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Heritage, Salem swim teams shine

CONYERS - All three Rockdale county schools were represented Saturday in a swim meet at Johnson Park.

Heritage got the overall win by tallying 722 points - 21 points better than second-place Salem (701). Rockdale was right behind Salem with 699 points. Clarke Central (587), Decatur (585) and North Hall (173) rounded out the scoring.

The Heritage girls finished first with 450 points, while the Heritage boys placed third with 272.

The Seminoles picked up the win on the boys side with 457 points, while the Lady Seminoles took fifth with 244.

Rockdale placed second on both sides with the Lady Bulldogs tallying 376 points and the Bulldogs scoring 314.

Heritage swim coach Mike Talley said he was very impressed with the way the team performed.

"They swam extremely well, " he said. "This is the hardest working, most disciplined team I've ever coached. I'm pleased as punch to be coaching them."

Heritage qualified three events for the state meet. Nathaniel Eisenman qualified for state in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle. The Heritage boys also qualified in the 200 freestyle relay.

Salem coach Lisa Boyd said she was also pleased with effort of her swimmers.

"I'm proud that we did as well as we did, especially considering we were missing a few swimmers," Boyd said. "I was pleased to see us qualify more events for the state meet."

Salem's Matt Tibbetts qualified in both the 100 breaststroke and the 100 butterfly, while Carlisle Whitley qualified in the 50 freestyle.

Other Salem swimmers to notch first-place victories were Matt Neisler (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle) and the boys 400 freestyle relay team.

Although Rockdale came up short on both sides, Rockdale coach Stephen Sansing said he sees improvement.

"Overall, I felt we swam pretty good and we are doing a better job of having swimmers do some different events. Once we settle in on what events all of our swimmers can do effectively, we feel our scores will be even better than they are now," Sansing said.

Rockdale's 400 girls relay team picked up a state berth at the meet, while Lauren Troxler qualified in the 100 freestyle. Troxler also took the top spot in the 100 backstroke.

Brandon Evans can be reached at brandon.evans@rockdalecitizen.com.