The challenge continues to be not so challenging for Gwinnett County's swimmers and divers.
Gwinnett won the sixth annual Cobb-Gwinnett Challenge for the sixth straight year over the weekend by a considerable margin, 9,300.5 to 8,112.5. The meet was contested at three different sites this past Friday and Saturday.
Peachtree Ridge wasn't able to compete in the meet because of the Lions' involvement in the football state championship game, but Gwinnett still won easily despite the points lost by Peachtree Ridge's withdrawal.
The 1,188-point winning margin was comparable to last year's competition, but much bigger than in 2004, when Cobb closed the gap to 250 points.
"Once again, the first two divisions were the difference," said Duluth coach Jim Reason, who organizes the meet with his brother, Kennesaw Mountain coach David Reason. "Me and my brother talk every year and it's always the same. We feel like it will be close in those (top) two divisions, but it never is."
Parkview and Collins Hill teamed up win Division I with 2,444 points to the 1,939 posted by Cobb's Walton and Lassiter. In Division II, Brookwood and North Gwinnett won by a gigantic 2,610.5-1,853.5 margin over Pope and Harrison.
Mill Creek and Norcross gave Gwinnett a win in Division III and Duluth nearly won Division IV by itself despite swimming short-handed against two Cobb teams because of the absence of Peachtree Ridge. Grayson and Shiloh provided Gwinnett's other win in Division V.
The individual team champions by division were: Parkview (Division I), Brookwood (II), Mill Creek (III), Duluth (IV) and Grayson (V).
"(The meet's) a great source of pride for Gwinnett," Jim Reason said. "It's great to see county coaches calling each other, checking on each other and going to meets that aren't even their own to see how the county's doing."
Olnhausen sets school record
Norcross sophomore Heidi Olnhausen placed second in the six-diving competition at the Cobb-Gwinnett Challenge and set a new school record with 237.40 points.
The Blue Devils also got victories from Scott Aron in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle and Scott Sternad in the 50 free. Sean Bagent (100 free, 100 butterfly) and Kevin Spiwak (200 individual medley, 100 backstroke) added two runner-up finishes each.
Norcross also won two relays, including a school-record time in the 400 free relay by Sternad, Bagent, Spiwak and Aron.
Duluth dominates division
Duluth dominated its division in the Cobb-Gwinnett Challenge with 541 points to Kell's 364 and McEachern's 210. The loss of Peachtree Ridge in this division gave Cobb's Kell and McEachern a slight point edge in Division IV, but Duluth nearly matched those two schools by itself.
The Wildcats got boys victories from Jeremy Eaves (200 free, 1 minute, 57.64 seconds), Nick Lauinger (diving, 152.00) and Brian Reed (500 free, 5:18.18).
Girls winners for Duluth were Anita Patrick (200 free, 2:15.03 and 50 free, 26.84), Lenora Bryant (100 fly, 1:05.00), Sara Haliburton (diving, 194.00), Stephanie Ottimo (100 free, 59.75) and Hailey White (500 free, 5:08.75 and 100 back, 1:00.68).
Mill Creek rolls in Division III
Mill Creek won its division in the Cobb-Gwinnett Challenge for the third year in a row on Saturday, taking Division III over Kennesaw Mountain.
The Hawks had 693 points in boys competition and Kennesaw Mountain was second at 601. They won the girls side 714-699 over Kennesaw.
Jordan Evans (100 fly), Marlie Creed (200 free), Kevin Doran (200 IM), Matt Turnblom (100 fly) and the 200 free relay of Stephanie Doran, Creed, Caroline Roloff and Evans all set school records.
The girls winners for Mill Creek included Evans, who won the 100 fly (58.42) and edged Sprayberry's Kristine Polley in the 200 IM (2:08.09) as both swimmers just missed All-American times.
The Hawks' boys winners were: Turnblom (100 fly, 55.83) and John Petronaci (100 free, 51.76).