State titles finish off Swan's perfect season

Over a month after its completion, Stephen Swan still struggled to think of ways how his senior season could have been any better.

It's easy to see why.

The Brookwood senior won Class AAAAA championships in all four of his events at the state meet, and his team won its first state title. His 100 and 200 freestyle times both set all-time county records.

"I wish I could come back next year and do it again," said Swan, the Daily Post's boys swimmer of the year. "But I guess it's still a great way to end your senior season."

Swan and the Broncos fell short of their state title expectations at the 2007 meet, and he felt he didn't swim his best there - he was recovering from a severe leg injury in the months leading up to state. With that in mind, he and his teammates wanted a team state championship, Brookwood's first in boys swimming and diving, this season.

The Broncos' senior captain certainly did his part.

"As impressive as he was throughout the season it was at the important meets (at county and state) that he really shined," Brookwood coach Greg Puckett said. "His performances probably shocked a lot of people including myself to some degree. I had confidence that he would do well at these meets, but he went above and beyond my expectations."

Above and beyond started at the county meet. He set meet records in the 100 and 200 freestyle, just a precursor of even better things at the state meet.

He won AAAAA state titles in the 100 free in 45.89 seconds and the 200 free in 1:39.57, both all-time county records and automatic All-American times. The latter broke a record set in 1991 by Shiloh's Clay Tippins. Both his 100 and 200 free times at state were the fourth-fastest ever in the more than 70 years of the Georgia high school state meet.

Swan also swam on state champion 200 and 400 free relay teams. His anchor leg on the 400 free relay was 45.27, particularly impressive since no swimmer in Brookwood history had swan an 100 free leg in under 46.00.

"I had coaches and parents from other teams later tell me how impressive and intimidating that performance had been," Puckett said.

Swan - who is considering college swimming offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech, N.C. State and California-Santa Barbara - was just happy to be healthy this year after a rough injury hampered his junior season.

He took full advantage of the health to post the most impressive senior season of any Brookwood boys swimmer.

"I'm really happy with it, I thought we had a great season," Swan said. "Our whole focus was on the state meet. We wanted to win it all."

SideBar: All County Swimming

Boys Swimmer/Diver of the Year: Stephen Swan, Brookwood, Sr.

State, county champion in 100 free and 200 free; broke county records in both events

Boys Coach of the Year: Greg Puckett, Brookwood

Led boys team to first Class AAAAA state title, girls took second

Boys Team

Sean Bagent, Norcross, Jr.

Third at state in 500 free, sixth at state in 200 free

Chris Barnidge, Parkview, Sr.

County champ, seventh at state in 50 free

Cameron Cowgill, Mill Creek, Fr.

Third in state diving; county champion with county-record score

Andrew Feeney, Norcross, Jr.

Second at state, county in 100 breast

Tommy King, Peachtree Ridge, Jr.

Second at state, county in 100 free, 200 free

Zach Lopez, Brookwood, Sr.

State, county champion in 100 breast, third at state in 200 IM

Danny Nguyen, Brookwood, Jr.

Fifth at state in 100 fly, county champ in 200 IM

Andrew Ruffing, Parkview, Jr.

State, county champ in 100 back, second at state in 100 fly with state, county record

Conor Sweeney, Brookwood, Soph.

Second at state, county in 500 free

Zach Tillman, Mill Creek, Sr.

State, county champ in 500 free, third at state in 200 free