Swimmers from Scottsboro and Section will swim for state titles this week.
The AHSAA State Swim and Dive Championships begin Friday and conclude Saturday at the Huntsville Aquatics Center.
The Class 1A-5A and 6A-7A girls state meets are Friday (diving at 9 a.m. and swimming at 2 p.m.) while the 1A-5A and 6A-7A boys state meets are Saturday (diving at 9 a.m. and swimming at 2 p.m.).
The state meet is normally at Auburn University, but was moved to the Huntsville Aquatics Center because of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. The AHSAA also eliminated sectional meets and lowered the minimum time standards, making it more difficult for swimmers to qualify and thus reducing the number of swimmers at state.
That change left the Scottsboro varsity girls team with just one state qualifier, Paige Giles, who will swim in the Class 6A-7A 100-yard Backstroke.
“All of our athletes took a double hit this year, moving up to 6A and then having the time standards to qualify for state increase in difficulty,” said Scottsboro varsity girls head swim coach Shalyn Benson. “Paige is our most seasoned swimmer and was able to qualify with the exact time needed and nothing less. AHSAA intentionally made the time standards so difficult that it would limit the amount to qualify to limit the amount inside the facility. In my opinion, they could have put in a little extra work and extended the meet by extra days to be fair to the athletes. It's hard when they change the rules of the sport mid-season. Paige has put in the work and has the heart and drive she needs. She'll do great. I have no doubt.”
Seven Scottsboro athletes will compete in the Class 6A-7A Boys Swim and Dive Championships.
Scottsboro’s 200-yard Medley Relay team and its 400-yard Freestyle Relay team will consist of Levi Webb, John David Sanders, Luke Armour and Arlen Parr while Armour, Parr, Jake Benson and Ben Bradford will comprise Scottsboro’s 200-yard Freestyle Relay.
Meanwhile, Webb will also swim in the 100-yard Breaststroke and 100-yard Fly while Sanders swims in the 50-yard Freestyle and 100-yard Freestyle. Kaje Jordan will compete in the one-meter diving competition.
“I believe our athletes will finish in the Top 8 in the events they competing in,” said Scottsboro varsity boys swim coach Mark Richard. “We have had great success this season including our Boys Team winning North Alabama Championships and being top finishers at several other large meets. We had several other boys who were just short of hitting the insane qualifying times this year.”
Section — Maggie Ella Robbins will swim in the Class 1A-5A girls state meet for Section, competing in the 50-yard Freestyle and the 100-yard Butterfly.
Robbins, whose posted numerous wins this season in various events, will try to claim state titles for the first year Section program.
Section coach Kindra Robbins said Maggie Ella Robbins has worked hard to put herself in position to challenge for state crowns.
“The keys to a state championship are the months of consistent practice leading up to the championship meet, being coachable, and giving maximum effort during every set at every practice,” the coach said.