Swimming after titles

Published 12:05 am Thursday, December 8, 2016

Swimmers from high schools across the state are heading to Auburn University Dec. 9-10 for the 2016 AHSAA State Championship Swim Meet, and five local girls have qualified for the meet.

Andalusia’s Cali Filmer, Straughn’s Grace Philpott, Opp’s Elizabeth Younce, Mary Beth Baker and Emma Younce will compete for state titles in various events beginning on Friday.

Filmer, a senior at Andalusia, will compete as the fifth-seed in the 200-yard individual medley and the seventh-seed in the 100-yard fly. Filmer plans to continue her swimming career at Berry College when she graduates.

As an eighth grader at Straughn Middle School, Philpott is one of the younger competitors in the high school state championship.

Philpott will represent Straughn High School in the 100-yard freestyle. She will also compete in the 100-yard backstroke where she is the 11th-seed.

By earning a spot in the state meet, Philpott becomes the first swimmer in school history to make it to the state championship meet.

Junior Elizabeth Younce is one of three Opp High School swimmers represented in the meet.

Elizabeth will swimming in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Bobcat senior Baker will compete as the sixth-seed in the 50-yard freestyle and fourth-seed in the 100-yard freestyle.

“For me, this is my last year to attend the high school state meet,” Baker said. “I’m really excited and hopeful for this year’s competition. There are so many talented swimmers in the state of Alabama. We are just grateful to be able to compete in such a competitive state championship.”

Freshman Emma Younce is seeded second in the 100-yard backstroke and third in the 100-yard freestyle.

The state meet will get started on Friday with the preliminary races and the finals will be held Saturday.

Despite competing for different schools during the high school season, all five girls are members of the Unified Troy team. The group travels to Troy four times a week to practice with the team. All five girls are also members of the Andalusia Stingrays swim team during the summer.