The Georgia Recreation and Parks Association B/C District III Swim Meet was held in Tifton last week. Teams from all over southwest Georgia vied for a coveted spot in this weekend’s GRPA State Swim Meet, also in Tifton at the Baldwin Drive Aquatic Center.
Thomasville Y swimmers represented the Rose City in sterling fashion. Twenty-four of 26 swimmers qualified for the state meet. This is the second straight year the Thomasville Y has sent more than 20 swimmers to the state meet, an indication of how hard the swimmers and coaches have worked. Many of the swimmers practice year round in order to have the chance to stand on the podium at state.
Increasingly, swimming at the local Y has become a family affair with sibling rivalries and coaches’ kids accounting for more than half the total swimmers qualifying for state.
Coach Jill Tabacchi’s son, Sam, posted two first-place finishes at district and will be seeded second and fourth in his two individual events. Sam’s sister, Caitlyn, is a standout swimmer at Thomasville High School and a past state qualifier.
Assistant coach Suzie Scharff has four swimmers in the meet. Her oldest daughter, Katie, qualified for the second year in a row, along with younger siblings Judson, Lydia and Maggie.
Scott and Deborah Barrett have the most qualifiers from one family with five. Sisters Jordan, Peyton, Avery, Savannah and Taylor will be swimming in a combined 12 state events.
Wes and Tonya Davis, parents of two of the most dominant GRPA swimmers in recent memory, will be forced to split duty with their children swimming in different locations. Their son, Ryan, qualified for USA Swimming’s Senior Championships this week in Fort Pierce, Fla., and will have to cheer long distance for his little sister, Maggie, who is the top seed in the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard IM.
Not to be outdone, Meredith Renaud and her little sister Amanda will also be competing this week in Tifton. Meredith is seeded first and second in her events.
Coaches Tabacchi and Scharff are proud of all their swimmers and appreciate the support of the Thomasville Y and the local community.
They said in agreement, “We have a great relationship with the Y! With the facilities we have here, the dedication of the parents, the hard work of the swimmers and the support of our local community, it really makes us proud to see them so well rewarded for all their hard work.”