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Harrison finishes 13th at state swim meet

Harrison finishes 13th at state swim meet Ross Couch The Union-Recorder Matthew Harrison found more success on the state level of competitive swimming recently, finishing 13th out of nearly 50 swimmers in the 50-yard freestyle event at the GHSA State Swim Meet at Westminster. Harrison swam a 22.85 in the state finals. “It feels great to finish in the top 15,” Harrison said. “I drop-ped half a second off my time from last year, and if I can keep doing that it will be great. This year I posted my second-best time.” Harrison, a sophomore, three-sport athlete at Georgia Military College Prep, differs from the majority of the swimmers in the state. Most of the schools in competition field teams of 15 to 30 swimmers. Harrison is the GMC Prep team. “It’s different,” Harrison said. “They have teams and they are competing for the team trophy. With me, it’s all about individual.” To reach the state level, Harrison had to qualify by posting a low time. He did that in his first meet of the year at the Northside Invitational. “In each meet you swim in two individual events,” Harrison said. “I qualified for the 100-yard breast stroke and the 50-yard freestyle in my first meet this year.” But qualifying was not easy. Harrison put in long hours of practice in facilities that don’t match up with those of his competitors. “I practiced at Central State every morning before school,” he said. “It was hard to get ready. You can’t dive in the pool there and you can’t work on distance.” Harrison overcame those obstacles, however, and finished the year strong. Harrison is coached by Garry Couch. His mother, Judy Harrison, is the assistant coach, and he is a member of the Baldwin Aqua Dragons swim team. Sports Editor Ross Couch can be reached at (478) 453-1465 or sports@unionrecorder.com