INDIANAPOLIS, IN (April 19, 2017) — Among the changes to high school swimming and diving rules for 2017-18 are ones that address risk minimization and requirements for use of the championship meet format.
The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Swimming and Diving Rules Committee recommended seven rules changes at its March 19-21 meeting in Indianapolis, and all changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
Rule 1-3-12 now requires state associations to identify culminating meets, which require use of the championship format. Due to the variations in conference, league and postseason championships within states, the committee believes it is appropriate for the respective state association to determine which meets shall be considered culminating meets.
“The championship meet format features preliminaries and finals rounds, which are thought to provide athletes the best opportunity to excel in their events,” said Sandy Searcy, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the Swimming and Diving Rules Committee. “However, the format also prescribes specific rules associated with team and individual entries, dual confirmation, declared false starts and applicable penalties for violation of these rules.
“The committee agreed that state associations are in the best position to determine which competitions must adhere to the championship meet format. The language also allows non-championship meets to be conducted using the championship meet format.”
An addition to Rule 8-3-5c specifies where a second, third and fourth swimmer’s feet must be when a relay exchange occurs. One foot must be in contact with the surface of the starting platform in front of the starting block wedge during takeoff to minimize risk during relay exchanges.
Rule 3-6 was reorganized to provide clarity regarding the potential conduct issues within a meet. As a result, the committee believes these issues are now easier to compare and categorize for appropriate action and/or penalty. Rule 4-1-8 was also affected by this rule change and now includes language regarding appropriate conduct for meet officials.
Other rules changes include:
· Rule 9-5-2, which addresses the approach and hurdle requirements in diving. This clarifies the intent for hops, leaps and/or jumps to count toward the three-step forward approach requirement.
· Rule 3-3-2a, which provides consistency for all NFHS sports regarding what school and competitor information is permitted on the uniform which, in swimming and diving, consists of the suit and swim cap.
· Rule 4-6-4, which requires dual confirmation for relay exchanges during championship meets. The referee and the starter may serve as the relay takeoff judges.
· Rule 3-4, which provides competitors more flexibility when competing in 500-yard events to count either up or down with visual lap counters. This practice permits flexibility for the competitor, and is in keeping with current trends in the sport.
“The Swimming and Diving Rules Committee was intentional in deliberation of this year’s rules proposals,” Searcy said. “Its main focus this year was to minimize risk but also clarify existing rules.”
Swimming and diving ranks ninth in popularity among girls with 166,747 participants and 10th among boys with 133,470 participants, according to the 2015-16 NFHS Athletics Participation Survey.
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF STATE
HIGH SCHOOL ASSOCIATIONS
Bob Jones’ Gunner named 2016 National Swimming Coach of the Year Selected by NFHS Coaches Association
INDIANAPOLIS, IN — Bob Jones High School swimming Coach Michael Gunner has been selected the 2016 National High School Boys’ Swimming Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association.
Gunner, who guided the Patriots to nine AHSAA state boys’ swimming championships from 2004-2015, is one of 22 coaches nationally receiving NFHS Coach of the Year awards. He was also named AHSAA State Coach of the year for the 2015-16 school year and Section 3 Coach of the Year. Section 3 is comprised of the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee. Gunner’s teams won seven boys’ state titles in a row from 2004-09 and has been at Bob Jones for more than 40 years. He announced his retirement from coaching after the 2016 season. He will remain as assistant principal at Rainbow Elementary in Madison.
“Coach Gunner has been instrumental in the growth of high school swimming and diving in the state of Alabama,” said Marvin Chou, AHSAA Assistant Director and former prep swim coach himself. “He has served on the AHSAA Swimming & Diving committee for the last three years. He has been a positive advocate for school-based sports who has been committed to high school sports. He has been a tremendous asset for Bob Jones as well as the state of Alabama. Coach Gunner has truly left a mark in the sport.”
Gunner also coached at Austin, Decatur and Athens high schools and was has been the Bob Jones swim coach since 2000. “I’m floored and honored, of course, but when you’re doing something you really like, that’s enough,” Gunner told Al.com. “It’s not about me. It’s about the kids, (and) I’m really going to miss working with the kids. … It’s a good way to end a career.”
