COLUMBIA — –Coming into the 4A state swim meet, Fort Mill knew they would see its toughest competition of the season and despite stepping up to the challenge, the Jackets came up a little short.
Finishing somewhere besides first for the first time all season, Fort Mill boy’s and girl’s swim teams finished third in the state meet to lead all local teams.
Fort Mill brought nearly two dozen swimmers, the most locally, while Clover brought 19 and Nation Ford brought nearly a dozen. South Pointe, Rock Hill and Northwestern brought roughly a handful of swimmers to the championship as well.
Jacob Kohlhoff and Zach Piedt of Fort Mill won two state championships each and the Fort Mill girls relay team won the 200-free relay.
Jackets’ head coach Cindy Van Buskirk said she was a little disappointed in not winning, but was very pleased as well with how well her team stepped up.
The Lady Jackets’ 200-yard free relay team of Michelle Case, Tori Herron, Madison Coughlen and Madison Little set a new state record at 1:38.06.
Kohlhoff set a new state record in the boys’ 200-yard freestyle at 1:41.06. beating out Nation Ford swimmers Brandon Sweezer, who finished second and David Sweezer, who finished third.
“The state record is right around my best time,” Kohlhoff said. “My first goal was to win. I was trying to beat them.”
Kohlhoff came back about two hours later and again beat both Sweezers, this time edging Brandon by 0.23 of a second to win the 500-yard freestyle. David Sweezer came in third in the race.
York County schools dominated the fastest races in the 50-yard freestyle as Piedt won the boy’s event with Rock Hill’s Jackson Bagwell coming in second.
“I was pretty nervous coming into it,” Piedt said. “I was focus on beating the guy from Riverside.”
Piedt said in a sprint race you really don’t have time to think about strategy.
“I just went in and went all out,” he said. “You just have got to get up and go.”
Piedt also won the 100-yard freestyle event to sweep the meet’s fastest two races.
Clover’s Morgan Rulevich won the girls’ 50-yard freestyle. She was surprised she went as fast as she did getting a sub-24 second race.
“Walking in here (the Natatorium) puts a lot on my chest,” she said. “I finished second last year and this year I really wanted to get it.”
Rulevich also won the 100-yard breaststroke and set a state record with a time of 1:04.78.
Northwestern’s Riley League won the 200-yard individual medley in 1:52.67 and set a state record in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 57.82.
“I set out in the beginning of the season to win both my events,” League said. “I’m happy with all my swims. I’m pleased to go out on top.”
Rock Hill and Northwestern tied for 17th in the boy’s standings with 78 points each.