The Jefferson girls’ youth swimming team missed out on a state title by half a point last year, but they aim to break through that ceiling this weekend.

The Sea Dragons will compete at the state meet in Tifton this Friday and Saturday

Jefferson’s girls have dominated the regular-season schedule but will have to out-swim top competitors like Douglas County and Tift County at state to bring home a long-awaited championship.

“They usually have a dominant force with their (age) 13-18 girls,” coach Tess Nunnally said of both those teams. “We are a little light in those age groups, but the ones we have will fight hard. We look to win state with our girls’ team. We were a half a point short last year. We have numerous girls that can win state titles and break state records this year. It will be very interesting in Tifton this week.”

The Sea Dragons, fresh off their sixth-straight league championship, will travel with 46 swimmers this weekend between their girls’ and boys’ programs. Those swimmers will compete in a total of 53 individual events and 21 relays.

“We are looking for a lot of spectacular things to happen down there this weekend,” Nunnally said.



For the sixth-straight year, Jefferson took the top spot in the 15-team North Georgia Swim League. With 80 swimmers participating, the Sea Dragons picked up 679.5 points, 138.5 points ahead of second-place Dacula. Jefferson’s girls’ team earned 510.5 of those points.

The meet was separated into two days and two locations. The Sea Dragons sat in sixth place after Friday’s session in Gainesville before a huge Saturday in the pool in Habersham County to deliver the win.

“Our swimmers came in and rocked it by beating anyone they could to score points for the team,” Nunnally said. “We had many swimmers come from the slower heats to place (in the) top 8 for our team. Every single one of our swimmers contributed points whether on a relay or individually. I could not be more proud as a coach to see these athletes come together for each other and fight till the end.”

Nunnally said her team has some “amazing talent” across all age divisions.

“Many of the swimmers see that hard work, practice and determination pays off,” she said. “These swimmers have bright futures ahead in this sport.”


Those finishing in the top three of their division at the league meet based on their combined point total were:

•Sawyer Cain, champion, 6U girls.

•Jillian Mundy, third, 8U girls.

•Gabby Lee, third, 10U girls.

•Haylee Cain, second, 10U girls.

•Ansley Nunnally, second, 12U girls.

•Kate Dunagan, third, 12U girls.

•Justin Duke, second, 12U boys.

Jefferson swimmers winning events were:

•Kenlee Wheaton, Khloe Vaughn, Avery Sheridan and Sawyer Cain, 6U girls’ freestyle relay (1:41.61).

•Sawyer Cain, 6U girls’ 25-yard freestyle relay (21.61); 25-yard backstroke (24.84).

•Jillian Mundy, 8U 25-yard butterfly (24.42).

•Gabby Lee, Sofia Burns, Haylee Cain and Kerigan Vaughn, 10U girls’ medley and freestyle relays (1:15.98 medley relay /1:06.14 freestyle).

•Gabby Lee, 10U girls’ 25-yard backstroke (17.93).

•Haylee Cain, 10U girls’ 100-yard individual medley (1:25.71); 25-yard butterfly (16.58).

•Ansley Nunnally, 12U girls’ 50-yard freestyle (27.22); 50-yard backstroke (30.54).

•Justin Duke, 12U boys’ 50-yard freestyle (29.35); 50-yard backstroke (34.25).

•Ximena Young, Jessica Beller, Ansley Nunnally and Kate Dunagan, 12U girls’ 200-yard medley and freestyle relays (2:31.13 medley/ 1:58.89 freestyle).

•Grace Richardson, Makaylee Cain, Madelyn English and Georgia Griffin, 14U girls’ 200-yard medley and freestyle relays (2:20.71 medley/2:07.92 freestyle)


Other swimmers placing in the top eight in multiple events were Kenlee Wheaton (6U girls), Khloe Vaughn (6U girls), Avery Sheridan (6U girls), Blakely Hawk (8U girls), Emery Whetstone (8U girls), Wyatt English (10U boys), Sofia Burns (10U girls), Kerrigan Vaughn (10U girls), William Allen (10U boys) Will Nunnally (10U boys) Jessica Beller (12U girls), Ximena Young (12U girls), Cayden Sheridan (12U girls), Justin Kurgan (12U boys), Grace Richardson (14U girls) and Makaylee Cain (14U girls).

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