The Tift County Blue Devil and Lady Devil swim teams began their season Wednesday at home with dual meets against Coffee and Lowndes.
It was a strong start to the season as the Tift County teams got sweeps in both events
The Blue Devils defeated Lowndes, 233.00-112.00, and Coffee, 213.00-174.00. The Lady Devils got a 236.00-142.00 win over Lowndes, and a 244.00-139.00 triumph over Coffee.
It was a good start for the Lady Devils, last year’s region champs, and for the Devils it was an even greater start as Coffee won the region last year over Tift, and Tift had lost three state qualifiers.
Tift also qualified for the state meet in four different races. That event will be February at Georgia Tech.
Those swimmers are Benjamin Deen in the boys 50 freestyle with a time of 23.13; Mary Shoup, Madi Honeycutt, AnnaLee Atwater and SK Bowen in the girls 200 medley relay with a time of 2:06.57; JP Short, Will Byers, Hunter Cross, and Deen in the boys 200 medley relay with a time of 1:50.53; and Deen, Connor Jacobson, Short and Cross in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:37.54.
There were 12 first place finishers for Tift in the 22 events Wednesday. Tift also four 1-2 finishes, and two events where they swept the finishes.
Atwater won the 200 freestyle and 100 freestyle, Hank McElroy won the 200 freestyle, Katelyn Seymour won the 200 IM, Bowen won the 50 free, Cross won the 500 free, Shoup won the 500 freestyle and the 100 backstroke, the team of Bowen, Madeline Strickland, Kendal King and Seymour won the 200 free relay, the team of Jacobson, Noah Daniel, McElroy and Dylan Holloway won the 400 free relay and Shoup, Atwater, Seymour and King won the 400 free relay.
Alek Smith (200 free), Deen (50 free and 100 free), Cross (100 butterfly), King (50 free), Seymour (100 back) and McElroy (500 free) were Tift’s individual runners-up. The relay teams of Liz Mann, Honeycutt, Johnson and Strickland; Deen, Cross, Jacobson and Short; and Deen, Cross, Short and Will Byers were relay runners-up.
Tift will be at the Camden Invitational Saturday.