The NFHS, which has been recognizing coaches through an awards program since 1982, honors coaches in the top 10 girls sports and top 10 boys sports (by participation numbers), and in one “other” sport that is not included in the top 10 listings. The NFHS also recognizes a spirit coach as a separate award category. Winners of NFHS awards must be active coaches during the year for which they receive their award. This year’s awards recognize coaches for the 2015-16 school year.
Other recipients of the NFHS national awards for boys sports are: David Walker, football, Martinsburg (West Virginia) High School; George McCabe, Jr., track and field, East Bridgewater (Massachusetts) High School; Richard Kortokrax, basketball, Kalida (Ohio) High School; Kirk Bock, baseball, Bryant (Arkansas) High School; Philip Savitz, soccer, Lexington (South Carolina) River Bluff High School; Anthony Carter, wrestling, El Paso (Texas) J.M. Hanks High School; Jeff Horsley, cross country, Soda Springs (Idaho) High School; Peter Ceprano, tennis, North Scituate (Rhode Island) Scituate High School; and Hal Rossow, golf, Panora (Iowa) Panorama High School.
The recipients of the 2016 NFHS national awards for girls sports are: Don Berger, track and field, Salem (Oregon) North Salem High School; Anne Long, basketball, Columbia (South Carolina) Spring Valley High School; Gwenn Pike, volleyball, Fairway (Kansas) Bishop Miege High School; Katherine Stackel, soccer, Copenhagen (New York) Central High School; Ronnie Ooten, softball, Chapmanville (West Virginia) Regional High School; Scott Ball, cross country, Tigard (Oregon) Westside Christian High School; Peggy Holecek, tennis, Northbrook (Illinois) Glenbrook North High School; Andrew Pedersen, swimming and diving, Fishers (Indiana) Hamilton Southeastern High School; Reid Sclafani, golf, Garden City (New York) High School; and Danielle Gallagher, lacrosse, Manhasset (New York) High School.
The recipient of the National Coach of the Year Award for spirit is Erikka Ault of Edmond (Oklahoma) North High School, and Martha Faust of Mt. Horeb (Wisconsin) High School was chosen in the other sports category for Girls Gymnastics.
In addition to the 22 National Coaches of the Year, the NFHS Coaches Association has selected David McClusky, M.D. of Twin Falls, Idaho, as the recipient of the National Coach Contributor Award.
A total of 530 coaches will be recognized this year with state, sectional and national awards.
AUBURN – Auburn High School’s girls won their fourth straight state swimming championship Saturday as the 56th AHSAA State Swimming and Diving Championships concluded at Auburn University’s James E. Martin Aquatic Complex.
Coach Jeff Dellinger’s Lady Tigers set records in three relays and totaled 385 points to win the Class 6A-7A division for the third straight year. Auburn also won the 2013 championship when all schools competed in just one division.
Huntsville was second with 204 points and McGill-Toolen Catholic was third at 188.
Westminster Christian of Huntsville, coached by Roger Von Jouanne, captured the girls’ 1A-5A state championship with 95 points. It was the Wildcats’ first swimming title in AHSAA history. Defending champion St. Paul’s Episcopal was second with 82 points and St. John Paul II Catholic of Huntsville was third with 72 points. A total of 27 schools competed in Class 6A-7A and 22 competed in 1A-5A.
In the boys’ division, Huntsville, coached by Arthur Fortin, captured its first 6A-7A state title and the school’s 13th overall dating back to 1968 with 362.5 points. Auburn was second with 262 and James Clemens was third with 228. Defending champion Bob Jones was fifth.
Coach Tyler Kern’s St. Paul’s Episcopal Saints won the 1A-5A state championship for the third straight year. The Saints dominated the competition posting 128 points. Runner-up Randolph had 69 and Scottsboro was third with 57.
Class 1A-5A Girls
Lauren McAdams, Jewel Krings, Olivia Conners and Eboni McCarty won the 200-yard medley relay with a winning time of 1:51.43 to help jump-start Westminster Christian’s state championship effort. Krings, Conners, McCarty and Rebekah Hamilton also won the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:40.18.
