The Cullman Swim Team entered its final day of competition on Saturday with just 17 points separating the Catfish from their first-ever state title.
Standing in the way was longtime rival Scottsboro, which bested Cullman by a 22-point margin at last week’s district meet in Guntersville.
Step aside, Wildcats, the Catfish are coming through.
Cullman used a strong team performance to surge past Scottsboro during the final events of the Alabama Recreation and Parks Association State Swimming Championship, winning the small-municipality crown with a team score of 1,417 points. The Wildcats were next in line with 1,328, while Boaz (1,246) and Sheffield (1,063) finished third and fourth, respectively.
Madison destroyed the competition with 3,125 points en route to an easy championship in the big-municipality division. Prattville placed second, while Dothan was third.
Reese McNeel (9-10) was the lone Cullman swimmer to pick up an individual event win on Day 2, placing first in the 50-yard backstroke. She, along with teammates Kelly Warren, Claire Ogstad and Syndey Ratliff, also took home a victory in the 200-yard medley relay, while Cabri Adams took Ratliff’s place for a first-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay.
Anna Page (8U, 25-yard backstroke), McNeel (50-yard freestyle) and Warren (100-yard freestyle) added second-place finishes, while Ogstad joined Warren to round out the top-three swimmers on the girls side.
Sawyer Trimble (8U) and Bennett Glasscock (15-18) each placed second in a single event, while the latter joined Noah Price (15-18) to round out the top-three finishes.
See below for a complete list of top-10 swimmers:
In the 8-and-under age group, top-10 swimmers were Sawyer Trimble (second in the 50-yard freestyle) and C.J. Arnold (third in the 25-yard backstroke and 10th in the 25-yard freestyle).
Arnold, Trimble, Cooper Ogstad and Luke Johnson combined for third in the 100-yard medley relay, while Arnold, Trimble, Brody Schaefer and Cort McNeel combined to finish third in the 100-yard freestyle relay.
In the 9- to 10-year-old age group, top-10 swimmers were Jonah Hilb (eighth in the 50-yard freestyle and ninth in the 50-yard butterfly) and Jaden Orr (eighth in the 50-yard backstroke).
In the 11- to 12 year-old age group, Neil Norris finished fourth in the 50-yard freestyle, seventh in the 50-yard butterfly and eighth in the 100-yard freestyle.
In the 13- to 14 year-old age group, top-10 swimmers were Seth Campbell (fifth in the 50-yard butterfly and 10th in the 50-yard backstroke) and Elijah Price (seventh in the 100-yard freestyle and ninth in the 50-yard backstroke).
In the 15- to 18 year-old age group, top-10 swimmers were Bennett Glasscock (second in the 50-yard backstroke and third in the 50-yard butterfly), Noah Price (third in the 100-yard freestyle and 10th in the 50-yard freestyle) and Chris McAlpin (seventh in the 50-yard butterfly).
Glasscock, Eric Pilcher, McAlpin, Price combined for third in both the 200-yard medley relay and the 200-yard freestyle relay.