High School Sports

Columbus area swimmers win medals at state championships

Brookstone senior Hannah Mattson poses with one of her two second-place medals at the Georgia High School Association swimming and diving state championships Feb. 9 at Georgia Tech.
Brookstone senior Hannah Mattson poses with one of her two second-place medals at the Georgia High School Association swimming and diving state championships Feb. 9 at Georgia Tech. Courtesy of David Cowser

Two local student athletes finished second in their events, and one local team finished third in its classification, to highlight the Columbus area results from the 2019 Georgia High School Association swimming and diving state championships.

In Class 1A-3A, Brookstone senior Hannah Mattson won silver medals in two events: the 200-yard freestyle (1:50.14) and the 100 freestyle (51.10).

In Class 4A-5A, Columbus junior Katie Jordan won a silver medal in the 500 freestyle (5:04.24) and finished fourth in the 200 freestyle (1:55.61).

In the team standings, the Columbus Blue Devils were the highest local finisher, taking third in the Class 4A-5A girls competition with 255 points — oh-so close to second-place St. Pius (256) and first-place Chamblee (262).

The Harris County girls finished 50th out of the 58 Class 4A-5A girls teams that scored points. The Columbus boys finished 41st and the Harris County boys 47th out of the 68 Class 4A-5A boys teams that scored points.

Mattson, who has signed with Auburn, completed a remarkable high school swimming career.

As a freshman, she was named the Ledger-Enquirer’s All-Bi-City Girls Swimmer of the Year after setting region meet records in the 200 individual medley and the 500 freestyle, then placing 11th in the 200 freestyle and ninth in the 100 butterfly at the state meet.

As a sophomore, she repeated as the All-Bi-City Girls Swimmer of the Year after finishing second in the 200 freestyle and the 100 freestyle.

As a junior, she became a three-time All-Bi-City Girls Swimmer of the Year after finishing first in the 100 freestyle and second in the 200 freestyle.-

This year’s All-Bi-City Swimming Team hasn’t been decided yet.

Other standouts

Other standout local performances at the state meet in the McAuley Aquatic Center at Georgia Tech were:

Columbus girls (junior Madigan Starr, freshman Catherine Kennedy, junior Katheryn Livingston and senior Kaleigh Feger) finished fourth in the 200 medley relay (1:51.32).

Columbus girls (Jordan, Livingston, freshman Macy Sanders and Starr) finished fourth in the 400 freestyle relay (3:40.66).

Columbus girls (Feger, junior Lindsey Conroy, Sanders and Jordan) finished fifth in the 200 freestyle relay (1:42.50).

Also scoring points for the Columbus girls were:

Starr sixth in 200 individual medley (2:12.38) and eighth in 100 backstroke (58.94).

Sanders seventh in 500 freestyle (5:29.49) and 13th in 100 butterfly (1:01.78).

Livingston 10th in 100 butterfly (1:00.63) and 10th in 500 freestyle (5:45.50).

Feger 11th in 50 freestyle (25.87).

Kennedy 14th in 100 butterfly (1:02.50) and 14th in 100 breaststroke (1:11.90).

▪ Conroy 15th in 100 breaststroke (1:12.50).

Susan Jiang, a freshman, 18th in 100 backstroke (1:03.53).

Columbus boys

Columbus junior Fabrizzio Orderique is the only local boy who scored individual points in the state meet. He finished 11th in the 100 butterfly (54.73) and 11th in the 500 freestyle (4:58.32).

Orderique also helped the Columbus boys score points in the 400 freestyle relay, anchoring the lineup of sophomore Will Beatty, sophomore Madison Park and junior Matthew Woods. They finished in 14th (3:31.05).

Brookstone girls

Mattson also helped the Brookstone girls finish 12th in the 200 freestyle relay (1:47.08), along junior Ashley Lewis, junior Ada Bickerstaff and sophomore Rebecca Calhoun.

“I was extremely happy with my times from this weekend, and especially excited for our performance in the relay,” Mattson said. “All of us swam really well, and I’m just happy that I got to be a part of their state experience.”

Brookstone swimming coach David Cowser said, “I couldn’t be more proud of her performance. She is a phenomenal athlete and an extraordinary leader. She motivated and inspired the team to a great finish. We wouldn’t have the team we have if it wasn’t for Hannah’s presence on the team.”

Harris County

In the Class 4A-5A girls competition, Harris County sophomore Renae Mattson finished eighth in the 100 butterfly (59.78) and 11th in the 200 individual medley (2:17.20).

In the Class 4A-5A boys competition, Harris County freshman Aiden Best, sophomore Alex McKeown, sophomore Cameron Verdree and junior Joseph Porter finished 12th in the 400 freestyle relay (3:29.47). The same foursome also finished 16th in the 200 medley relay (1:45.97).

Mark Rice, 706-576-6272, @MarkRiceLE.

Ledger-Enquirer staff writer Mark Rice covers education and other issues related to youth. He also writes feature stories about any compelling topic. He has been reporting in Columbus and the Chattahoochee Valley for more than a quarter-century. He welcomes your local news tips and questions.


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