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Lee’s Fye leads Albany YMCA swimmers to state title

Leesburg’s Nicole Fye helped the Albany YMCA Rapids role to their first state championship over the weekend, blowing away the second-place team by 150 points.

Leesburg’s Nicole Fye helped the Albany YMCA Rapids role to their first state championship over the weekend, blowing away the second-place team by 150 points.

ATLANTA — Nicole Fye owns Georgia, and now she wants a little bit more.

As if Fye, the 13-year-old swimming prodigy from Lee County, needed any more motivation, she got an added lift over the weekend in the Georgia State Games.

“Coming into the meet I wanted to swim best times, and I wanted to make the Zone Team,’’ said Fye, who just turned 13 and dominated the 14-and-under class.

By the time the weekend ended, they couldn’t keep her off the Georgia Zone Team, which consists of the elite swimmers from Georgia.

Fye had won just about everything.

She won six state titles, took home a pair of seconds and a fifth place in the 50-meter freestyle to lead the Albany YMCA Rapids/Quad-A team to its first Division III team state title.

She was also a runaway winner as the top girls swimmer in the meet and earned an automatic selection to the Georgia Zone Team.

“She had some real good times, but she told me she was holding back a little bit because she’s going with the Zone Team to Dallas next week,” said Albany YMCA coach Jeff DeMott, Southwest Georgia’s renowned swimming guru. “She really wanted to make the (Georgia) Zone Team.’’

The meet in Dallas pits the best swimmers from the Southern Zone, which consists of the top swimmers from several states, stretching from Texas in the west to the Atlantic Ocean in the east and from Kentucky in the north to Florida in the south.

“It was important for me to make the team,’’ Fye said. “It’s like a goal I had for a lot of my summer training. It meant a lot to me. When I made the team, I was real excited.’’

She also swam eight personal-record times, including three in races she didn’t win. Fye had PRs while winning the 800-meter freestyle (9:00.84), 200 freestyle (2:09.62), 100 butterfly (1:05.74) and 400 freestyle (4:31.54). She also won the 200 butterfly (1:05.74).

She swam her personal-best times while finishing second in the 100 backstroke (1:09.05), 200 backstroke (2:27.85) and taking fifth in the 50 freestyle (28.48).

“She had a few team records,’’ DeMott said. “She’s at the beginning of her age bracket, and her goal is to go for state records next summer.

“It was a tremendous weekend for her. She keeps making progress. She’ll be very successful if she keeps on course.’’

DeMott was ecstatic about his team winning the state title.

“We’re very pleased,’’ he said. “We finished second last year, and we’ve been second three times (‘07, ‘09, ‘11). This is our first state championship.’’

DeMott brought 12 swimmers to the state meet, including Maggie Davis, another local swimming sensation. Davis, 13, was swimming in her first 14-and-under state meet, and did well. She finished third in the 200 butterfly, seventh in the 400 freestyle, eighth in the 800 freestyle and 10th in the 200 freestyle.

“She swam some of her best times,’’ DeMott said. “The main thing was this was her first meet at the 13-to-14 year-old meet, and she was able to score in multiple events.’’

Olivia Thomas, a 12-year-old, finished eighth in both the 50 breaststroke and 100 breaststroke in the 12-and-under division, and Fye’s younger brother, Reese Fye, 10, had a big meet in the 10-and-under division. He was third in the 400 freestyle, fourth in the 200 freestyle, eighth in the 100 butterfly and ninth in the 100 freestyle.

David Murphy, 14, was third in the 50 freestyle, fourth in the 100 freestyle and sixth in the 100 breaststroke.

All of those swimmers helped the YMCA Rapids destroyed the competition. Albany won by 150 points, scoring 330 points. The second place team, Carpet Capital Aquatics, scored 180.