CONYERS - Plenty of depth led to a second-place finish for the Rockdale swim team Saturday at Johnson Park against six other schools, including crosstown rivals Heritage and Salem.
Rockdale tallied 342 points overall, 191 for the girls (second place) and 151 for the boys (third).
"It shows that it's our whole team that's contributing, not just a couple," Rockdale coach Stephen Sansing said. "It really took everybody doing that. But we've got to continue to get better because Heritage and Salem will, too."
Riverwood took first place with 537 points.
Heritage placed third overall (312). The boys (fourth) recorded 136 points, while the girls (third) scored 176.
Salem earned fourth with 228 points. The boys (second) posted 164 points, while the girls (sixth) had 64.
"We had a lot of people swim some of their times; a lot of people stepped out of their comfort zone to swim events they had never swam before," Sansing said. "And then, of course, our top swimmers stepped up and swam some of their good times.
"It's just a combination of several things, such as working on trying to find ways to have effective practices given our limited space," Sansing said. "So, as we've gotten better it's led us to be a little bit more effective in the pool, but I still think we can definitely even get better."
For the boys, Salem finished first in the 200-yard medley relay (1 minute, 48.56 seconds) to qualify for state.
Salem's Matt Tibbetts placed first in the 200 freestyle (1:57.06).
In the 200 individual medley, Heritage's Dylan Johnson finished first (2:18.18). Salem's Taylor Horton took third (2:23.78).
Logan Gunzenhauser placed first for Salem in the 50 freestyle (23.63). Heritage's Matt Shamp was second (24.31).
In the 100 butterfly, Johnson finished second (1:04.19).
Horton placed second in the 100 freestyle (54.29).
Heritage finished first in the 200 freestyle relay (1:39.77), qualifying for state.
Tibbetts qualified for state in the 100 backstroke with a first-place finish (59.97).
Gunzenhauser earned first in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.25) to qualify for state.
Salem's 400 freestyle relay qualified for state with a time of 3:39.09, good for first overall.
For the girls, the Lady Patriots took second (2:10.92) while the Lady Bulldogs placed third (2:11.31) in the 200 medley relay.
Rockdale's Miranda Wright (2:34.42) finished second in the 200-individual medley.
Patty Murphy (1:15.14) took second for Rockdale in the 100 butterfly.
Heritage's Kat Baize (1:02.89) was first in the 100 freestyle. Salem's Lindsay McMullen finished third (1:03.34).
The Lady Bulldogs (1:54.93) took second in the 200 freestyle relay.
Rockdale's Abbi Lewis (1:16.97) was second in the 100 backstroke. Heritage's Lauren Riggs (1:18.15) finished third.
Wright (1:21.66) took third in the 100 breaststroke.
Representing Eastside, which competed yet did not qualify due to insufficient swimmers, were Drew Ellwanger, Nijyl Chavis, Karl Williams, Shoshanna Robinson, Tiffany Gilmore and Grace Murphy.
However, Ellwanger individually qualified for state in the 500 freestyle (5:19.51) and the 100 breaststroke (1:02.39). Both scores were highs on the day in boys competition.
"We still gotta do it at the end of the season and not just now," Sansing said. "But it's definitely showing us that we've got the capabilities and the potential to (win). But it's also going to make Heritage and Salem try just as hard that much more to knock us off."
Jason Murdock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.