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Lions take second behind BeVier's big night

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Peachtree Ridge's Carrington BeVier places first in the girls 100 yard breaststroke with a time of 1:04.29 during the GHSA Class AAAAAA State Swimming Championship Meet at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta Saturday. The Peachtree Ridge girls swim team placed second over all in the state of Class AAAAAA.

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Peachtree Ridge's Carrington BeVier places first in the girls 100 yard breaststroke with a time of 1:04.29 during the GHSA Class AAAAAA State Swimming Championship Meet at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta Saturday. The Peachtree Ridge girls swim team placed second over all in the state of Class AAAAAA.

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Archer's Alexi Smith gives a thumbs up to a swimmer two lanes away beside North Forsyth's Kaylya Thomas after finishing the girls 100 yard freestyle during the GHSA Class AAAAAA State Swimming Championship Meet at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta Saturday. Smith placed second in 50.94.

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Brookwood's Rachel Muller places second in a time of 4:49.77 during the 500 yard freestyle in the GHSA Class AAAAAA State Swimming Championship Meet at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta Saturday.

ATLANTA -- Peachtree Ridge had several strong individual performances in the Class AAAAAA Girls State Swimming Championships.

But in the end, Lambert had more as the Longhorns rolled up 292 points to cruise to the Forsyth County school's first state team title by 70 points Saturday at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.

Though it wasn't quite what they wanted, the Lions came away feeling very good about their 222-point effort, including a state-championship performance by Carrington BeVier in the 100-yard breaststroke.

"We're happy with top three," Peachtree Ridge head coach Jeremy Laird said. "That was our goal -- to be on the podium."

BeVier's win in the 100 breast, in which the Lions' junior finished in a time of 1:04.29 to outlast Lassiter's Jordan Drake by 18 hundredths of a second, gave the Lions a brief opening in the meet's next-to-last event.

"It was a lot of pressure," BeVier said of what her race meant in the team standings. "I knew it was going to be a close race. I don't like to look (in the next lane). I just knew it was going to be close, so I just wasn't going to (waste) any time paying attention to what (Drake) was doing."

While BeVier was Peachtree Ridge's only state champion, the Lions had two other top-three finishes that aided the team's cause, including a state runner-up finish by Haley McInerny in the 100 butterfly in a time of 55.34 seconds.

BeVier also placed third in the 200 individual medley in 2:05.13, while the Lions' 200 medley relay team of BeVier, McInerny, Christina Wang and Savannah Ruedt took third in 1:47.05.

Only one other Gwinnett swimmer won an individual state championship on the evening, with Archer's Alexi Smith winning the 50 freestyle title in a time of 23.14 seconds.

Smith become the Tigers' second state champion in the event in as many years after teammate Lydia Jones, who took fourth this year, won it last year.

And she was just 23 hundredths of a second off the state record set by Brookwood grad Amanda Weir, a goal she hopes to attack as a senior next year.

"I've been training really hard," said the junior, who also finished second in the 100 free later in the evening. "I've really stepped up my training. I was really shooting for Amanda Weir's record. I'm a junior, so hopefully, I'll get it next year."

The performances by Smith and Jones helped Archer tie with Milton for ninth in the team standings with 106 points to join Peachtree Ridge and Brookwood as Gwinnett teams to finish in the top 10.

The Broncos got a strong night from senior Rachel Muller, who took second in the 200 and 500 free, plus a third-place finish by Anna Jahns in the 500 free and fourth-place finishes by Erin Scott in the 100 breast and the 200 medley relay team of Muller, Scott, Evan Parker and Becky Bass, to score 170 points, good for fifth place behind Lambert, Peachtree Ridge, Lassiter and Johns Creek.