Season four has come and gone for swimming at Palmetto High and it has been a great one. The team began its year at Riverside, following up that contest with meets all around Greenville including meets with JL Mann, Hillcrest, TL Hanna and Greenville. The team closed out the season with invitational meets in Greenwood and Duncan. Palmetto once again swam against much larger opponents, many of which were 4-A teams, but the Mustang swimmers performed very well against some strong competition and some very good swimmers. It was exciting to watch the team continue to improve and excel.
Sarah Beach, a senior, had an exceptional season this year. She swam personal best times in three different events including the 100 backstroke, 100 breast, and the 100 butterfly. She finished the season ranked 38th in the state in breast and 47th in fly. Her breaststroke times were fast enough to earn for her a trip to the South Carolina 3A state championship finals in Columbia. This was her first time qualifying for state and she swam well, finishing 28th in her event.
Tal Davis, a sophomore, also had a great season. Tal state qualified in all 7 of his individual events, but chose to compete in the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle at the state meet. Davis is one of the top ranked swimmers in the state and finished the season ranked #1 in both of these events. At last year’s state meet, Davis finished 2nd in both the 200 free and 100 back. He missed the top spot in each event by less than .2 of a second. This year’s state meet, however, would prove to be a different story with a very different ending.
In the 200 free, Davis placed 1st, finishing over 4 seconds ahead of the next swimmer. His time of 1:42.29 missed the state record by less than a second. As impressive was his dominating performance in the 500 free. Davis finished over 10 seconds faster than the 2nd place swimmer and bested most of the field by a full pool’s length. He swam a 4:35.21, less than 2 seconds off the state record and faster than the time posted by the 500 free winner of the 4A championship swim meet held earlier that day. Davis walked away with his first two state championship titles and finished 19th overall in the team scoring in a field of 35 teams. It was an impressive showing for an outstanding swimmer.