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Swimming: Teams gear up for county meet on Saturday

At this Saturday's county swim meet at Cumming Aquatic Center, the Lambert swim and dive team wants to continue one streak, all while gearing up to hopefully resume another.

The Longhorns have never lost the county meet in their history as a program, and it doesn't look like Saturday will change that pattern, as plenty of swimmers return from last year's boys team, which finished third at the state meet, and girls team, which finished second and boasts a Georgia signee in Caroline Aikins and an Arizona State signee in Lilia Smith.

That second-place finish, though, broke a streak of four straight state titles for the Longhorns girls. Lambert head coach Kerry Langley said that the team's divers have been particularly motivated by that finish. 

"I think now the divers kind of thought it was their fault last year, and they've really stepped up," Langley said. "I think all four of them will place (at state), so that's really cool."

Senior Kelsey Dekshenieks should lead that group. Langley will also be preparing athletes for the events they will swim at the state meet, where coaches adjust lineups to get the most team points possible. Junior Wyatt Dalton is one of those athletes, as Langley said she would put Dalton in three relays, which reward more team points, forcing him to sit out one of his individual events. 

"That's a team player," Langley said. 

One particular relay will be a focus for the county. North Forsyth pulled off a victory in the boys 200-meter freestyle relay at the state meet last year, and while Jack Dalmolin, the anchor of that relay and winner of multiple individual state titles last year, has graduated, the Raiders expect to maintain their competitiveness in that event. Daniel Brisuda, Skylar Kadetz and Hunter Galbraith are back from that relay, and Alex Gonzalez will fill in the fourth spot. 

"We think we have a really good shot at repeating with that state title," said Tyler Martin, North's first-year head coach. 

Martin said the Raiders are ranked third in the state, behind Brookwood and Milton, in that event, and that Lambert is close behind North. The Raiders also boast one of the top girls freshmen in the state in Haley Galbraith.