Paige Madden of UMS-Wright, which came into the 2016 meet holding state records in the 200 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke, added the 500-yard freestyle state record to her accomplishments winning in 4:46.98 seconds to eclipse the old record set by Chloe Sutton of Hoover in 2004 by seven seconds. She also won the 50-yard freestyle in 22.91 seconds to set a sixth girls’ AHSAA state record.
Randolph senior Sarah Cimino won the 100-yard backstroke (56.43) and 100-yard butterfly (56.14) to post two wins Saturday.
Class 6A-7A Girls
Auburn’s 200-yard medley relay team comprised of Harley Lopez Miro, Annie Frances Dallas, Hadley Dowdle and Anna Kate McGinty clocked 1:44.80 to set a state record. Hadley Dowdell, Peyton Dowdell, Audrey Phillpott and McAuley Parker also swam the 400 freestyle relay in a state-record time of 3:20.02.
McGinty, Phillpott, Dallas and Peyton Dowdle clocked 1:35.50 in the 200-yard freestyle relay to set a third state mark.
Senior Jewels Harris of Northridge set a state record in the 100-yard butterfly with a winning time of 53.69 seconds. Margaret Carey of McGill-Toolen also eclipsed the old record of 55.01 to finish second.
Mallory Underwood, a senior at Auburn, broke Paige Madden’s record (2:04.13) in the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:03.60.
Class 1A-5A Boys
St. Paul’s won the 400-yard freestyle relay, 200-yard freestyle relay and 200-yard medley relay to spark the Saints’ third state title.
Sadler McKee of Briarwood Christian established a new AHSAA boys’ state record in the 500-yard freestyle with a winning time of 4:24.91, seven seconds better than his prelim time in the event.
Class 6A-7A Boys
Huntsville’s team of Robert Overbeek, Caleb Chance, Jadie Burney and Austin Smith won the 400-yard freestyle with a winning time of 3:11.04. Overbeek, Burney, Smith and Wiliam Crawford also won the 200-yard freestyle relay with a winning time of 1:27.57. Garrison Chandler, Connor Duggan, Brady Stabler and Jackson Mathis also won the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:37.54 to give the Panthers a sweep in the relays.
Smith also won the 500-yard freestyle for the Panthers in 4:43.50 and won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:41.54. Overbeek, a senior, won the 100-yard butterfly (50.19) and also finished in a dead heat with Northview junior Wen Zhang in the 50-yard freestyle. Both clocked 20.56 to split the first and seconds-place points. The time was just .22 off the state record.
Complete results can be found at www.ahsaa.com.
AUBURN – Opelika High School junior Conner Pruitt captured the AHSAA State Diving Championship for the third year in a row Friday as the 56th AHSAA State Swimming and Diving Championships got underway at Auburn University’s James E. Martin Aquatic Complex.
Pruitt’s 532.90 performance set an AHSAA state record for boys’ diving – eclipsing the old record (531.95) set by Murphy’s Robert Railey in 2011.
Pruitt, competing in the 6A-7A division, has shown steady improvement since finishing seventh as an eighth grader in 2013. He posted a 242.00 score in the state meet in ’13, but followed with a 408.35 score to win the state diving title in 2014 as a freshman. He scored 498.40 as a sophomore to win the 6A-7A championship. Friday’s 532.90 also came in the 6A-7A division. The AHSAA split from one division to two last year (6A/7A and 1A/5A).
James Hughes of Grissom was second in 6A/7A Friday with a 351.65 score. Rounding out the Top 8 in 6A-7A were: Zachary El-Fallah, Spain Park (345.30); Jon Pickett, Spain Park (253.50); Garrett Taylor, Huntsville (242.75); Neil Schuetz, Huntsville (242.25); Daniel Phillips, Bob Jones (231.75); and Hampton Jarres, Huntsville (217.15).
Winning the 1A-5A division was Madison Academy’s Taylor Young, who posted 264.70 score. Runner-up was Jonathan Roth of Pope John Paul II at 239.60. Rounding out the Top 8 were, in order: Herbert Martinson, Randolph (228.10); Drew Turnipseed, St. Paul’s Episcopal (208.65); Dominic Bechen, Pope John Paul II (183.70); and Ross Cumming, St. Paul’s (173.80).
