By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
22 Hammerheads will head to state
The Liberty County Recreation Department's swim team, the Hammerheads, had 22 swimmers qualify for state next weekend in Tifton. - photo by By Patty Leon / Coastal Courier
Susan Baker and the Liberty County Recreation Department swim team, the Hammerheads, started this season hoping to at least place well at districts and send three swimmers to state. When she received the list after the district meet and started to count how many of her swimmers qualified she said she was in shock.
"I had a dream at the beginning of the season that 21 were going to make it," Baker said. "So when I started counting the list at the end of the meet and saw there were 22, I almost died laughing. I thought ‘oh my gosh, the dream has come true.’ I am beyond flabbergasted that we got what we got."
Baker said she was surprised her 11-12-year-old girls' relay team did as well as they did and were able to qualify. She said Joshua Morris and Nicholas Hahn were additional surprises and thinks she has a few swimmers who could take a state title.
"We have the possibility to have at least two our swimmers to be state champions," she said. "But at the state meet you can never predict anything until it is over."
The state meet will be in Tifton
on July 25-26. There will be
swimmers from seven districts
with roughly 21 kids competing against each other in each event.
"Qualifying for state makes me feel really good, Hammerhead Joseph Owens, 18, said. "This is my second year qualifying and I'm going for individual events in the breaststroke and backstroke. I think I can place in the final this year. It's going to be really tough and I'm going to have to practice every day."
Kevin Morris, Dakota Woods, Taylor Baker and Ransom Wilkes-Davis are the medley relay swimmers who also qualified for the second year. Morris said it was going to be tough but the team shaved some time off their previous best and found out it was enough to beat last year's winner.
"That was their dream to make it to state," Baker said. "They were told at the beginning of swim season that the hardest competition would come at state when they face some of the swimmers that are USA swimmers."
Baker said it would be the first time some of her swimmers are really going to be pushed to do their best.
Regardless of the state meet, Baker is already looking to the future.
"I'm ready and I'm already planning things in my head," she said. "I want to bring home a district trophy as well as get the kids to state."

Sign up for our e-newsletters