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Seminoles swim to sixth-place

ATHENS - Of the 19 teams competing, the Salem swimming team finished a respectable sixth overall on Saturday at the University of Georgia.

The boys squad took fifth place while the girls ended ninth.

Furthermore, the boys placed behind four teams that each ranked in last year's state championships.

"We had a successful meet on Saturday at UGA," Salem coach Lisa Boyd said. "With such intense competition, I'm proud of the team's performance at the final meet before heading toward the county and state championships."

In the boys 200-yard medley, the Seminoles - Josh Danforth, Matt Tibbetts, Walker Whitley and Logan Gunzenhauser - took fourth of 26 relay teams with their fastest time of the season (one minute, 47.86 seconds).

Danforth took seventh of 29 swimmers with his fastest time of the year (2:21.03) during the boys 200-yard individual medley.

Gunzenhauser was eighth out of 67 swimmers in the boys 50 freestyle with his season-best time of 23.55. In addition, it was just 0.05 seconds away from state championship qualification. Salem's Taylor Horton took ninth out of 67 swimmers with his fastest time of the season (23.82), just 0.32 seconds away from state championship qualification.

Both Gunzenhauser and Horton can still earn qualification during the county championship meet on Saturday at Johnson Park.

In the boys 100-yard butterfly, Tibbetts paddled to second out of 27 swimmers with his fastest time of the season (54.99) to improve his seed at the state championships.

Salem's boys 200 free relay - Horton, Walker Whitley, Joseph Schneider and Gunzenhauser finished sixth out of 29 relay teams.

Tibbetts earned third place out of 52 swimmers during the 100-yard breaststroke with his fastest mark of 1:01.78, also improving his seed at the state championships. Gunzenhauser was sixth - a personal season-best - with a time of 1:06.60.

In the boys 400-yard free relay consisting of Horton, Danforth, Schneider and Tibbetts, the Seminoles captured sixth place.

For the girls, Lindsey McMullen finished 17th out of 64 swimmers in the 100-yard freestyle with her season-best time of 1:02.66.

Other notable Salem swimmers who improved their times significantly include Brittany Beaumont (500 free, near 10-second drop), Melanie Mather (100 breast, near five-second drop), Jordan Kelley (100 breast, near four-second drop) and Jesse Gregg (100 free, near three-second drop).

Jason Murdock can be reached at jason.murdock@rockdalecitizen.com.