Special Photo Mill Creek grad Stephanie Doran, a junior at Florida Southern, swept the backstroke titles at last weekend's Sunshine State Conference Swimming Championships. She is one of five former Gwinnett swimmers at the NCAA Division II school.
Not all of them took a direct path, but a small group of former Gwinnett swimmers have found their way to Florida Southern College, an NCAA Division II school in Lakeland.
The former SwimAtlanta teammates also are having pretty good success there.
Local products Stephanie Doran (Mill Creek), Stephen Swan (Brookwood), Bruce Janzen (Collins Hill), Robbie Swan (Brookwood) and Thomas Nguyen (Brookwood) all posted high finishes at last weekend's Sunshine State Conference Swimming Championships. The team also includes Peachtree Ridge grad Brad Faxon and Duluth grad Paul Leddon, and the Moccasins also have signed Brookwood senior Kelsey Gouge for next season.
Doran was one of the top performers at the conference meet with first-place finishes in the 100-yard (56.49 seconds) and 200-yard (2:00.98) backstroke. A transfer from two-year Indian River State College (Fla.), the junior swam on meet-record 200 freestyle and 400 medley relays, as well as on a school-record 800 free relay that finished second. She was an All-American last season for her junior college national championship team.
Stephen Swan, a transfer from Georgia, won the SSC title in the 200 free with a meet record time of 1:37.97, also an automatic NCAA cut. He was fourth in the 100 free (45.32) and was on three meet-record relays, one with his brother Robbie, who had a third-place finish in the 100 free (45.30) himself. Robbie was an All-American last season for Indian River State College's national championship team.
Janzen, a Collins Hill grad who is a six-time All-American in his first two seasons at FSC, won the 200 butterfly in a school-record time of 1:49.12 and was third in the 100 fly. Nguyen was fourth in both the 100 back and 200 back.
In the same conference meet, Tampa's Kevin Doran, Stephanie's brother and also a Mill Creek grad, was third in the 100 breaststroke and fourth in the 200 breast.
Those local products weren't the only ones excelling at conference meets last weekend. Here's a look at a few more:
• SEC Championships
Georgia junior Jana Mangimelli was one of the standouts at the conference meet with a trio of top-four finishes in individual events, helping the Bulldogs to their third straight SEC title.
The Brookwood grad was third in the 200 breast (2:09.95), third in the 200 individual medley (1:55.99) and fourth in the 400 IM (4:09.21).
UGA teammate Will Freeman, a Greater Atlanta Christian grad, placed fifth in the 1,650 free (15:05.33).
UGA's John Simmons, a freshman from Peachtree Ridge, was a second-team All-SEC selection following the meet.
• ACC Championships
North Gwinnett grad Caroline Kenney helped her Virginia team to its fifth straight ACC crown last weekend.
The sophomore swam on a first-place 800 free relay, was third in the 100 back (1:55.53) and placed seventh in the 500 free (4:50.29).
Mill Creek's Jordan Evans, a senior at Georgia Tech, was seventh in the 100 fly (54.26).
Buck named conference player of the year
Collins Hill grad Reed Buck, a sophomore at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, was named the Landmark Conference Player of the Year on Friday.
The forward averages 20.6 points and makes 51.1 percent of his field goals. He's also an 82.9 percent free-throw shooter.
Buck was the only sophomore on the six-player, All-Landmark first team that included three seniors and two juniors.
Wiedeman still playing well
Trent Wiedeman, a 6-foot-8 sophomore from Greater Atlanta Christian, had 18 points on 8-for-13 shooting as the College of Charleston defeated visiting Georgia Southern 58-53 on Thursday night, snapping the Eagles' six-game winning streak. It was his sixth straight double-figure scoring game and the sixth time he has led the Cougars in scoring this season.
Wiedeman had 14 points and 13 rebounds in the Cougars' previous game, an ESPN Bracket Buster win over Kent State. He is averaging 12 points and a team-best 8.8 rebounds. College of Charleston is 18-11 overall and 9-8 in the Southern Conference as coach Bobby Cremins continues his leave of absence due to health reasons.
Wiedeman, who helped lead GAC to the Class AA state title in 2010, averaged 8.8 points and a team-best 6.6 rebounds as a freshman last season.
Carroll shining at Belmont
Belmont freshman Katie Carroll, a four-year starter at Parkview, played all 40 minutes and had five points, three assists and no turnovers in her return to Georgia as the Bruins defeated Kennesaw State 58-53 on Thursday night.
Belmont, which improved to 11-6 in the Atlantic Sun and 12-16 overall, plays at Mercer today to conclude the regular season. The conference tournament is next week.
Carroll, who is second in career scoring at Parkview with 1,465 points, moved into the starting lineup before Christmas and is averaging 4.9 points in A-Sun games while becoming the team's defensive stopper. She has scored in double figures four times, with a high of 13 points against East Tennessee State.
Nolan contributing for Georgia State
Duluth graduate Kayla Nolan has been in and out of the Georgia State starting lineup as a freshman and led the Panthers with nine points in a recent loss to nationally ranked Delaware.
Nolan is averaging 4.1 points and has started 16 games. Georgia State, 7-20 overall and 1-15 in the Colonial Athletic Association, plays its final home game Sunday against William and Mary at 2 p.m.
Eck gets league honor
Wofford sophomore pitcher Eric Eck, a Buford grad, was named the Southern Conference Pitcher of the Week on Monday.
The right-hander entered in the seventh inning of last weekend's win over Dayton with runners on the corners, and promptly recorded a strikeout to end the threat. He followed that with four more scoreless innings of relief to earn the win. He stuck out seven of the 14 batters he faced, recording five of the strikeouts looking.
Farris stars in Marshall debut
Collins Hill grad A.J. Farris had a huge first weekend for the Marshall baseball team.
The freshman outfielder was 5-for-9 (.556 average) with a double and five RBIs in two starts for the Thundering Herd, which went 1-2 on the weekend.
Coan pitcher of week again
North Georgia pitcher Jessica Coan was named the Peach Belt Conference pitcher of the week on Tuesday, earning the honor for the second straight week.
The senior from Greater Atlanta Christian has a 0.16 ERA in 43 innings this season, with a Peach Belt-best 67 strikeouts. She threw a no-hitter with 10 strikeouts last week in a victory over Mars Hill.
Gwinnett Grads is a column that runs on Saturdays spotlighting achievements of past Gwinnett standouts. Coaches and parents are urged to send suggestions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.