Heritage outlasts Rockdale for fourth consecutive county swim title

CONYERS -- Heritage and Rockdale got together in the pool Saturday at the Rockdale County Swim Championships, and as is becoming the norm with the county rivals, it was another close finish.

Heritage got four individual titles and two relay championships to win the girls event, helping the Patriots defeat Rockdale 460-455 for their fourth consecutive county swimming title at Johnson Park. Last year, Heritage won the overall race by 10 points, and the 2013 version was even more of a nail biter.

While Heritage won the team event, a quintet of Rockdale swimmers made history. Davis Foster, who led the Bulldogs to a second straight boys crown, 228-216 over Heritage, won the 100 freestyle in 50.86, which broke Andrew Whitley of Salem's nine-year old meet record (Whitley swam in 51.21 in 2004). Foster also won the 50 freestyle (22.97) and joined Rob Bruton, Matthew Bennett and Jake Jarrell on the title-winning 200 medley relay team (1:53.39) and Bennett, Jarrell and William Ragsdale for a first-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay (1:38.58). Also winning for the Rockdale boys was Damani Young, who won the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:32.04.

"He swam awesome today," Rockdale coach Stephen Sansing said of Foster. "Our boys have been strong. Our top boys swam well (Saturday)."

The girl's 200-freestyle relay team (Kemaya Tucker, Taylor Johnson, Sydney Norton and Billye Lewis) also set a record, swimming in 1:51.01 and besting another Rockdale team's mark of 1:51.52 from 2009. Meanwhile, Tucker set an individual record in the 50 freestyle, topping Salem's Megan Tiedeman's 2001 mark, 26.69 to 26.73.

Kate McCalley was a big reason Heritage won the girls event for the fourth consecutive season, 244-227 over Rockdale, winning the 100 freestyle (1:01.33) and 200 freestyle (2:17.76), while joining Betsy Potter, Erin White and Josie Crane on the 400 freestyle relay team, which won in 4:11.57. Potter and White each won individual titles in the 100 butterfly (1:07.64) and 100 backstroke (1:08.99), respectively, then teamed up with Abby Swindle and Sarah Jo Greer to capture the 200 medley relay championship (2:07.59).

The Rockdale girls picked up two other individual titles as Norton won the 500 freestyle in 6:55.47, and Lewis was the champion in the 200 individual medley (2:33.16).

Andrew Swindle won a pair of titles for the Heritage boys, capturing gold in the 100 butterfly (1:05.78) and 200 freestyle (2:07.89). The Patriots also got a first-place finish from Cody Nolen (6:28.93 in the 500 freestyle).

Salem finished a distant third, but Andrew Maxwell won the 100 breaststroke (1:15.41) and teamed up with Chris York, Reed Hill and Michael Hurley to take home the 400 freestyle relay title (3:54.27). For the Salem girls, Taylor Beauchamp won the 100 breaststroke in 1:16.86.