Viking Swimmers Excel in County, Advance to State

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Viking Swimmers Excel in County, Advance to State

Abby Collins, Staff Writer

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Every individual who entered the Y.M.C.A’s aquatic center last Wednesday night could sense that the dense, chlorinated air was thick with ambitious energy. Once a year, the swim teams of Coweta County converge to face one another, creating the fiercest competition of them all. It was that time again; for the Northgate High School swimmers, they knew they must prepare to give 100% to each event. In 2018, the Vikings stole an unexpected victory over Newnan High School and East Coweta High School. However, throughout the 2019 season, the East Coweta Indians dominated each meet, so it was difficult to determine which team would swim to the top.

Despite the immense pressure, the Northgate Vikings swam their fastest throughout the meet and accomplished many outstanding achievements. As a whole, the team fell short to East Coweta in a close battle; however, many of Northgate’s swimmers exited the aquatic center feeling like champions. The Lady Vikings consistently earned high points for all of their events through countless top finishes, which ultimately led them to victory. The news that the girls had taken the first place title was exhilarating; most stated that they did not expect to surpass the powerful Indians.

Lady Vikings Jade Takvorian, Ashley Bratcher, Skylar Reifschneider, and Jenna Webb also achieved an incredible breakthrough- qualifying for the GHSA state meet in their 200 yard freestyle relay. From the very first meet of the season, these hardworking swimmers continually finished just shy of the state qualifying time, 1:53.00. Frustration grew as the season progressed; the girls’ time was running out, and they still missed the cut each time, sometimes by a few tenths of a second. However, on this particular night, the girls seized their very last opportunity and demolished the qualification. The relay’s anchor, freshman Jade Takvorian, stopped the timer at 1:51.47, almost two seconds faster than normal. She described what she called one of her proudest moments, “It was an unreal experience… Nothing was more rewarding than finally seeing that qualifying time in our last meet… Working towards the relay required a lot of time, work, pain, and effort… It was really hard to force ourselves to work hard without knowing the possible outcomes, which could have been disappointing, but we put ourselves through it, and it paid off.” Jade also expressed her gratitude and pride for the work of her other teammates, Skylar, Ashley, and Jenna.

Next Friday, February 8th, this phenomenal relay and Northgate’s record-holding athlete, T.J. Pittenger, will compete in the GHSA Swimming and Diving State Championships. This meet will take place in the former Olympic Games pool at Georgia Tech among Georgia’s best swimmers. With all of this being said, it is safe to say that the Vikings went out with a huge splash this season. Titles were earned, records were broken, and most importantly, unforgettable memories were made.

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Viking Swimmers Excel in County, Advance to State