Chamblee’s Dynamo Swimmers Explode at State


Chamblee champions pose for a photo.

Simran Kukreja, Staff Writer

On February fourth, elite high school athletes from across the state in the 4-5A class competed at Georgia Tech’s McAuley Aquatic Center. The university hosted this year’s Georgia High School Association Swim Meet, at which Chamblee has consistently ranked well. 

“Chamblee is definitely one of the best swimming schools in the state, especially within our class. We have had our girl’s team finish in at least the top four for at least five years. We’ve had a history of being a really strong swimming school,” said Evelyn Entrekin (‘23).

The boys placed second in the team awards, while the girls placed fourth, but only one was unexpected.

“We expected the boys to place in the top three because they are really good this year, and they placed in the second. As for the girls, we lost a lot of seniors last year, so we were not really sure how they would do it, and they completely surprised us. They did really well, and got fourth,” said Lorri Reynolds.

Despite the loss of seniors, the girl’s team was still strong this year due to new talents.

“We had 10 girls, which is a good amount. We had a lot of seniors last year, so we were not really sure what the team was going to look like this year, but we had four freshmen make it, which was really exciting,” said Entrekin. 

A possible explanation for Chamblee’s prominence in the state could be that most members of the state team swim for Dynamo, a nearby club team.

“Chamblee is really strong in swimming because we have a club team down the road that is really good. So, we just take all of the kids from there and make a really good team,” said Ian Combs (‘25). 

The team members were already familiar with each other, which helped in events with cooperation.

“All of the boys on the relay swim together on the same club team. So, we had already talked to each other a lot, and it was nice already knowing them,” said Jack Bolte (‘24). 

Not only does Dynamo help with creating bonds, but the outside training also helps in the pool.

“I swim at Dynamo, and it affects my performance a lot. Most of our team is from Dynamo, so everyone is pretty much around the same speed,” said Sonia Peters (‘24).

The regular swim roster has about 118 students, and then for state, it gets cut down to students that either individually qualifies for a state cut or they are good enough to be put on a relay, meaning the team was quite diverse. 

“We have a bunch of different people from a bunch of different year-round teams. Our relay was actually one person from each grade, so that was pretty cool,” said Thomas Adam (‘25). 

The competition is broken into two sessions, with preliminary rounds in the morning, and then counted finals at night, which was a good and bad thing.

“We actually won the medley relay in prelims, but finals are the only points scored,” said Bolte.

Finals for Peters, on the other hand, allowed her to improve in her event.

“I got a better time from prelims to finals, so at night I went faster,” said Peters. 

Because most of the swimmers on the state team also swim for club teams, everybody prepared in different ways. 

“For the state meet, I made sure I was on my practice schedule the week before. I also made sure I was getting a lot of rest so that I was ready,” said Lilly Smith (‘24).

State champions Lilly Smith and Ian Combs pose for a photo.

To Coach Reynolds, the best way for her to prepare her swimmers was to get their energy up.

“Most of the state kids are year-round swimmers, so they swim at clubs, and go to their own practices. It was really just about getting them excited about breaking records and scoring high. They are really competitive kids, so it worked out,” said Reynolds. 

Another important thing was keeping spirits up, specifically with food. 

“I had like three scrambled eggs and a piece of toast the morning of. Then, I had some trail mix and bars at the meet when I got there to keep my energy up,” said Peters. 

Awards are given out for each event, and the top three finishers in each event stand on the podium and receive medals. Combs was one of them.

“My highlights were placing second in the 100 back, and getting third in the free relay,” said Combs.

He plays a variety of sports but recognizes the skill one needs to competitively swim. 

“I play Water Polo, Lacrosse, and Basketball. I think swimming is definitely one of the hardest sports because of the cardiovascular endurance that you need,” said Combs.

Smith also had some highlights of her own.

“I got fourth in the 100 freestyle, and ninth in the 100 backstrokes,” said Smith. 

In general, the entire girl’s team performed well against the other schools, despite the changes in their class. 

“There was a lot of moving around of teams and classifications this year like there are a lot of new teams in the 4A 5A class that we don’t usually compete against. […] But, we had every single girl on the team make it to the finals. So, everybody came back for the final session, which made it really exciting for everyone to swim again,” said Entrekin. 

As a senior, it was her Entrekin’s last time swimming for Chamblee, but this meet is always one of the best. 

“It was really exciting to get to go into that meet, as a leader within the team. It was at Georgia Tech, and every year this meet is super exciting. Everyone is really energetic going into it, swimming really fast, and cheering on each other,” said Entrekin.

Both of our teams combined placed in the top five in this state, which was an amazing ending to an already great season. Coach Reynolds gives all of the credit to her swimmers, who worked hard on improving their performances. 

“Swimming is such an individual thing that they took care of their business, and that’s just who they are,” said Reynolds. “I am definitely proud of them. It was a great season.”