CLEVELAND – The Starkville High School girls swim team benefitted from the state championship efforts of the girls 200 freestyle relay team and claimed second place overall in Class II at the State Championship meet on Saturday.
Class II is comprised of all Class 5A and 6A schools so the Lady Jackets defeated all 5A schools, while Tupelo was the only 6A school that finished higher.
The SHS boys were fifth in Class II behind three 6A schools (Tupelo, Madison Central, Northwest Rankin) and one 5A school (Oxford).
MarkAnne Hobart, Kristen Lacy, Sarah Byrd and Laken Vickers made up the state champion 200 freestyle relay team for the Lady Jackets, and the same group finished second in the girls 200 medley relay.
"This has been a great season," SHS swim coach Angela Hobart said. "I would like to thank Russell Dumas, my assistant coach, for his dedication to this team. (Saturday) night was the perfect night for our team. We had zero disqualifications and zero false starts. All our swimmers were at the blocks on time and prepared to do their best. Everything fell into place for the Lady Jackets. They achieved their goal of being the best 5A swim team in Mississippi. I am am so proud of them."
Individual medalists for the team were Vickers, who placed second in the 100 freestyle and 100 breaststroke, Lacy, who was second in the 500 freestyle and Cheng Ye, who came in second in the 100 breaststroke.
Coach Hobart said "an amazing swim" was put forth by senior Micah Knox, who moved from an eighth place seed to a fourth place final in the 50 freestyle, cutting more than .5 second in the 50 freestyle.
MarkAnne Hobart moved from a fifth place seed to fourth place final finish in the 200 individual medley , shaving slightly more than 4 seconds of her time.
"I was really proud of her as her coach and her mother for doing so well in her last high school race," coach Hobart said.
David McKell finished sixth in the 200 freestyle, cutting 1.4 seconds off his seed time, and Grant Woomer cut an entire second off his season best time in the 50-yard relay split.
"Grant Woomer entered State meet as an alternate," coach Hobart said. "Because of his tenacity and determination, coach Dumas and I moved him to the 200 freestyle relay in the preliminaries, and he, like his teammates on the relay proved themselves by making it back to the finals. The relay team shaved off 3.2 seconds as a whole and finished fifth in the state."