HAMMOCK: Views from the pool

The Class AAAAA swimming finals typically begin at 1 p.m. on a Saturday, leaving me ample time to cover the multitude of happenings and state championships involving Gwinnett's high school swimmers.

This year's switch to a 6 p.m. start brought more of a time crunch on deadline, leaving fellow reporter Christine Troyke and I in more of a rush to get as much as we could in the Wednesday edition. We did a good job of that, though there are always other interesting items that don't get their way in right away.

Here are some of those and my other thoughts on Tuesday night's state championships at Westminster:

* Kudos to the Brookwood boys for staying the course after a relay disqualification to open the meet. They didn't panic and stuck to the plan, resulting in their third straight AAAAA title.

* That title continued Gwinnett's domination in AAAAA boys swimming and diving. County teams have won every boys title in Georgia's largest classification since 2000, winning 15 boys championships since 1992, an overlooked accomplishment. Just think of the reaction statewide if Gwinnett ever went on a championship streak like that in a major sport like football or baseball.

* The next state championship may go to the Peachtree Ridge boys in 2011. Sporting a state lineup of only four junior swimmers and one junior diver, the Lions won two relay titles and racked up enough points for a second-place finish. With only four swimmers, that's unreal. Luke Upchurch led the way, taking first in all four of his races.

* The Lions' Bryce BeVier is a character, but he needs to ditch the pink tiger-print suit.

* The Mill Creek girls continue to be an emerging power, earning a trophy for third-place in AAAAA. Look for bigger things in the next few years under veteran coach Rick Creed.

* North Gwinnett's Caroline Kenney finished her career with two more titles, solidifying her spot as one of the county's best freestylers ever.

* Brookwood's girls fell short of their runner-up finishes of the past few years, but it's tough to overcome the graduation of star Jana Mangimelli and the injury to Meghan Faulkner, one of the Broncos' top swimmers.

* Few people in the crowd probably took notice of Grayson's 16th-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay. But just being there meant a lot to Rams senior Kristen Clark, who bounced back from a terrible summer car accident to swim again.

Will Hammock can be reached via e-mail at will.hammock@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Thursdays.