Swim Dogs honor seniors in final home set

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It’s never easy to say good-bye to those seniors who have put their heart and soul into a sport they love.  Every year every team watches as those special individuals walk through the door of graduation and move on to the next level.  The Morgan County High School swim team did just that this past Thursday as they said their farewell at the senior recognition ceremony to eight seniors.  They are Grace Alexander, Anna Beth Barber, Lauren Bone, Lily Courchaine, Emily Dickson, Emma Hughes, and Natalie Smith on the girls’ team and only one male, Brant Kiepper, from the boys’ team.

Below is a thumbnail sketch of each swimmer that was read by the coaches at the ceremony.

Grace Alexander has been with the Swim Dogs for the past two years. She transferred to MCHS from Norcross where she began her high school swimming experience. Grace has been a member of MCHS’s state team for the past two years. After graduation she plans to attend Georgia College and State University.

Anna Beth Barber has swum for MCHS all four of her high school years. Post-graduation, she plans to attend UGA and study Animal Sciences with intent to go to veterinary school.

Lauren Bone has also swum for MCHS all four years in high school. She has been a member of MCHS’s state team for the past three years. After graduation Lauren plans to attend West Georgia with a major in Architecture and specialize in Interior Design.

Lily Courchaine is another of our four year members of the Swim Dogs. She has also been a member of the MCHS state team for the past four years. After graduation she plans to attend UGA or Georgia State University and study Music Business.

Emily Dickson joined the Swim Dogs this year. Her post-secondary plans are to attend UGA and major in Atmospheric Science.

Emma Hughes also joined the Swim Dogs during her senior year. After graduation she plans to attend UGA or Georgia College and major in Music Education.

Natalie Smith is another of our four year Swim Dog members. She has been on the MCHS state team for the past two years. After graduating, she plans to attend Georgia College and State University and major in Marketing.

Brant Kiepper has swum for MCHS for the past three years. His post-graduation plans are to attend University of North Georgia, Dahlonega on the Georgia military scholarship and major in English with the intent to become an officer in the US Army.

The weather did not cooperate on the day of the event with schools unable to attend due to the treacherous driving conditions across the state.  The only two competitors ended up being Morgan County and Social Circle with the Social Circle girls winning with 665 points over Morgan’s 529.  The boys fared a little better and came with a 317-274 win.  The total score went to the Redskins in a close meet 939-846.

Highlights for Morgan County included:

1st Place Finishes:

Boys 200 Yard Medley Relay: John Cardwell, John Degonia, Will Paschal, Brant Kieper  2:00.97  40 points

Boys 200 Yard Freestyle: John Cardwell  2:14.90  20 points

Girls 200 Yard Freestyle: Lily Courchaine  2:08.85  20 points

Boys 200 Yard IM:  John Degonia  2:26.37  20 points

Girls 200 Yard IM:  Natalie Rogers  2:40.88  20 points

Boys 100 Yard Freestyle:  John Cardwell  59.19  20 points

Girls 100 Yard Freestyle:  Lily Courchaine  59.96  20 points

Girls 500 Yard Freestyle:  Ashley Bryan 7:02.68  20 points

Boys 100 Yard Backstroke:  Aric Hartman  1:21.75  20 points

Boys 100 Yard Breaststroke:  John Degonia  1:17.37 20 points

Boys 400 Yard Freestyle Relay:  John Cardwell, Will Paschal, Brant Kiepper, John Degonia  4:03.29  40 points

Girls 400 Yard Freestyle Relay:  Lily Courchaine, Natalie Rogers, Natalie Smith, Grace Alexander  4:24.61   40 points

The Dogs and Lady Dogs are gearing up for their final regular season meet Saturday at the Cumming Aquatic Center before competing in the Georgia High School State Swimming and Diving Championships.  The final event of the season will be held at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center February 2 and 3.

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