Swimming prelims were Friday night with the finals set to start at 2 p.m. Saturday. The Swimming and Diving Championships are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network with veteran sportscaster Jerry Young handling the commentary. To access the live-stream, go to www.nfhsnetwork.com.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (April 19, 2016) — At its March 21-23 meeting in Indianapolis, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Swimming and Diving Rules Committee approved a change to the freestyle portion of the individual medley and medley relay as it relates to body position.
An addition to Rule 8-2-4c will read as follows: “The final leg of the individual medley and the medley relay requires the swimmer to be at or past vertical toward the breast before any stroke, kick or propulsive motion.”
This revision was one of several changes recommended by the Swimming and Diving Rules Committee and subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
The committee also approved a change in the current practice of determining a final time when a touch pad malfunctions in a lane. Searcy said that research has shown that the current practice of calculating the average difference between the primary and backup timing systems, and adjusting the backup time in the malfunctioning lane(s), does not improve the accuracy of the times.
“Using the backup time without adjustment results in a final time that is just as accurate and avoids a mathematical exercise which is both time-consuming and difficult to perform during a meet,” Searcy said.
In addition, the committee defined a deck change as “changing, in whole or in part, into or out of a swimsuit when wearing just one suit in an area other than a permanent or temporary locker room, bathroom, changing room or other space designated for changing purposes.” Beginning with the 2016-17 season, any team personnel/competitor involved in “deck changing” will be assessed a penalty for unsporting conduct, which would disqualify an individual from further participation in a meet.
In diving, the committee approved two rules changes and made three revisions in the official diving chart. In an effort to minimize risk, the committee ruled that a dive is failed if, in the diving referee’s opinion, the diver “performs an additional bounce(s) on the end of the board after the culminating hurdle.”
“The forward approach shall begin with not less than three steps and finish with a hurdle, defined as a jump off one foot to a landing on both feet at the end of the board,” Searcy said. “The diver should not be permitted to perform an additional bounce just prior to the takeoff.”
In Rule 9-5-5, the committee added clarity and consistency to the balk call, requiring a diver to actually commence, then stop the dive.
In the official listing of approved dives, the committee eliminated the Flying Back 1 SS (212) and the Flying Reverse SS (312), and added a new dive – the Forward 2 SS 1 Twist – with degrees of difficulty of 2.6 (tuck) and 2.7 (pike).
Swimming and diving ranks No. 8 in popularity among girls with 166,838 participants and No. 10 among boys with 137,087 participants, according to the 2014-15 NFHS Athletics Participation Survey.
AUBURN - Bob Jones High School’s boys and Auburn High School’s girls repeated as state champions Saturday in the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Class 6A/7A division as the 56th annual State Swimming & Diving Championships concluded at Auburn University’s James E. Martin Aquatic Center. St. Paul’s Episcopal also won its second straight Class 1A/5A state boys’ and girls’ crowns. The two-division state meet is in its second year. From 1960 to 2013, the AHSAA swimming championships had just one boys’ division for all schools. The girls, which competed for the first time in 1963, had one division from 1963 to 2013. Bob Jones totaled 250 points and runner-up Auburn had 173 in the 6A/7A boys’ final team standings. St. Paul’s tallied 113 points and Randolph 89 to top the 1A/5A team rankings. In the girls’ competition Auburn had 234 points to beat runner-up Huntsville (180). St. Paul’s scored 78 points to nip Pope John Paul II (71.5) in the 1A/5A girls’ division. All swimmers in each division competed in just one individual competition. Senior Helen Legg of Fairhope became just the second girl in AHSAA swimming history to win four straight diving titles. She scored 352.80 to win the girls’ 1-meter diving event for the fourth straight year. Colleen Edmonds of Auburn is the only other diving to win four diving championships. She won four in a row from 1988-91. Opelika sophomore Conner Pruitt won his second 1-meter diving title in a row with a 498.40 score -- up 90 points from his 2014 winning total. Several state-meet records fell Saturday in the swimming competition. Bob Jones junior Andrey Tretyakov turned in a stellar performance with a new state mark in the 200-yard individual medley (1:49.88) and the 100-yard butterfly (48.07 seconds). He also swam a leg in the Patriots’ winning 200-yard medley relay effort which broke the previous state record held by McGill-Toolen since 2012. Mark Johnston, Andrew Sterns, Derek Sander and Tretyakov turned in a winning time of 1:34.52 to win the event and beat McGill’s 1:35.28 mark. Bob Jones beat its own state record in the 200-yard freestyle relay, winning Saturday with a 1:25.57 time to nip the old mark by 37/100ths of a second. Tretyakov swam the third leg, teaming with Sander, Sterns and Logan Black to earn the win and the new record. In the girls’ competition, UMS-Wright junior Paige Madden, who came into the meet holding state-meet records in the 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard individual medley, added the 200-yard freestyle time to her collection with a winning time of 1:48.39. The previous record holder, Kobie Melton of Athens, set the mark in 2014 with a time of 1:49.97. Madden also won the 500-yard freestyle Saturday. Anna-Julia Kutsch of Altamont tied the state mark in the 50-yard freestyle winning the event in 23.09 seconds. Megan Molnar of Auburn has held the record since 2010. Auburn’s 200-yard freestyle relay team comprised of Maggie Casey, Annie Frances Dallas, Peyton Dowdle and Anny Kate McGinty won with a state-record time of 1:38.27. The time erased the previous mark (1:38.50) set by Athens in 2013.
