Following a COVID-canceled 2020 season, the Jefferson Sea Dragons returned to the pool Saturday (June 5) with a resounding season-opening win at the North Georgia Splash meet in Habersham County.
Jefferson dominated the seven-team event held at Ruby Fulbright Aquatic Center, totaling 1,150 points to win by a 380-point margin.
Sea Dragon swimmers turned in 25 first-place finishes with Sawyer Cain, Blakely Hawk and Cayden Sheridan collecting four wins each. Miles Miller won three events. Jefferson also recorded 23 all-star times. All-star swimmers were Sawyer Cain (8U), Blakely Hawk (10U), Khloe Vaughn (8U), Haylee Cain (12U), Kerrigan Vaughn (12U), Will Nunnally (12U), Gabby Lee (12U), Cayden Sheridan (14U), Makaylee Cain (18U), and Macie Patridge (18U).
Top performers included:
•Lucy Howell, first, 25-yard freestyle (27.83).
•Margaret Wilburn, third, 25-yard freestyle (30.91); third, 25-yard backstroke (39.91).
•Sawyer Cain, first, 50-yard freestyle (39.3); first, 100-yard individual medley (1:48.66); first, 25-yard backstroke (18.89); first, 25-yard butterfly (19.19).
•Khloe Vaughn, third, 25-yard backstroke (24.78).
•Medley relay (Kenlee Wheaton, Sawyer Cain, Avery Sheridan and Khloe Vaughn), first, 1:41.5.
•Miles Miller, first, 25-yard freestyle (21.27); first, 25-yard backstroke (25.65); first, 25-yard butterfly (33.03).
•Luke Funderburke, second, 25-yard backstroke (26.07); second, 25-yard butterfly (34.34).
•Blakely Hawk, first, 50-yard freestyle (33.85); first, 25-yard freestyle (14.97); first, 25-yard butterfly (17.47); first, 25-yard breaststroke (18.16).
•Jillian Mundy, third, 100-yard individual medley (1:36.22); third, 25-yard butterfly (19.21).
•Parker Newell, first, 100-yard individual medley (1:55.73); third, 50-yard freestyle (39.59); third, 25-yard freestyle, 17.03.
•Kerrigan Vaughn, first, 50-yard backstroke (34.98); third, 50-yard freestyle (30.32); third, 100-yard individual medley, 1:16.32; third, 50-yard butterfly (34.43).
•Haylee Cain, second, 100-yard freestyle (1:06.49); second, 50-yard freestyle (29.93).
•Sofia Burns, second, 50-yard breaststroke (41.56).
•Gabby Lee, third, 50-yard backstroke (35.35).
•200-yard medley relay (Gabby Lee, Sofia Burns, Kerrigan Vaughn, and Haylee Cain), first (2:17.45).
•Garrett Richmond, fourth, 50-yard breaststroke (43.15).
•Will Nunnally, sixth, 50-yard butterfly (39.05), seventh 100-yard freestyle (1:15.58); seventh, 100-yard individual medley (1:30.35); seventh, 50-yard freestyle (33.55).
•Levin Johnson, sixth, 100-yard freestyle (1:14.04); eighth, 50-yard freestyle (33.67).
•Cayden Sheridan, first, 100-yard free style (58.18); first, 50-yard freestyle (26.23); first, 100-yard individual medley (1:07.05); first, 50-yard butterfly (28.24).
•Eben Mundy, second, 50-yard breaststroke (37.37).
•200-yard medley relay (Rishav Rajbhandan, Eben Mundy, Cayden Sheridan, and Caleb Funderburke), first (2:27.03).
•Makaylee Cain, first, 50-yard breaststroke (36.73); second, 100-yard freestyle (1:01.97), second, 50-yard butterfly (31.97); third, 50-yard freestyle (29.21).
•Macie Patridge, second, 50-yard freestyle (28.69); third, 100-yard freestyle (1:02.84); third, 50-yard breaststroke (37.73).
•8U 100-yard freestyle mixed relay (Avery Sheridan, Luke Funderburke, Khloe vaughn and Sawyer Cain), first (1:22.95).
•10U 100-yard mixed freestyle relay (Parker Newell, Caz Weldon, Blakely Hawk and Spencer Cain), first (1:10.63).
•18U 200-yard mixed freestyle relay (Makaylee Cain, Decatur Dunagan, Macie Patridge, and Cayden Sheridan), first (1:51.04).
This year's team
This year’s Sea Dragon squad had to be capped at 130 members with a waiting list due to demand.
“So there was great enthusiasm for summer swim this year,” Nunnally said.
The team began practicing on May 17 and held a mock meet Thursday (June 3) leading into Saturday’s season opener.
This year’s squad, according to Nunnally, combines new swimmers with returning talent. Among the returning talent are state champions and record holders Ansley Nunnally and Ximena Young, who will lead the 14U girls. Also returning are state team members and medalists, Gabby Lee (12U), Kerrigan Vaugn (12U), Blakely Hawk (10U), Parker Newell (10U), Sawyer Cain (8U), Jillian Mundy, (10U), Spencer Cain (10U), Avery Sheridan (8U), Cayden Sheridan (14U), Haylee Cain (12U), Makaylee Cain (18U), Brandon Hailey (18U), and Macie Patridge (18U).
“These are just a few of our swimmers that we hope will once again lead us to a league championship as well as numerous state titles,” Nunnally said.
Jefferson’s newer swimmers will return to Habersham this weekend while the team’s veteran swimmers will swim at the Pentathlon in Winder on June 19.