The 2023 GHSA Class AAAAAAA State Championships were held on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta. Buford’s Ben Irwin took home two individual state titles while the North Gwinnett girls swim and dive team won the team state championship title.
Irwin, a Navy commit, broke both the Buford High School record and the Georgia High School record when he captured the state championship title in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 46.94 seconds. Irwin qualified for the state championships with a time of 48.16 seconds and then swam a time of 47.36 seconds in the prelims. He broke the school record and is a back-to-back state champion in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 46.91 seconds, dropping 1.45 seconds off of his prelim time of 48.36 seconds.
Irwin helped contribute to the Buford boys placing eighth in the boys 200-yard medley relay and seventh in the boys 200-yard free relay. Buford boys finished in 11th place overall.
Buford girls placed 22nd overall with their top placer, Mckinlee Taulbee placing fifth in the girls 1-meter diving championships.
The North Gwinnett girls swim and dive team edged out their rival Brookwood by 55.5 to capture the GHSA Class AAAAAAA State Championship title. North earned a total of 429.5 points to Brookwood’s 374 points.
North placed first in the girls 200-yard medley relay which consisted of Ashley Morton, Morgan Jenny, Jayla Thompson and Emma Reiser with a time of 1:44.09 minutes. Reiser captured an individual state title in the girls 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:51.27. She finished third in the girls 200-yard freestyle. Other top finishers for North Gwinnett’s girls team were 400-yard free relay team (third place), McKenzie Jenny (third place, girls 500-yard free; seventh place, girls 200-yard free), Morgan Jenny (third place, girls 200-yard IM; third place, girls 100-yard breaststroke), Thompson (third place, girls 50-yard free; second place, girls 100-yard fly), Jamison Tiller (fourth place, girls 100-yard free) and Morton (third place, girls 100-yard backstroke; fifth place, girls 200-yard IM).
North Gwinnett’s boys swim and dive team finished second to Walton in the team finals. Walton accumulated 414 points to North’s 406 points.
North won the boys 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:32.82. That relay team consisted of Blake Burnley, Avery Joo, Logan Reinhold and Tristan DenBrok. The Bulldogs (Burnley, Eli Wilson, Nathan Han and DenBrok) also won the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:03.49. DenBrok won the boys 200-yard freestyle, as well as the boys 500-yard freestyle.
Other top finishers for North were Burnley (second place, boys 100-yard fly; fourth place, boys 500-yard free), Lim (sixth place, boys 100-yard fly), Ethan Reiser (eighth place, boys 500-yard free).