Boys Team Scoring (Top 10) Class 6A-7A Bob Jones 250; Auburn 173; James Clemens 157; McGill-Toolen 138; Huntsville 113; Fairhope 75; Prattville 66; Spain Park 63; Northview 60; Daphne 55. Class 1A-5A| St. Paul’s Episcopal 113; Randolph 89; Faith Academy 59; Pope John Paul II Catholic 50; Holy Spirit Catholic 32; Oneonta 27; Westminster Christian 26; Alabama Christian 18; Jackson 5; Satsuma 4.
Individual Winners 200-yard medley: Bob Jones, 1:34.52; (Mark Johnston, Andrew Sterns, Andrey Tretyakov, Derek Sander). AHSAA state record. 200-yard freestyle: Derek Sander, Bob Jones, 1:38.31. 200-yard IM: Andrey Tretyakov, Bob Jones, 1:49.88; AHSAA state record. 50-yard freestyle: Andrew Shea, James Clemens, 21.02. 100-yard freestyle: Derek Sander, Bob Jones, 44.60; AHSAA state record. 100-yard butterfly: Andrey Tretyakov, Bob Jones,48.07; AHSAA state record. 500-yard freestyle: Sadler McKeen, Briarwood, 4:31.22. 200-yard freestyle relay: Bob Jones, 1:25.57 (Andrew Sterns, Logan Black, Andrey Tretyakov, Derek Sander); AHSAA state record. 100-yard backstroke: James Courtney, St. Paul's, 49.89. 100-yard breaststroke: Andrew Sterns, Bob Jones, 58.03. 400-yard freestyle relay: Auburn, 3:12.49 (Daniel Padgett, Brady Stabler, Garrison Chandler, Connor Duggan). 1-meter diving: Conner Pruitt, Opelika, 498.40.
AUBURN – The 56th annual Alabama High School Athletic Association State Swimming and Diving Championships get underway Friday at James E. Martin Aquatic Center on the Auburn University campus.
Participants qualified at sectional competitions held in late November to advance to this week’s championships. Defending boys’ champions include Bob Jones High School in Class 6A-7A and St. Paul’s Episcopal in Class 1A-5A. The Patriots will be going for their ninth state crown overall. Last year’s title for St. Paul’s was the first for the Saints and also the first in the newly formed 1A-5A division. From 1960 to 2013, schools competed in just one division. Growth of the sport has been dramatic in recent years, however.
The girls’ championships, which began in 1963, will also feature two divisions for the second straight year. Auburn won the 6A-7A title in 2014 and St. Paul’s girls made it a sweep for the Mobile school by winning the 1A-5A crown.
The NFHS Network will live-stream the competition Saturday. The link to access the subscriber-based telecast is http://bit.ly/1QhiC99.
The prep swimming championships underwent a major overhaul with the addition of three Section swim meets last year where competitors for the first time were required to qualify for the state meet.
