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BOYS SWIMMER OF THE YEAR: Dalton shined his brightest in relays for Longhorns

Wyatt Dalton, like many high school swimmers, also swims for a club team: the South Georgia State signee is currently at Dynamo, in Alpharetta. But the Lambert senior is never more excited than when he’s representing his high school and competing alongside the kids he grew up with.

“Swimming with the kids I’ve always swam with, they fire me up more than anybody,” Dalton said.

And given that relays are often the most energy-packed events of all, with every team cramming along the pool’s edges and screaming encouragement, it makes sense that Dalton’s best showings this season came there.

Dalton, the 2017 All-FCN Boys Swimmer of the Year, was plenty capable on his own as a sprinter. He holds the county record in the 50-yard freestyle, and he finished fourth in that event at the state meet, where he helped the Longhorns to a third-place finish in the team standings.

And while he probably could have done more in the individual events, Dalton was more than willing to let head coach Kerry Langley employ his talents to boost as many relays as possible.

“I told me coach at the beginning of the season, ‘You put me in where you need to put me in, whatever will get us the most points,’” Dalton said. “I don’t mind as long as I’m swimming.”

In addition to the 50 free, Dalton had three more top-five finishes at state, and those all came in relays. He was part of a second-place 200 free relay; a third-place squad in the 200 medley; and a fifth-place group in the 400 free.

But the relay that Dalton says he’ll remember most fondly came in a meet that came with nothing but pride in carrying one of the most dominant streaks in the county.

Dalton anchored the 200 free relay at the county championships meet, with the Longhorns facing off against North, who had won that event at the 2017 state championship. The Raiders had lost Jack Dalmolin from that team, but the other three members were back.

Dalton had the anchor leg, and when he and the Raiders’ Daniel Brisuda left the blocks, the Longhorns were in the lead – barely. And while Brisuda ended up swimming a faster leg, in 21.20 to Dalton’s 21.48, Dalton touched the wall .19 seconds earlier, giving the Longhorns the win.

“That’s a relay I’m never going to forget,” Dalton said.