Sequoyah swimmers hit the finish line


Junior Collin Brandau races through the water during the 50-yard freestyle event. Brandau reached state-qualifying time in the 200-yard freestyle relay with teammates Grant Davis, Daniel Ergle, and Tanner Baird.

As the swim season comes to a close, several swimmers have met exceptional times in the water and will be moving on to the state meet at Georgia Tech. After this season is over, senior swimmers will not be diving into a high school competitive meet ever again. 

Senior Daniel Ergle has swum for Sequoyah all four years of his time in high school, and he has been swimming nearly his entire life. Ergle is also one of the captains of the team. 

“I started year-round swimming three years ago, and I’ve been swimming otherwise for 15 years,” Ergle said. “[Being team captain is] definitely fun and has some responsibility. Most of the time though, it’s just leading some stuff and making sure everyone’s in the right spot. It’s nice to know that people like you and think that you would be good in charge.” 

Ergle has mixed feelings about his high school swim career coming to a close and has not fully realized it. 

“It’s weird. It hasn’t really occurred to me yet, but when I think about it, it’s four years here that I’ve been swimming, so it’s a little sad to be over,” Ergle said. “It hasn’t really hit yet that this may be one of the last times that I ever swim.” 

Senior Daniel Ergle finishes strongly in the 500-yard freestyle. This is Ergle’s second season as a team captain.

Senior Sebastian Alfonso had one goal for his final season: attending practice and dropping time. Alfonso has been on the team since his sophomore year and consistently showed up to the 5:30 am practices. 

“My goal was to make sure to drop time to get as close as I could to state times. I’ve missed two or three practices,” Alfonso said. “I feel like I’ve gotten fairly close [to my goal], I’ve definitely improved compared to the past two years I’ve been doing it.” 

Coach Miriam Greene has been coaching swim for seven years. Her goal for the season was for everyone to get better than they were before and do the best that they can in the water. 

“Overall, [my goal was] for everyone to improve individually and to drop times,” Greene said. “We have some strong individuals and strong relays, so [I just want] everybody to do the best they can to represent Sequoyah.” 

Coach Cora Hodgins has been Greene’s assistant coach for two years now. This season, she wanted to improve her coaching and her relationships with the swimmers. 

“Last year, I really wasn’t confident in a lot of things related to swim because I had never coached or swam before competitively, so last year [I] was just learning what everything meant and how to be an assistant coach for Coach Greene,” Hodgins said. “This year, my goal was to take the things that I learned from last year and apply them in order to be more helpful instead of just being a warm body. I feel like I was able to form better relationships with the swimmers this year [compared to last year] as a result of that.” 

Greene believes the team will do well at the state meet, but she has her eye on a few swimmers in particular. 

“We have a couple of individuals that have a lot of talent. I expect both Delaney [Harrison] and Grant [Davis] to do very well,” Greene said. 

Sophomore Grant Davis has been swimming for over a decade and has been focusing on his time for the 200-yard freestyle for several years now. This season, Davis broke the county and school records for the event, along with the school record for the 500-yard freestyle. 

“I’ve been swimming for eleven years and have really focused on the 200 [yard freestyle] for the last three to four years,” Davis said. “I had a feeling that I was going to break the record, but when I did, I felt very accomplished, and it was a very cool moment.” 

Freshman Delaney Harrison started swimming four years ago for the Chattahoochee Gold swim team. This season was Harrison’s first season for Sequoyah, and she made several state cuts. On top of her state-worthy times, Harrison set two school and county records this season—one in the girl’s 50-yard freestyle and one in the 100-yard freestyle. 

“[Going to state as a freshman is] pretty cool. I’m going in the 50 [freestyle] and 100 [freestyle], but I made [the time] in many events,” Harrison said. 

The state swim meet is an enticing goal for many swimmers, especially those who may have gotten close to qualifying in previous seasons. Junior Hannah Mann was an alternate last year, so this season, she was determined to qualify. 

“[This year,] I’m really excited because I’m going with my relays, and it’s always more fun going as a group. I made it in the 200 free relay and the 400 free relay.” 

Although not everyone makes state, many swimmers still reach their personal goal that they set for the season. Junior Zach Thomas aimed to improve his times from last year and was willing to put in more effort in order to reach that goal. 

“[My goal was] to improve all of my times. [I went] a lot harder at practice than I did last year. [For next season], I’d swim on another team as well, such as [Chattahoochee] Gold, during the school season and off-season,” Thomas said. 

Junior Jackie Robinson joined the team this year for the first time. Robinson had never swum competitively before and was not used to the different techniques required for swimming. 

“It was pretty fun. It was hard to get used to all of the different strokes, but I had a good time,” Robinson said. “I improved a lot of times over the season and I feel like it was an enjoyable season. It was a lot of hard work waking up early and swimming before school, but I had a good time overall.” 

The swim team will be participating in the state meet at Georgia Tech on Friday, February 8th, for the qualifying round, and Saturday, February 9th, for the finals.