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Brookwood girls use depth to break county's title drought

Staff Photo: John Bohn The Brookwood girls swim team celebrates winning the girls Georgia Class AAAAA swim championships held Saturday at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.

Staff Photo: John Bohn The Brookwood girls swim team celebrates winning the girls Georgia Class AAAAA swim championships held Saturday at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn The Brookwood girls 400 yard relay team celebrates finishing in second place as well as winning the team title of the Georgia Class AAAAA swim finals held Saturday at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Brookwood's rachael Muller competes 500 yard freestyle event during the Georgia Class AAAAA swim finals held Saturday at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center. Brookwood won the girls overall title.

ATLANTA -- Brookwood managed just one individual first-place finisher in Saturday's Class AAAAA girls state swimming championships.

But the Broncos had something Saturday that no other competitor at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center could match.

Depth, and plenty of it.

The Broncos had four second-place finishes and two third to go along with Kelsey Gouge's victory in the 50-yard freestyle to roll up 226 points and cruise to the team championship over runner-up Lassiter (189 points) and third-place Parkview (176).

It was the first girls championship for Brookwood -- and for any Gwinnett school -- since the Broncos last won it in 2004.

"We didn't win a relay, but we were solid across the board," Brookwood coach Greg Puckett said. "Our group of seniors had been second to Lassiter three years. So, we finally got over that hump. We performed well."

While Gouge's win in a time of 23.41 seconds in the 50 free was the Broncos' only victory of the night, the relay teams were, in fact, solid across the board, as Puckett pointed out.

Gouge teamed with Morgan Duncan, Elizabeth Carreau and Evan Parker to take second in the 200 medley relay and teamed with Parker Becky Bass and Rachel Muller to finish runner up in the 400 free relay, while the 200 free relay team of Bass, Muller Duncan and Anna Jahns placed third.

Add in second-place finishes by Gouge in the 100 free and Muller in the 200 free, plus Muller's third-place showing in the 500 free, and it was more than enough for the Broncos to gallop their way to victory.

But they weren't the only Gwinnett team with big-time performances Saturday.

Parkview rode championships from Julianne Kurke in the 100 breaststroke, plus the 200 medley relay team of Kurke, Anna Tait, Megan Yang and Morgan Fleming in the 200 medley relay and Yang, Kurke, Fleming and Megan Reeves in the 200 free relay to a third-place finish.

Indivdiually, Mill Creek's Rachael Dudley had the biggest night of any individual swimmer, taking home state titles in the 100 butterfly (54.46 seconds) and 100 backstroke (55.39).

The win in the 100 fly was the third straight for the Hawks' senior, who met the championship with more relief than elation.

"It was really stressful," said Dudley, who will swim for the U.S. Naval Academy next year. "After I won sophomore year, I was like, 'Oh no. People are going to expect me to win it again junior year. Then I won junior year, and I was like ... 'I have to win it senior year.' So yes, I'm so happy we're done."

Dudley's state titles helped make Mill Creek one of five Gwinnett schools to crack the top 10 in the team standings, with the Hawks placing seventh with 152.5 points, just behind county rival Peachtree Ridge, which placed sixth at 167.5 points.

North Gwinnett rounded out the local top-10 contingent by placing ninth with 109 points.

Comments

Gary 2 years, 6 months ago

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THOSE INVOLVED IN THE NORTH GWINNETT HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS' SWIM AND DIVE TEAMS FOR DOING SO WELL IN THE STATE MEET! GO LADY BULLDOGS!

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