Eagles take aim at third state title

Gwinnett's dominance of the state boys swimming and diving meet figures to be in decent shape.

Two of the top three contenders are Collins Hill and Parkview, who expect to battle the Chattahoochee boys for the Class AAAAA title. A boys team from Gwinnett has won the state crown in Georgia's biggest class since 2000, the first four by Parkview and the last two by Collins Hill.

The Eagles have a goal of winning a third straight boys crown, but their main competition may come from Parkview, which unseated Collins Hill as county champion two weeks ago. A strong diving corps - Jordan Horsley was third, Mark Brochey was fifth and Matt Buckley was seventh - gave Collins Hill a nice 42-point edge going into today's 1 p.m. swimming finals. Neither Chattahoochee or Parkview scored a point in diving.

Collins Hill also has some high-level swimmers, including two-time county champions Jared Robinson (50 and 100 freestyle) and Nat Emmett (200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke). The Eagles' 200 free relay of those two, Jordan Wacker and Owen Chikazawa set a county-meet record at 1 minute, 29.10 seconds.

But Parkview's 200 free relay was very close behind at 1:29.50. That relay, and the team standings, may be just as tight today.

The Panthers were led at county by Mason Ruffing, who won the 200 free and the 100 butterfly, and Matthew Odom, who took second in the 200 IM and tied Emmett for first in the 100 breast. Teammates Andrew Ruffing (second in the 100 fly) and Kyle Newhouse (second in the 500 free) also stood out at county for Parkview, which won two county relay titles and did well in Thursday's preliminaries at the state meet.

Brookwood, Parkview, Collins Hill and North Gwinnett all finished high at county in the girls team standings. North was Gwinnett's top girls finisher last year in seventh place, one spot ahead of Collins Hill.