The Columbus High boys and girls swimming teams, led by a couple record-breaking performances, swam through the competition en route to wins in the city swimming championships on Thursday at the D.A. Turner YMCA.
The Blue Devils nearly tripled second-place Northside's score with 183 points in the meet, while the girls notched 189 points, 89 ahead of the second-place Lady Patriots.
Overall, Columbus boys swimmers won nine of the 11 events, while the girls took 10.
"Both teams did really well," coach Karen Waters said. "We had a goal of winning, obviously, the meet. We also had a goal of winning every event. That didn't happen, but they swam great."
The day was capped off by a new meet record in the boys 50-yard freestyle by senior Charlie Flowers, who swam the event in 23.49 seconds. Despite Flowers' record-setting performance, the second-place finisher, Alex Haymond of Hardaway, nearly won. He also broke the previous meet record, but finished three-tenths of a second behind Flowers at 23.79.
"(Coach Waters) said that she thought I had a chance at breaking it, but I knew I'd have to really swim hard to have a chance," Flowers said.
Flowers, who won four medals for the day, has already signed a golf scholarship. He said that, with the college signing out of the way, he wanted to really put a lot of work into swimming this year.
"I felt like I was going to try really hard at swimming this year," he said. "I've put in a lot of work at lowering my times and I think I've only missed one practice all year."
Walton Bray also set a record in the 100 backstroke for the Blue Devils.
On the girls side, both Lauren Crane and Lauren Cass picked up four medals for Columbus.
Flowers said that, more than his own success, he was happy to see his team do so well at the meet. "I'm proud of my teammates more than anything," he said.
In the two events that the Columbus boys didn't win, it was Hardaway's Mitchell Graham who took first. He won the 200 freestyle and the 100 backstroke. He has already qualified for state in the latter, but said that he is still looking to qualify in a few more events, including the 200, 100 and 50 freestyle.
"I've just got to keep pushing, keep training," he said. "It's going to take a lot more work."
Northside's Emily Neville won the 500-yard freestyle to keep Columbus from sweeping the events on the girls side.
Hardaway and Shaw came in third and fourth, respectively, for both boys and girls.
David Mitchell, 706-571-8571
CITY SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
1. Columbus 189, 2. Northside 100, 3. Hardaway 40, 4. Shaw 23
1. Columbus 183, 2. Northside 68, 3. Hardaway 67, 4. Shaw 28
Boys 200 medley relay: Columbus Team A (1:53.66); Girls 200 medley relay: Columbus Team A (2:15.92); Boys 200 freestyle: Mitchell Graham, Hardaway (2:00.59); Girls 200 freestyle: Lauren Crane, Columbus (2:11.07); Boys 200 individual medley: Walton Bray, Columbus (2:19.56); Girls 200 individual medley: Jennifer Landry, Columbus (2:43.33); Boys 50 freestyle: Charlie Flowers, Columbus (23.49); Girls 50 freestyle: Lauren Cass, Columbus (28.57); Boys 100 butterfly: Jorge Orderique, Columbus (59.34); Girls 100 butterfly: Lauren Crane, Columbus (1:11.99); Boys 100 freestyle: Charlie Flowers, Columbus (52.15); Girls 100 freestyle: Lauren Cass, Columbus (1:02.67); Boys 500 freestyle: Jorge Orderlique, Columbus (5:34.33); Girls 500 freestyle: Emily Neville, Northside (6:35.23); Boys 200 freestyle relay: Columbus Team A (1:41.96); Girls 200 freestyle relay: Columbus Team A (1:58.46); Boys 100 backstroke: Walton Bray, Columbus (1:00.29); Girls 100 backstroke: Jennifer Landry, Columbus (1:13.78); Boys 100 breaststroke: Mitchell Graham, Hardaway (1:09.16); Girls 100 breaststroke: Catherine Cavitt, Columbus (1:34.34); Boys 400 freestyle relay: Columbus Team A (3:37.67); Girls 400 freestyle relay: Columbus Team A (4:08.40)