SGSC swimming captures Region 17 Championship

In just their fourth year of existence, South Georgia State College’s men’s and women’s swim teams added another notch to their belts this past weekend in Albany by winning their respective GCAA Region 17 Championships against rival Darton State College.

Despite both the men’s and women’s teams spotting Darton 26 points in the diving competition, both teams overcame their deficits to win. The men’s team did so in dramatic fashion, winning the final relay of the day to edge Darton by a score of 155-151. The women’s team handled their tasks much easier, besting the Cavaliers, 176-121.

“Even without us earning any diving points, I felt like our women would be okay.  For our men to overcome the 26 points is amazing,” commented head coach CM Jenkins. “We won several races we were not seeded to win, and that is a testament to the desire and will of our team to capture their first region title. This is a huge step for our young program.”

The Hawks swimmers won a collective 16 individual region events on the day. Winning four events each and earning Region MVP awards were Kelsey Taliaferro for the women’s team and Christian Marchione for the men’s team.  Taliaferro won both the 200 and 400 individual medley races as well as the 100 and 200 breaststroke events. She also set a new school record in the 200 IM.  Marchione led the men by winning the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle races and also the 100 butterfly.

Freshman Bonnie Brown won three events, earning Region honors in the 100 and 200 backstroke and the 50 free. Ryan Hinojosa earned two region crowns in the 200 and 400 IM events, besting his school record in the 200 IM to 1:57.9. Sophomore Johannes Johnston won both the 100 and 200 breaststroke events, while Laura Tanzey won the 200 freestyle for the women.  Also setting a new school record was Clara Moody in the 200 fly with a time of 2:20.3.

SGSC was a perfect 4-for-4 in the relay events. The relay team of Taliaferro, Brown, Moody and Leeanne Bagaoisan took first in the 200 medley event, while Brown, Moody, Bagaoisan and Ariel Pillipow won the 400 freestyle relay. For the men, Marchione, Johnston, Ben Marshall and Andrew Maley won the 200 medley, and Marchione, Hinojosa, Daniel Hogan and Amir Munajj won the 400 free relay.

The Hawks will now focus on the NJCAA National Tournament, which will be held in Ft. Pierce, Fla., March 5-9.  Both teams have a great opportunity to finish in the top three at the National Tournament.


TOP PHOTO: Christian Marchione of Atlanta captured MVP honors at the GCAA Region 17 Swimming and Diving Championships Feb. 15 in Albany, Ga.

BOTTOM PHOTO: Kelsey Taliaferro of Newnan captured MVP honors at the GCAA Region 17 Swimming and Diving Championships.