Aquaknights Make A Splash at GHSA State Meet
For the third year in a row, junior Lizzy Kaye stole the show and maintained her title as 1-5A Diving State Champion. This year, the varsity swimming and diving team represented Pace very well, especially considering their loss of several skilled teammates from the Class of 2019. Charlie Kaye ’19, brother of Lizzy Kaye, was a three-time state champion at Pace and now swims for Southern Methodist University.
This year, Lizzy Kaye was challenged more than ever in the diving event held on Feb. 6, facing freshman Julia Herring from St. Pius X, who ended up winning the event for 4-5A schools. Kaye and Herring are teammates at the Atlanta Diving Association. For the several Pace students who were able to attend the competition, this event was a nail-biter, with leads switching back and forth between these two competitors and Kaye ultimately edging Herring out of the top spot by less than three points.
Kaye’s win gave the state swim team a strong position leading into the preliminary meet on Friday, Feb. 7. The swim team stood out in the water as well. Five out of six of the relays returned for finals on Saturday morning, and then a few finished in the top 10 for the 1-3A division.
The boys team was full of new faces and swimmers that had never been to the GHSA state meet. After losing so many talented seniors last year, swimmers like freshmen Carter Freudenstein and Barrett Hight and junior Rivers Graham, all of whom were new to the team this year, stepped up and scored a great number of points for the Aquaknights.
Senior Erin Hood and Freudenstein both returned for each of their two individual events. Hood swam the 100 individual medley (IM) and the 100 breaststroke while Freudenstein swam the 100 freestyle, as well as the 100 IM. All four of these swims were successful; Hood took second place in the state in both of her events, losing only to Westminster sophomore Gigi Johnson, who will be competing in the Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska this summer. Freudenstein qualified for the “B Final” for both of his races, an impressive feat for a freshman.
The state team faced some adversity throughout the duration of the meet; however, the Aquaknights still placed well in a large field of 1-3A (and 1-5A) schools. The girls took 13th, while the boys tied for 14th.