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Swimmers make a splash at state
Heritage's Eisenman takes third in 50 freestyle

ATLANTA - Several local swimmers had strong showings over the weekend at Westminster School in the 2008 Georgia High School Swimming and Diving Championship.

Leading the way was Heritage's Nathaniel Eisenman, who swam his way to a third-place finish in the boys 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.52 seconds. Eisenman also placed 17th in the 100 freestyle in 51.25.

"It was incredible," Heritage swim coach Mike Talley said of the sophomore sensation.

Eisenman was also part of the Heritage boys 200 freestyle relay team, which placed ninth at state with a time of 1:32.73.

Meanwhile, the Heritage boys 200 medley relay team took 23rd (1:48.02) and the Heritage girls 200 free relay team placed 31st.

Heritage's Dylan Johnson took 28th in the 50 freestyle (23.69) and placed 29th in the 100 breaststroke (1:05.75).

The Patriots finished 16th overall at state.

"It was a great weekend," Talley said. "Everybody dropped time."

Eastside finished 35th at state on the boys side despite having just two swimmers.

Leading the Eagles was Drew Ellwanger who took ninth in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.47) and placed 25th in the 200 individual medley (2:09.13).

Teammate Nijyl Chavis placed 25th in the 100 breaststroke (1:05.24).

The Salem boys finished 40th at state with the 200 free relay team finishing 15th (1:35.28). The boys 200 medley relay team placed 20th (1:46.88), while the 400 free relay team took 22nd (3:38.50).

Matt Tibbetts had two solid individual showings, finishing 21st in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.67) and 23rd in the 200 individual medley (2:08.68).

Other notable individual performances were turned in by Carlisle Whitley in the 50 freestyle (25th, 23.57) and Logan Gunzenhauser in the 100 breaststroke (39th, 1:07.50).

And although some of the swimmers fell short in their quest of a state title, Salem swim coach Lisa Boyd said there were more important things that developed this season.

"The last two weeks of the season have been a tremendous time for Rockdale County swimming. The state qualifiers from all three high schools have practiced together each day, and a true sense of camaraderie has developed among the swimmers who are both competitors and friends," she said. "At the state competition, all three teams sat together - not in isolated areas - but intermingling and enjoying the time together. On the pool deck, all three teams, their coaches and swimmers cheered for each other and served as a source of support. The experience made me incredibly proud of our swimmers, coaches and county."

The Rockdale girls top showings came from the 400 free relay team, which finished 21st (4:08.16). the girls 200 free relay team placed 27th (1:51.55) and the 200 medley relay team placed 30th (2:06.52).

Lauren Troxler was disqualified in the 50 freestyle.

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