War Eagles H2O


The swim and dive team dominated their season with a runner-up title for both boys and girls in 2023. The diving competition was held at Westminster on January 31st, with swimming at Georgia Tech on February 3. The team had a steady performance in the water and managed to earn their spot in 6A.

The double region shift this year slightly decreased the chances of placing against other 6A schools. Winning second place, however, proves that our school is fit to compete against the best teams in Georgia. As a matter of fact, Athletic Director Derek Waugh said, “The swim and dive team has gone the farthest in 6A out of any sport so far.”

Swim and dive is a program in which over 100 students participate, so there’s plenty of credit to spread around. Such widespread participation indicates our willingness to compete at such a competitive level.

This year we had 41 state qualifiers among swimmers and divers. Coach Chris Marshall said, “This is the largest number of state qualifiers we’ve had since I’ve been here, which is 5 years.”

The girls had a strong record of 5-2 for dual meets, placed second in the Madeleine Jude Brown meet, and second at Metros. Additionally, the boys finished with a season record of 4-3 for dual meets and first place at Metros.

There were multiple record breaks, including swimmer Allie Donkar in the 100 breaststroke and diver Will Tharp in both six and eleven dive meets. It’s safe to say that these two individuals helped boost the team’s overall performance.

In the past four years, the boys swim and dive team has won three consecutive first place titles: 2020, 2021, and 2022. With the move up to 6A, however, we battled against Johns Creek but ultimately fell behind. This just shows how challenging it is to be a small school in a region of much larger schools. Nevertheless, we held up our end of the competition.

The girls have placed among the top three schools in the state for four years running. In 2020 the team placed third place, won the state title in 2021, fell to third in 2022, and came in a close second in 2023.

Swim and dive is one of the longest sports seasons at our school, running from October through February. Athletes spend many hours in the pool perfecting techniques and entries. Coach Chris Marshall said, “Success comes from hard work. It’s more than knowing your teammates and being present; it’s about working to gain success.”

Needless to say, all of us here at The Blue & Gold congratulate our swimmers and divers on an excellent year.