have made Olympic Trial cuts.
After finishing second in the state this year, the Trojans can only go one step forward.
“They were thrilled with what they did (this season), and the ones that are coming back are excited about next year and will be incredibly fast,” Meeden said. “The county knows how good they are. The state knows, too.”