Picayune and PRC will compete in MHSAA South State Championship

Published 7:00 am Friday, October 14, 2016

High school swimmers from across the state are stretching their swim caps and tightening their goggles as they gear up for the MHSAA South-Half State Swimming Championship set for Oct. 15.

Teams from Picayune Memorial and Pearl River Central high schools have multiple athletes who qualified to compete in Biloxi for a chance to win a South State title.

The qualifying Blue Devils include Sarah-Ashlyn Barber, Lauren Coleman, Ceriston English, Rocky English, Luke Jarvis, Alexis Lanier, Aubree Lee, Gabby Lewis, London Littlefield, Alston Lossett, Garrett McMahon, Kayla Ryan, Olivia Speights, Anthony Werner and Lane Young.

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“We have high expectations for our swimmers to do very well,” PRC Assistant Coach Heather Burleson said. “We feel that we have prepared them for this competition. It is all left to their arms and legs.”

In previous meets, Blue Devils’ Jarvis seemed to be finding a rhythm in the water, achieving victory after victory against the rival Maroon Tide by a matter of seconds.

Although the Blue Devils have had a difficult time finishing first overall, their progression coming into the South State Championship is exciting for the coaching staff.

“We hope to have some swimmers go to state, but they have to put in the work to get there,” Burleson said.

For the Maroon Tide, the qualifying girls include captain Delora Denney, co-captains Sophie Griffiths and Donisha Williams, Emily Arthur, Kamryn Clymer, Madison Mckenzie, Amber Bounds and Kylie Burnette.

All five Maroon Tide boys’ swimmers qualified for South State, which includes captain Andrew Bates, co-captain Edgar Barajas, Justin Whitfield, Caleb Burnette and Austin Samples.

“We put in all the work we possibly can, so now we just have to go out there and perform,” Ray Lossett, Picayune’s head swim coach said. “Bringing back a State Championship to Picayune is the goal we’ve had since day one.”

To qualify for the South State Championship, swimmers must be under the following times for their respective race:

• 200-yard medley relay: Women—2:28.23; Men—2:18.15

• 200-yard freestyle: Women—2:33.89; Men—2:24.49

• 200 individual medley: Women—2:53.19; Men—2:41.85

• 50-yard freestyle: Women—32.25; Men—28.65

• 100 butterfly: Women—1:17.69; Men—1:12.19

• 100 freestyle: Women—1:11.39; Men—1:04.63

• 500 freestyle: Women—6:51.79; Men—6:29.49

• 200 freestyle relay: Women—2:13; Men—1:54.60

• 100 backstroke: Women—1:18.29; Men—1:13.59

• 100 breaststroke: Women—1:29.39; Men—1:22.59

• 400 freestyle relay: Women—4:45.56; Men—4:18.52

In the South State Championship, only the top eight swimmers will score. Only four swimmers from each team and one relay are allowed to score in each event, according to the Mississippi High School Athletic Activities website.

The fastest six swimmers from the North State Championship, the six fastest from the South State Championship, plus the next fastest four from either meet will advance to the State Championship, pending they meet the state qualifying times for their respective classification.

The State Championship meet will be on Oct. 29.