Bethel sets state records as Dalton High boys swimmers earn individual state titles; Catamounts finish second overall

Several Dalton High School boys swimmers earned individual state championships, but the Catamounts fell short of a team championship at the Class 6A swimming and diving state championships at Georgia Tech's McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta Friday.

Dalton swimmers won five separate events, setting two state records along the way, but finished second in the team standings. Johns Creek finished first at 408.5 points, while Dalton had 304.5.

Catamount senior Henry Bethel set those two state records in his wins in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard breaststroke championship events. Bethel finished the medley with a time of 1:45.54 and the breaststroke at 52.96, both new state marks.

Bethel was also on the four-person relay squad that brought home a best time in two separate events. Bethel, Daniel Melgarejo, Roman Valdez and Orrin Withrow won the 200-yard freestyle relay with a finish in 1:23.81, while the same group was victorious in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:05.51.

Valdez was also the champion in the 100-yard freestyle event with a time of 44.63. Valdez finished second in the 200-yard freestyle to Centennial's Sebastien Sergile.

Bethel, who has signed to swim at Auburn University, finished his Dalton High career with 13 total individual state championships and two team titles. The Catamounts won the team championship in 2020 and 2018.

Due to COVID-19, the state swimming championships didn't allow spectators or the media to attend.

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