The successful title by the Hammond girls wasn’t the only big Midlands story at the annual SCISA state championship swim meet on Oct. 2 in Augusta.
Ben Lippen, for instance, turned in outstanding performances in both divisions.
Ben Lippen finished second behind Hammond in the girls division, posting 151 points to close 32 points off the pace of the winning Skyhawks. The Falcons boys team led all Midlands entries, placing third with 126 points. BL moved up five spots in the girls division this season, two on the boys side.
The Falcons girls came away with four gold medals, one silver and one bronze.
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Katie Shoemaker and Laura Anne Dixon shared top billing for the Falcons girls. Both came away with three gold medals. Shoemaker prevailed in the 200 free and 100 butterfly, while Dixon led the pack in the 200 individual medley and the 500 free. Shoemaker and Dixon joined forces with sisters Rachel and Rebecca Bradley for another win in the meet-closing 400 free relay and were part of the second-place 200 medley relay team that got things rolling for the Falcons.
Shoemaker now has five gold medals on her resume, Dixon four.
Rachel Bradley emerged with three medals – two for relay duty, and a bronze in the 500 free.
Kenton Walker and Luke Shoemaker set the pace for the boys team – earning three medals apiece. Walker was the champion in the 50 free and Shoemaker the runner-up in the 200 free. Both were on the second-place 200 medley relay team and the third-place 400 free relay team.
In other Midlands highlights:
Heathwood Hall’s Will Hicks was a two-event winner, claiming the top prize in the 200 IM and the 100 butterfly.
Cardinal Newman’s Maigan Nieri earned silver medals for runner-up efforts in the 200 and 500 frees.
Hammond’s Thomas Lobitz earned a silver medal in the 100 butterfly to help the Skyhawks to a fourth-place team finish.