A week after placing first in the Region 5-AAAA swim meet, the North Augusta girls swim team carried momentum and confidence into state competition.
The girls finished fifth in the South Carolina Class AAAA state meet Saturday at the USC Natatorium in Columbia, taking home two individual first-place finishes and several top 5 placements.
Kelsey Williams, who entered with two individual region first-place finishes from the previous weekend, earned first in the state 100 freestyle event. She placed second in the 50 freestyle, combining as the top girl from the North Augusta team.
Nicole Fuller, who also won two region individual events, placed first in the state 500 freestyle, and fourth in the 200 freestyle. Fuller’s win in the 500 was her third career first-place finish in the event after breaking the state record by more than three seconds as a junior.
Fuller said she had a shoulder injury during her junior season that kept her out of the pool for an extended period of time. She said her senior season was about getting back on track.
“The rest of the (junior) season was kind of rough, because I had a shoulder injury that didn’t let me use my arms for about three or four months total,” she said. “I was able to get back in for about a month at the end of last season. What this high school season is for me is getting my confidence back up, because it’s really hard coming back from something like that.”
“She has lived up to my expectations,” North Augusta coach Joy Collins said. “It’s bittersweet seeing her swim in her last meet in high school.”
Fuller and Williams train together and have been side by side in the lane during practice for much of their high school careers. They are also co-captains for a North Augusta team that looks to continued success after the two graduate.
“(Kelsey) and I have worked together a lot during the season,” Fuller said. “We’re not only swimming together in the same lanes in the same sets, and pushing each other, but we coach the younger high school swimmers together.”
North Augusta’s Elizabeth Creech finished fifth in the 100 freestyle and eighth in the 50 freestyle.
The North Augusta relay teams also posted top 5 finishes, with the 200 relay team finishing third and the 400 relay team placing fifth.
TOURNAMENT TIME: The Harlem softball team swept through the first round of the Region 3-AA tournament and is preparing for another chance at a title.
The Lady Bulldogs swept a doubleheader against Screven County this past Thursday. They are set to face Westside for the region championship Wednesday.
Greenbrier’s softball team is prepping for a run at a Region 2-AAAAA title with a first-round matchup against Houston County on Wednesday. The Lady Wolfpack enter the tournament 8-0 in region play.
Cross Creek’s softball team begins a run for a Region 3-AAAA championship with a first-round game today against Wayne County.