Huntsville, Ala. – With the upcoming SportsMed North Alabama Championships on Saturday, Bob Jones and Huntsville look to be the pride of swimming in North Alabama. This championship culminates three and a half months of competitive swimming amongst high schools in the North Alabama High School Swim League.
Twenty five high school swim teams are set to invade the Brahan Springs Park Natatorium in the largest high school meet of the year in North Alabama. And, this is the final qualifying meet for the State Meet on Dec 1st in Auburn. Swimmers meeting a certain qualifying time for their specific event can go to the State Meet and compete against the state’s best swimmers.
Bob Jones boys and girls won two Invitationals this year, but Huntsville won the Quad Meet last month against the League’s top 4 teams. James Clemens, Scottsboro, and Athens are ready for the challenge and should make this one of the closer North Alabama Championship meets in years.
Bob Jones girls are the defending NAC champs and are led by seniors Meredith O’Malley and Teresa Berry, 10th grader Madeleine Reagan, 9th grader Julia Dergunov, and 7th grader Devin Campbell. Huntsville has good depth with 10th graders Elise Maurel and Amanda Clark, 11th graders Kelley Cooper and Elizabeth Olsen, and senior Jennifer Starck.
In dual meet swimming this year, the girls from Huntsville and Scottsboro both finished with 8-0 records, followed by Westminster’s 11-1, and Sparkman’s 5-2 record.
Grissom has several returning state qualifyers including 9th graders Chloe Hui , Mary Northcutt, and Jesse Sabio, plus 10th grader Maddie Woodie, and 11th grader Prescilla Symmes.
The girls from Athens are led by several young swimmers, including 8th graders Mallory Underwood and Ellen Haapoja who each placed in several events in last year’s State Meet. Winning the recent Cullman Invitational, the girls from Athens will also get points from 10th grader Lindsey Martin.
Other top NAHSSL female swimmers include Arab’s Laura Graves and Abagail Isom, Florence’s Carrie Ann Davison and Mary Lane, Hartselle’s Tiffany Pittman, Buckhorn’s Alex Krause, and James Clemens Annabel King.
In the boys this year, James Clemens and Scottsboro should make a strong push to beat Bob Jones and Huntsville to the finish line. Scottsboro’s boys finished their dual meet season with a perfect 8-0 record, followed by Huntsville’s 7-1, Westminster’s 10-2, Cullman’s 4-1, and Buckhorn’s 9-5 record.
Look for Bob Jones to get a lot of points from Zach Harting, Chris Burrows, Nathan Rodes, Christian Day, and Chris Gunner. Scottsboro will get big finishes from Zach Reichle and Craig Cleaver.
However, Huntsville boys won the Bob Jones Quad Meet and the City Meet and should do well with their quality depth. Look for Huntsville to score big points from John Smith, Jared Sutphin, Karter Smith, Trey Wintzinger, Cade Overbeek, Matthew Brown, Carter McDonald, and Stone Strankman.
Other top boy swimmers include Randolph’s Derek Russell (who finished 2nd in last year’s State Meet 200 yard Individual Medley), Westminster’s Chase Dowling, Grissom’s Joel Sabio and Kevin Luo, James Clemens’ Derek Santiago and Andrew Shea, Cullman’s Noah Price, Arab’s Scott Taylor, St Bernard’s Sean Moriarty and Bennett Glasscock, and Buckhorn’s Chandler Espy.
Warmups on Saturday are at 3:00 PM, with the meet getting under way at 4:00 PM. The public is invited.
Courtesy North Alabama High School Swim League