Among the top swimmers in the girls’ competition are Paige Madden of UMS-Wright and Sarah Cimino of Randolph. Madden, who holds the state record in the 100 freestyle and backstroke and 200 medley events, will shooting for records in the 200 and 500 freestyle events this weekend. Cimino will be attempting to defend her 100 fly championship won last year and better the state record she set in the event.
In the boys’ competition, Conner Pruitt of Opelika will defending his diving title, and Andrey Tretyakov of Bob Jones returned to compete in the 100 fly as defending champ.
Diving starts the action Friday with warm-up at 9 a.m. and competition beginning at 10 a.m. Swim events get underway at 5 p.m. Friday for prelims with warmup starting at 4. Finals are set for swim events on 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.
AHSAA STATE MEET SWIM 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, 201
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, 55.51, 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
MOST STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
18 Grissom, 1977-2008
10 Huntsville, 1971-83
10 Grissom, 1984-93
6 Huntsville, 1971-76
200 Yard Medley Relay—Auburn, 1:46.81, 2014
200 Yard Freestyle Relay—Athens, 1:38.50, 2013
400 Yard Freestyle Relay—Auburn, 3:32.85, 2014
50 Yard Freestyle—Megan Molnar, Auburn, 23.09, 2010
100 Yard Freestyle—Paige Madden, UMS-Wright, 49.78, 2014
200 Yard Freestyle—Kobie Melton, Athens, 1:49.97, 2014
500 Yard Freestyle—Chloe Sutton, Hoover, 4:53.37, 2004
100 Yard Backstroke—Paige Madden, UMS-Wright, 54.91, 2014
100 Yard Breaststroke—Megan Molnar, Auburn, 1:02.13, 2010
100 Yard Butterfly—Sarah Cimino, Randolph, 55.01, 2014
200 Yard Individual Medley—Paige Madden, UMS-Wright, 2013
One Meter Diving
Elizabeth Flint, Auburn, 452.25, 1996
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (April 15, 2015) — High school swimmers and divers will now be permitted to wear jewelry during competition. This change was approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Swimming and Diving Rules Committee at its March 22-24 meeting in Indianapolis.
This significant rules change was among four revisions recommended by the committee for the 2015-16 season and subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
With a focus on addressing pertinent rules regarding competition, the committee determined that the wearing of jewelry presents little risk of injury to the competitor or opponents. Therefore, prohibiting jewelry is an unnecessary restriction, and officials can now better focus on meet administration directly related to competition. Rule 3-3-5 now reflects the change with the removal of any language barring or penalizing the wearing of jewelry.
“We’ve been working for the past 10 years on the role of prohibiting jewelry, and we finally came to the conclusion that prohibition presented little concern for injury,” said Becky Oakes, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the Swimming and Diving Rules Committee. “We determined the penalty’s severity was no longer based in sound rationale.”
The committee also addressed the requirements of officials’ uniforms. Rule 4-1-7 was amended to only require that swimming and diving officials dress in a uniform approved by the state association. Previously, officials were required to dress in white attire or other attire approved by the state association. This change clarifies the rule and allows for more practicality when determining the appropriate uniform for officials, as white is no longer the current standard.
“We felt that it was more appropriate for state associations to handle officials’ uniforms, so long as, in each state, every official wears the same uniform,” Oakes said.
The committee also amended Rule 4-3-1 a, b to allow the starter to designate another individual to sound a device for the lead swimmer during the 500-yard/400-meter freestyle when the swimmer has two lengths plus 5 yards remaining in the race. The starter may have multiple tasks occurring simultaneously, and having a designee would allow for the starter to maintain better accuracy and concentration during events.
The final change was to Rule 9-6-1, which now includes a clarification indicating that the diving referee may be one of the judges on the panel, or a separate official.
A complete listing of all rules changes is available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page, and select “Swimming & Diving.”
According to the 2013-14 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, swimming and diving has 304,152 participants in 14,530 programs nationwide.
AUBURN – St. Paul’s Episcopal High School captured the boys’ and girls’ Class 1A-5A state swimming titles Saturday sweeping the first state championships in the smaller-class division in the first year of competition. Tyler Kerns coaches both teams.
Auburn’s girls won the new 6A-7A division state championship and Bob Jones won the 6A-7A boys’ state crown as the AHSAA’s 55th Swimming & Diving Championships concluded at Auburn University’s James E. Martin Aquatics Center.
