SGSC swim team places third at nationals

South Georgia State College’s men’s and women’s swim teams have returned to campus with two, third-place finishes in the NJCAA Swimming and Diving Championships held last weekend in Ft. Pierce, Fla. Both teams placed solidly in third after Saturday night's events, topping previous best finishes of fifth for the men and sixth for the women.

Indian River State College’s men’s and women’s teams won the meet, while Iowa Lakes College’s women’s team finished second. Darton State College’s men’s team placed second on the strength of 111 points in the diving competition.

"We fell one spot short of our second-place goal, but with no diving points, third is a very big accomplishment for our student-athletes," commented head coach CM Jenkins.

The Hawks had a record-breaking meet, placing 28 swimmers on the podium for top 8 finishes and resetting 13 school records on the way to their bronze finish.  Leading the SGSC women with three top 8 finishes were Kelsey Taliaferro and Bonnie Brown. Brown was fifth in the 50 freestyle and 200 backstroke and sixth in the 100 backstroke. Taliaferro placed sixth in both the 400 individual medley and 200 breaststroke and seventh in the 200 individual medley.

On the men’s side, Ryan Hinojosa had a fifth-place finish in the 200 individual medley and 200 backstroke while placing sixth in the 400 individual medley. Christian Marchionne placed fifth in the 100 freestyle and seventh in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly.

Clara Moody and Johannes Johnston had two, fourth-place finishes and set school records in their events. Moody placed fourth in the 100 and 200 butterfly, while Johnston placed fourth in the 100 and 200 breaststroke. Also breaking a school record and placing fourth in the 200 breaststroke was Danny Hogan.  

SGSC had two relay teams finish second in the meet behind Indian River. The men’s 400 medley relay team of Marchionne, Johnston, Andrew Maley and Ben Marshall earned a runner-up finish. The women’s 200 freestyle relay team of Brown, Moody, Leeanne Bagaoisan and Ariel Pillipow also placed second.

“This meet was a true team effort.  Every one of our 24 swimmers placed and earned points in their individual events,” said Jenkins. “A record-breaking performance at nationals was a great way to end a fantastic season for our team."

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TOP PHOTO: South Georgia State College’s men’s and women’s swim teams celebrate their third-place finish on the podium at the NJCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in Fort Pierce, Fla.

BOTTOM PHOTO: SGSC swimmer Amir Munjaii begins his race at the NJCAA Swimming and Diving Championships.