AUBURN – The 55th annual Alabama High School Athletic Association State Swimming & Diving Championships get underway Friday at James E. Martin Aquatic Center on the Auburn University campus with a trimmed field that could be the most competitive in state history.
The NFHS Network will live-stream the competition Saturday. Check the NFHS Network links below:
The swimming championships underwent a major overhaul with the addition of three Sectional swim meets where competitors for the first time in state history were required to qualify for the state meet. The AHSAA also established two divisions for championship play this season with Class 6A-7A comprised of the largest schools and Class 1A-5A encompassing the remaining schools. From 1960-2013 all schools competed for one state title in each of the boys’ and girls’ divisions.
The result, said AHSAA Assistant Director Marvin Chou, “Is some immediate growth with more than 20 new schools fielding teams this season.” Chou, AHSAA’s director for swimming competition, said the section meets also provided an excellent tune-up for the state’s swimmers and provided qualifying standards that should provide the state meet with its most elite competitors.
Auburn, winner of girls’ state title last season, will be in a strong Class 6A-7A field that features all six schools that won the last 10 state championships. In addition to Auburn, McGill-Toolen won in 2012, Hoover in 2011 and 2010, Mountain Brook in 2009, 2006 and 2005, Grissom in 2008 and Bob Jones in 2007. St. Paul’s, back-to-back winners in 2003 and 2004, will be competing in the Class 1A-5A division.
On the boys’ side, the 6A-7A division features 2012 and 2013 state champion Huntsville as well as Bob Jones, the state champs for seven straight seasons from 2004-2010. McGill-Toolen won in 2011.
Among the top swimmers in the competition are current state record holders Paige Madden of UMS-Wright and Foster Ballard of Elmore County. Both will be competing in the 1A-5A division but already own overall state records. Madden, a sophomore, won the 500 freestyle in 2012 and holds the state record in the 200 freestyle, 200 medley and 100 butterfly events. Ballard, a senior, set the 200 individual medley record last season.
In the Class 1A-5A division, Benjamin Russell senior Robert Howard came close last season to records in the 50 and 100 freestyle events, winning both in times that earned him All-America status. Howard captured the 50 in 2013 with a 21.61-second time and the 100 in 45.46 seconds. T.J. Leon if UMS-Wright holds both state meet records with winning times of 20.24 and 44.73 in the 2008 state meet.
Diving starts the action Friday with warm-up at 9 a.m. and competition begins at 10 a.m. Swim events get underway at 4 p.m. Friday for prelims. Finals are set for swim events Saturday at 2 p.m. Warm-up gets underway at 1 p.m.
Admission is $10.00 per day with children 5 and under admitted free.
Current AHSAA records are listed below for each event.
AHSAA BOYS STATE SWIMMING MEET RECORDS
MOST STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
15 Grissom, 1984-99
12 Huntsville, 1968-2013
13 Grissom, 1984-96
7 Huntsville, 1977-83
7 Bob Jones, 2004-10
200 Yard Medley Relay--McGill Toolen, 1:35.28, 2012
200 Yard Freestyle Relay--Bob Jones, 1:25.84, 2013
400 Yard Freestyle Relay-- Bob Jones, 3:09.93, 2009
50 Yard Freestyle—T.J. Leon, UMS-Wright, 20.24, 2008
100 Yard Freestyle-- T.J. Leon, UMS-Wright, 44.73, 2008
200 Yard Freestyle-- Will Freeman, Spain Park, 1:37.31, 2013
500 Yard Freestyle--Will Freeman, Spain Park, 4:27.36, 2013
100 Yard Backstroke-- Will Glass, McGill Toolen, 48.41, 2012
100 Yard Breaststroke--Marlin Brutkiewicz, UMS-Wright, 2012
100 Yard Butterfly--Will Glass, McGill Toolen, 48.12, 2012
200 Yard Individual Medley--Foster Ballard, Elmore County, 1:50.24, 2013
One Meter Diving
Robert Raley, Murphy, 520.35, 2011
AHSAA GIRLS STATE SWIMMING MEET RECORDS
MOST STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
18 Grissom, 1977-2008
10 Huntsville, 1971-83
10 Grissom, 1984-93
6 Huntsville, 1971-76
200 Yard Medley Relay—Auburn, 1:47.55, 2013
200 Yard Freestyle Relay—Athens, 1:38.50, 2013
400 Yard Freestyle Relay—Hoover, 3:35.08, 2011
50 Yard Freestyle—Megan Molnar, Auburn, 23.09, 2010
100 Yard Freestyle—Maria Reed, Baker, 51.18, 2013
200 Yard Freestyle—Paige Madden, UMS-Wright, 1:50.23, 2012
500 Yard Freestyle—Chloe Sutton, Hoover, 4:53.37, 2004
100 Yard Backstroke—Genny Pittman, Homewood, 55.05, 2012
100 Yard Breaststroke—Megan Molnar, Auburn, 1:02.13, 2010
100 Yard Butterfly—Paige Madden, UMS-Wright, 55.37, 2013
200 Yard Individual Medley—Paige Madden, UMS-Wright, 2013
One Meter Diving
Elizabeth Flint, Auburn, 452.25, 1996