Aquacats wrap up season at state meet

The Fort Payne Aquacats swim team wrapped up their 2017 season over the weekend when six of their athletes competed for state championships at the Alabama Recreation and Parks Association State Meet at the Opelika Crossplex.

Aubrey Evans, Michael Gullage, Eli Goggans, Brindlee Walston, Lizzie Edwards and Holly Garren all made the long trip to compete with some of the best swimmers in the state.

Evans competed in two events at the meet. She first teamed up with Edwards, Walston and Garren in the 9-10 girls 200-yard medley relay.

Evans then competed in her individual event in the 9-10 girls 50-yard breaststroke, where she finished in 15th place in 46.24 seconds in the 31-participant event.

Gullage and Goggans both qualified for two events each at the state meet.

Gullage first competed in the 15-18 boys 50-yard freestyle, where he finished 19th out of the field of 32 swimmers. His time of 24.33 seconds was just under three seconds slower than the winning time in the event.

Gullage later entered the 100-yard freestyle in the 15-18 boys division and finished 29th in 56.03 seconds.

Goggans’ first event in Opelika was the 8-under boys 25-yard breaststroke. He finished with a state-qualifying time of 30.12 seconds and place 28th in the event.

Goggans had a better showing in the 25-yard backstroke. He finished in 23.22 seconds, just 3.39 slower than the winning time and finished 18th out of 48 qualifiers for the event.

The Aquacats’ 8-under girls freestyle relay team of Anna Beth Traylor, Alexis Clayton, Miley Cruz and Aileen Griggs qualified out of the team’s District 2 Meet but were not able to make the trip to Opelika to compete at the state meet.

“We had a great district, and every kid dropped time,” Aquacats coach Katie Kramer said. “It really showed the hard work that the kids and the coaching staff put in throughout the season, and It was very rewarding to see the kids do so well at district.”

The team celebrated another successful summer in the water with a pool and pizza party Tuesday where the team handed out several awards.

“At the end of the season,” Kramer said. “To see so many kids wanting to come back I think is a testament to how good of a year we had.”

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