Todd Wilson thinks this might be the best bunch of swimmers he’s coached in his four-year tenure at Thomas County Central.
The Lady Yellow Jackets finished third in the 1-AAAAA swim meet last week at Darton College in Albany.
The Lady Yellow Jackets were led by the Barrett sisters: Avery, Jordan and Peyton, who each either earned or took part in a region title.
Among the individual champions were Kendall Salter (50 freestyle), Jordan Barrett (200 freestyle) and Avery Barrett (100 breaststroke). The four combined to win the 200 Medley relay.
“We’re in a tough, gritty ergion for swimming,” Wilson said. “ For hem to go up against the big dogs and swim the way they did, I’m very proud of them.”
The boys were also busy at the event.
Carlton Ogletree was the region-runner up in the 50 freestlye, and the boys combined 39 total team points, which was good for fifth.
Combined with the girls, Central placed third in the region with 149 total points.
Central, however, was just short of qualifying for the state meet in Atlanta.
The girls posted 153.18, which was just over the required 153 cutoff.
“They were just a hair off,” Wilson said, while noting that no Central player he can remember has ever qualified for state. “They’ve been chasing that all year long and came so close.”
What could be scary for competition next year is that Wilson thinks this team is just scratching the surface.
He assures that the girls will not only notch the required time but also be a force at the state level.
His confidence stems from the approach – his squad is fully committed to swimming through the offseason, which he said is vital for any chance to compete at the highest level.
“They’re getting faster every year. To be a top notch swimmer, you have to be in the water year-round,” Wilson said. “We’ve gotten better every single year. We’re getting to a point where I think we’ll be among the most competitve next year in our new region.”