For the first 54 years, AHSAA schools competed in just one division regardless of size. With the addition of Class 7A this school year, the AHSAA created two divisions of competition. The Saints, winning their first state boys title, scored 158 points to win the 1A-5A boys’ title over Huntsville’s Westminster Christian, the runner-up with 137 points. Faith Academy of Mobile was a distant third with 56 points and Oneonta finished fourth with 50.
St. Paul’s posted 102.50 points in the 1A-5A girls’ competition to edge Mobile rival UMS-Wright. The Bulldogs totaled 81 points followed by Randolph of Huntsville with 64. The Lady Saints won the overall state title twice before winning in 2003 and 2004. The boys’ championship was the school’s first.
Auburn’s girls, coached by Jeff Dellinger, posted 278 points in the 6A-7A division with runner-up McGill-Toolen totaling 234. Huntsville was third with 211 and Grissom fourth with 158. The Lady Tigers also won the overall championship in 2013.
Bob Jones, coached by Mike Gunner, won the 6A-7A boys’ championship for the first time since 2010. The Patriots amassed 290 points with McGill-Toolen taking second place with 265.50 and Auburn finishing third with 183.50. The state title was the 8th overall for Bob Jones – winners of seven in a row from 2004-2010.
A total of six girls’ state records fell in the two-day competition. No boys’ state records were broken.
Among the six were two new records set by sophomore Paige Madden of UMS-Wright. She earned automatic All-America status clocking 54.91 seconds in the 100-yard backstroke and 49.78 in the 100-yard freestyle races to establish new AHSAA standards. She beat the old freestyle record set by Maria Reed of Baker in 2013 by almost two seconds. Reed finished second to Madden Saturday clocking 51.59. The backstroke record broke the mark (55.05) set by Genny Pittman of Homewood in 2012.
Two other records previously set by Madden fell in the 2014 competition. She did not compete in those events this year. She now currently owns the AHSAA state record in the 200-yard individual medley (2:04.13 set in 2013). Auburn also set two girls’ relay records and narrowly missed out on a third.
Other records set included:
Girls’ 200-Yard Medley Relay: Auburn’s quartet of Susanna Pudner, Annie Frances Dallas, Hadley Dowdle and McAuley Parker clocked 1:46.81 to break the record set by the same four last year by .74 seconds. Pudner and Parker are sophomores while Dallas and Dowdle are freshmen.
Girls 400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Auburn also set a new mark in the 400 relay (3:32.85) with swimmers including Hadley Dowdle, Anna Kate McGinty, Audrey Philpott and McAuley Parker. Philpott is a sophomore and McGinty is a freshman. Runner-up Grissom also clocked 3:34.41 to beat the old record time (3:35.08) set by Hoover in 2011. Auburn’s 200 freestyle relay team also won the event in 1:38.58, just shy of the state record (1:38.50) set by Athens in 2013.
Girls 200-Yard Freestyle: Athens freshman Kobie Melton turned in a 1:49.97 time to best the record set (1:50.23) by Madden in 2012.
Girls 100-Yard Butterfly: Randolph’s Sarah Cimino swam the distance in 55:01 in the finals to top the record set by UMS-Wright’s Madden (55.37) in 2013. Her time earned her All-America status.
Bob Jones got strong performances in the relays with seniors Chris Burrows and Chris Day, junior Andrew Sterns and sophomore Andrey Tretyakov winning the 200-yard medley relay in 1:35.73 – narrowly missing the state record set by McGill-Toolen (1:35.28) in 2012.
The Patriots also won the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:27.19. Tretyakov also won the 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard breaststroke events. He earned All-America status with his 49.30 time in the 100 butterfly.
Derek Sander, a junior, also reached All-America status for Bob Jones with a 1:39.10 time to win the 200-yard freestyle event. McGill-Toolen’s Russell Noletto swam the distance in 1:39.25 to also earn All-America status with his second-place finish. Sander also won the won the 100-yard freestyle and swam the final leg of Bob Jones’ winning 200-yard freestyle relay.
St. Paul’s senior Slater Whiston won the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 50.14 seconds to pace the Saints to the 1A-5A boys’ state championship.
Complete results can be found at www.ahsaa.com.