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Mill Creek edges Broncos for first county title

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

NORCROSS -- This was nothing new for Rick Creed.

The Mill Creek swimming and diving coach won 16 county championships during his long tenure at Parkview, but he didn't have a title yet for his new program. Until Saturday night.

Creed's Mill Creek girls won the meet-ending 400 freestyle relay to win their first county title in a thriller with defending champion Brookwood, which had won six straight county titles and 10 of 11.

"Our kids really stepped it up," Creed said. "They have come together so well this year. They've worked extremely hard. It's the best team chemistry we've ever had.

"We're real happy for these kids. For many of them it's their first taste of success. You ask many of them if they've ever been on a championship team and they say no. So this is the first championship many of them have ever won."

The final margin was razor thin, with Mill Creek scoring 1,037 points to Brookwood's 1,033. The Hawks needed to win the meet-ending 400 free relay and they did, with Sommers Creed, Samantha Akoubian, Frederique Lefebvre and Rachael Dudley touching the wall in 3 minutes, 35.05 seconds.

It was the second county relay title for Mill Creek, which won the 200 medley in 1:48.25 behind Lefebvre, Katie Evans, Dudley and Creed.

But the last one was the clincher.

"We needed that relay," Creed said. "I didn't know it though."

Mill Creek had plenty of individual success, too.

Dudley won her second straight county title in the 100 butterfly (56.16) and added a victory in the 100 backstroke (57.59). Lefebvre won the 200 individual medley (2:08.56) and was third in the 500 free.

Creed remained perfect in the 500 free at county, winning her third straight Gwinnett title in the race with a time of 4:55.43. She also was second in the 200 free behind North Gwinnett's Caroline Kenney, a double-winner again.

Evans added a runner-up finish in the 100 breast for the Hawks.

Brookwood's hopes took a huge hit in the first race when Meghan Faulkner injured her elbow in the relay. She fought through the pain to take third in the 200 IM, but then was shut down for the meet. It cost the Broncos her spot on a relay, in addition to her participation in the A final of the 100 breaststroke.

Brookwood still won the 200 freestyle relay in 1:39.36 with Carly Egan, Morgan Duncan, Anna Springer and Kelsey Gouge. Gouge repeated as county champion in the 50 free (23.94) and was runner-up to Kenney in the 100 free.

Kenney joined Dudley as a double-winner, taking first in the 200 free in 1:50.44 and the 100 free in 51.20, the exact time she swam in winning county last season. She also swept the 100 and 200 free races a year ago. Her North teammate Allison Carr won the 100 breaststroke (1:04.83) and was second in the 200 IM.

The Bulldogs were fourth in the girls meet, just behind Parkview. Collins Hill was fifth.

Archer's Lydia Jones set a high standard for her first-year team, finishing second in the 100 fly and the 50 free.

Duluth's Hailey White was second in the 500 free and third in the 200 free, while Peachtree Ridge's Christina Wang was second in the 100 back.

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