Seemingly every year, Evans swimmer Ben Miller remembers seeing a friend take the title of swimmer of the year.
On Tuesday, it was his turn.
The senior was among the award winner during the CSRA Swimming and Diving Championships held at the Augusta Aquatics Center. Greenbrier's Kate Clark was named girls swimmer of the year and Westside's Jody Grant received coach of the year honors.
Miller is an eight-time Georgia All-Star and has been a top scorer for Evans during his four years with the team. He also captured the 100-yard backstroke on Tuesday night. Clark, a junior, is ranked fourth in the state in the 200-yard freestyle and holds six of the eight individual records at the school. Grant has been teaching at Westside since 2000 and also swam at the school.
"I'm so honored," Clark said. "I was not really expecting this."
Grant gave the credit to his team, saying "it's all about them." He added that the Patriots have made improvements throughout the season despite not being year-round swimmers.
In the team competition, the Lakeside boys captured the championship with a score of 536. Greenbrier finished second. The Wolfpack girls won the competition, with Lakeside coming in second. Lakeside won the combined team title with 1,022 points.
Lakeside's Ben Bissell won the boys 1-meter diving competition, scoring 373.45. Grovetown's Meghan Zets won the girls diving title with a 315.25.
The winners in the swimming portion also included Davidson Fine Arts' Daniel Budenstein. Though he already qualified for state in other events, the senior won the 50-yard freestyle with a 23.33 finish. A 23.50 time is required to make it to the state competition.
Budenstein hopes to record better time at state. He said he hasn't eaten much in the past four days and he said he weighs seven pounds less than normal since he's been battling a throat sickness.
Nick Brown, of Greenbrier, won the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard individual medley. He won the IM competing against three other previously state-qualified swimmers,
Brown started to separate himself from the pack on the breaststroke, and finished a half-second faster than his earlier best time on that portion of the medley.
"I took a good turn," Brown said. "I felt fast."
Clark won the 200-yard freestyle and also took the longest event, the girls 500-yard freestyle -- for which she has qualified for state -- posting a 5:16.01. Lakeside's Alex Schafer took first in the boys 500-yard freestyle with a 5:08.17. Lakeside's Katherine Huff won two individual events, the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke.
With the CSRA Championships in the past, the swimmers and divers are closer to the state championships at Georgia Tech on Feb. 11-12.
"I am kind of nervous, yeah," Miller said with a smile.
CSRA Swimming and Diving Championships
Team Score Winners
Boys 200-yard medley relay--Lakeside; 1:45.09
Girls 200-yard medley relay--Greenbrier; 1:56.51
Boys 200-yard freestyle--Kevin Middlebrooks, Evans; 1:56.50
Girls 200-yard freestyle--Kate Clark, Greenbrier; 1:58.46
Boys 200-yard individual medley--Nick Brown, Greenbrier; 1:57.25
Girls 200-yard individual medley--Katlyn Jones, Evans; 2:19.67
Boys 50-yard freestyle--Daniel Budenstein, Davidson Fine Arts; 23.22
Girls 50-yard freestyle--Katherine Huff, Lakeside; 24.86
Boys 1 meter diving--Ben Bissell, Lakeside; 373.45
Girls 1 meter diving--Meghan Zets, Grovetown; 315.25
Boys 100-yard butterfly--Nathan Pocta, Lakeside; 56.26
Girls 100-yard butterfly--Rebecca Pakradooni, Lakeside; 1:03.61
Boys 100-yard freestyle--Yukun Chen, Lakeside; 51.28
Girls 100-yard freestyle--Ashley Boudreaux, Greenbrier, 57.10
Boys 500-yard freestyle--Alex Schafer, Lakeside; 5:08.17
Girls 500-yard freestyle--Kate Clark, Greenbrier; 5:16.01
Boys 200-yard freestyle relay--Lakeside; 1:34.69
Girls 200-yard freestyle relay--Lakeside; 1:45.91
Boys 100-yard backstroke--Ben Miller, Evans; 55.37
Girls 100-yard backstroke--Katherine Huff, Lakeside; 1:01.25
Boys 100-yard breaststroke--Nick Brown, Greenbrier; 59.97
Girls 100-yard breaststroke--Arlyn Bateman, Greenbrier; 1:13.97
Boys 400-yard freestyle relay--Greenbrier; 3:34.24
Girls 400-yard freestyle relay--Greenbrier; 3:52.29
Boys swimmer of the year: Ben Miller, Evans
Girls swimmer of the year: Kate Clark, Greenbrier
Coach of the year: Jody Grant, Westside