MOULTRIE -- When Caroline Rogers put swimming on the back burner for awhile this spring to perform in a play, Pierre Rogers -- her coach and her father -- wondered how it would affect her times this summer.

He needn't have worried.

The young swimmer was behind for awhile, but her times continued to drop meet by meet.

And when she competed in the state swim meet at the Jim Buck Goff Recreation Complex pool on Friday, she turned in her best time ever in the 25-yard breaststroke and it was good enough to give her the state championship.

Rogers' championship was one of 32 decided on Friday in the rain-delayed first day of the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association's State Swimming Championships.

The meet was held up for nearly two hours for the thunderstorm that hit southwest Moultrie at about 4 p.m.

But the lights were turned on later in the evening and the day's 8-and-under and 10-and-under events were completed around 8:30 p.m.

The first day was highlighted by a record-setting performance by Karina Malmquist of the Americus Blue Tide, who won the girls 10-and-under 25-yard butterfly with a 14.26. The previous record, set in 1996, was 14.31.

Malmquist also won the 100-yard individual medley.

And Forsyth County had a big day, winning 16 gold medals.

Among those who took championships for Forsyth County were Matthew Josey, who won the 8-and-under 25-yard butterfly and the 100-yard individual medley and Taylor Coan who won the 10-and-under 25-yard freestyle and the 25-yard backstroke.

Luke Martin of Oconee County also was a two-time winner on Friday, taking the gold medals in both the 8-and-under 50-yard freestyle and the 25-yard breaststroke.

Rogers was the only Moultrie Shark to reach the finals on Friday, and she made the most of it.

After turning in a personal best 18.64 in the prelims to edge Fort Oglethorpe's Julia Martin, who had an 18.88, Rogers turned it on in the finals.

"I think I pushed harder than I did in the prelims," Rogers said.

She had a career-best 18.20 in the finals, leaving the silver medal for Forsyth County's Michaela Grass, who had an 18.88, and the bronze to Martin, who had an 18.95.

"I was really scared," Rogers said. "(Martin) had dropped from a 20 to an 18. I was really nervous about that."

Rogers won two medals in last year's state meet, the first held in Moultrie, finishing fourth in the 25-yard breaststroke with a 20.07.

She also was eighth in the 50-yard freestyle with a 35.53

Rogers was fourth in the freestyle event on Friday with a 33.05.

Pierre Rogers said his daughter appeared strong for the biggest meet of the year.

"We took some time off this week," he said. "We tried to rest the kids.

"And you know it's hard for us coaches to let the kids rest."

The longtime Sharks coach is hoping the rest also will help the Sharks who will compete today in the 12-and-under, 14-and-under and 15-18 events.

Among those competing today will be Chad Goff, who won the state championship in the 14-and-under boys 100-yard freestyle and was second in the 50-yard breaststroke in last year's state meet.

Goff will swim both events again today, but in the 15-18 age group.

Also taking to the water today will be Katy Weilbrenner in two 12-and-under individual events and two relays; Brittni Dickenson, in the 50-yard breaststroke; Taylor Walsh in two individual events and two relays; Sara Clayton in the 50-yard butterfly and a relay event; Megan Lee, in the 50-yard butterfly; Emily Lee, in two relay events; Savannah Smith, in two relays; Abby Taylor in a relay; Barclay Mitchell, in two relays; Chris Phillips, in two relays; and Spencer Clayton, in two relays.

Other swimmers claiming state championships on Friday were:

Abby Toner, Forsyth County, 8-and-under 50-yard freestyle, 38.48.

Luke Martin, Oconee County, 8-and-under boys, 50-yard freestyle, 37.43.

Margaret Boyette, Oconee County, 10-and-under, 50-yard freestyle, 29.60.

Griffen Bell, Riptide YMCA, 10-and-under 50-yard freestyle, 29.50.

Cumming Waves, 8-and-under girls 100-yard medley relay, 1:23.56.





Forsyth County, 8-and-under boys 100-yard medley relay, 1:18.34.

Forsyth County. 10-and-under girls 100-yard medley relay, l:06.13.

Forsyth County, 10-and-under boys 100-yard medley relay, 1:06.43.

Carrie Parker, Wayne County, 8-and-undergirls, 25-yard freestyle, 16.70.

Iaian Smith, Forsyth County, 8-and-under boys 25-yard freestyle, 15.96.

Emily towner, Forsyth County, 10-and-under girls 25-yard freestyle, 14.23.

Coan Taylor, Forsyth County, 10-and-under obys 25-yard freestyle, 13.41.

Sarah Bean, Cumming Waves, 8-and-under girls 25-yard breaststroke, 23.04.

Luke Martin, Oconee County, boys 8-and-under 25-yard breaststroke,21.90.

Spence Rowe, Fort Oglethorpe, 10-and-under boys 25-yard breaststroke, 18.82.

Annie Beyer, Cumming Waves, 8-and-udner girls, 100-yard individual medley, 1:35.20.

Matthew Josey, Forsyth County, boys 8-and-under 100-yard individual medley.

Karina Malmquist, Americus Blue Tide, 10-and-under girls 100-yard individual medley, 1:12.87.

Matthew Harrison, Putnam County, 10-and-under boys 100-yard individual medley, 1:15.62.

Kara Arps, Forsyth County, 8-and-under girls 25-yard backstroke.

Kamryn Coan, Forsyth County, 8-and-under boys 25-yard backstroke, 19.77.

Erin Irby, Statesboro-Bulloch County, 10-and-under girls 25-yard backstroke.

Taylor Coan, Forsyth County, 10-and-under boys 25-yard backstroke, 16.06.

Morgan Thomas, Oconee County, 8-and-under girls 25-yard butterfly, 19.15.

Matthew Josey, Forsyth County, 8-and-under boys 25-yard butterfly, 18.94.

Karina Malmquist, Americus Blue Tide, 10-and-under girls 25-yard butterfly, 14.26.

Hunter Hinson, Cairo-Grady County, 10-and-under boys 25-yard butterfly, 14.41.

Forsyth County, 8-and-under girls 100-yard freestyle relay, 1:12.72.

Forsyth County, 8-and-under boys 100-yard freestyle relay, 1:07.96.

Forsyth County, 10-and-under girls 100-yard freestyle relay, 59.28.

Forsyth County, 10-and-under boys 100-yard freestyle relay, 58.86.

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