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Dawson County swimmers showcase skills at Savannah meet
DCHS Swimming
Senior Matthew Wood swims the first leg of the Boys 400-yard freestyle relay on Nov. 9 at the Double Dual swim meet in Cumming. - photo by Bob Christian

The Dawson County swim team traveled to Savannah on Friday, Jan.24 to participate in the Savannah Country Day Invitational Swim Meet hosted by the Savannah Country Day School. 

The Invitational featured over 300 swimmers from 20 schools hailing from all four corners of Georgia and was by far-and-away the largest event the Tigers have participated in this season.

“This was the biggest meet for us this year. It was a great experience,” Head Coach Linda Sperin said. “We knew going in that this meet was out of our league but we had great team bonding time.”

With some of the 22 events featuring close to 100 swimmers the Tigers often found themselves lost in the shuffle, but as the day moved on the team’s strengths began to shine through.

State qualifier Matthew Wood continued to demonstrate his capabilities in both the 100-yard butterfly and the 50-yard freestyle, turning a pair of personal best times that resulted in the two highest finishes for the Tigers in the competition.

With a time of 57.39, Wood captured second-place in the butterfly event, finishing a full 2.65 seconds ahead of the third-place swimmer out of Camden County.

In his freestyle swim, Wood outpaced 67 competitors with a blistering 24.31 lap-time to snag a seventh-place finish in the largest event of the day.

Wood also served as the anchor swimmer for a tenth-place finish from the 200-yard freestyle relay team consisting of Ian Bliss, Trystan Morris and Gracjan Jezerski.

The future of Lady Tigers swimming was on display throughout the meet but nowhere more so than the 50-yard freestyle where five members of the team finished in the upper brackets of a field consisting of more than 100 athletes.

Senior Kara Starr led the way with her personal best time of 30.47, followed by sophomores Ayla Miller, Ainsley Allen and Ella Siuta. Junior June Harmon rounded out the pack.

For Siuta, the race marked her first competitive swim of the 2019-2020 season as she has been recovering from a leg injury sustained over the summer with her travel basketball team.

The team spent Saturday exploring downtown Savannah before boarding the bus to head back to Dawson County.

The Tigers will wrap up the season in with three meets during the week starting with a tri-meet in Calhoun on Jan. 28. From there the team will remain on the road for another tri-meet in Adairsville on Thursday, Jan. 30, and will finally end the season with an all-relay meet in Marietta on Saturday, Feb. 1.