Deerfield boys swimming team 1st, girls 2nd at Stratford

Photo by Daniel Kay

Photo by Daniel Kay

MACON -- The Knights gave head swimming coach Lorraine Withers an early holiday present Saturday, as the Deerfield-Windsor boys took first place overall and had two record-setting finishes at the Stratford Holiday Invitational in their second meet of the season.

"Right now, we have one of the top varsity boys teams in the state, and overall one of the top teams in GISA," Withers said. "This is a good time to step it up."

Taylor Withers, the coach's son and reigning two-time Herald Player of the Year for boys swimming, was the meet's high finisher for the boys, as he had five first-place finishes -- 200 IM, 50 freestyle, 100 butterfly and two relays. He swam the 50 freestyle in 22.4, the 100 fly in 56.8 and the 200 IM in 2:11.

Taylor, Ashton Wahbeh, Beau Sinyard and Matthew Fox all finished under 1:00 in the 100 freestyle.

"To break a minute, that's kind of like a big milestone," Lorraine Withers said. "Once they (do that), it's (a good sign)."

The boys also set school records with their finishes in the 200 IM relay (1:51) and 200 freestyle relay (1:38).

"This is the fastest team I've ever had," Lorraine Withers said. "Hopefully they can be state champs this year or (close to it)."

The Lady Knights also had a strong performance, taking second place overall behind eighth-grader Haley Daughtery, who swam the 50 freestyle in 27.4 -- the second girl at DWS to break 28 seconds since 2006.

"Everyone had a great meet -- lots of PRs and strong performances," Lorraine Withers said. "DWS made their presence known at this meet."

The teams' next meet is Jan. 8 at Georgia Tech.

"That's the biggest meet of the season -- including state," the coach said. "It usually has around 500 kids."