In a meet that was decided by the final event on Saturday night, Girls Preparatory School won the 2024 TISCA State Swimming and Diving Championship this weekend in Nashville. The Bruisers team score of 220 was just one point better than runner-up Ravenwood and 11 points ahead of third place Ensworth. Unlike traditional TSSAA events, the TISCA meet results combine both public and private schools and included 100 schools from across the state.
The title was the eighth in school history for GPS in swimming and diving but its first since 1976. It was also the first for GPS Head Coach Roger Dahlke, who took over the program in 2018. Dahlke and the Bruisers had been knocking on the door of a state title for the last two years, with second-place finishes at the event in 2022 and 2023. This year, the Bruisers were finally able to grab the top spot, and Dahlke could not have been prouder.
“Our girls did a great job working to focus on what they could control, staying relaxed, and staying positive,” Dahlke said. “The divers did an amazing job showing grit and resilience during their day of competition. The girls should be proud of the work they put in and the way they performed as a team this weekend.”
The Bruisers started the meet with a solid performance in the 200 Medley Relay. The GPS team of Adelaide Bond, Hadley Bolton, Scout Chapin, and Millie Sharplin finished fifth in the event with their best time of the season, 1:47.85. The Bruisers then started a string of strong individual performances that would add to their point total. Frances Bohner and Eliana Tabibiazar finished eighth (1:52.61) and 15th (1:54.96), respectively, in the 200 Freestyle. Adelaide Bond, Millie Sharplin, and Molly Ranson all finished in the top seven of the 50 Free. Bond was fourth with a time of 24.22; Sharplin was fifth, just three hundredths of a second off of Bond’s pace and posted a 23.68 mark in prelims; and Ransom was seventh in the finals with a time of 24.32. Shortly after that event, Chapin, a senior who will compete at Georgia Southern next year, finished tenth in the 100 Butterfly with a time of 57.75.
The Bruisers’ top finish of the day came in the diving competition, where sophomore Alex Brumley took home the bronze medal with 335.70 total points. Classmate Aleah Lusk also picked up crucial points for GPS. Her 266.95 points landed her in 10th place overall.
GPS put itself in position to win the meet with a series of strong results in the five events that followed. Sharplin and Tabibiazar were ninth (52.79) and 14th (53.20), respectively, in the 100 Freestyle. Bohner was eighth in the grueling 500-Yard Freestyle event with a final time of 5:02.92. The Bruisers picked up more key points in the 200-Yard Freestyle Relay thanks to Bond, Tabibiazar, Ransom, and Bohner, who touched the wall in 1:37.68, fourth in the final standings of that event. In the 100-Yard Backstroke, Chapin, Bond, and Ransom rose to the occasion again finishing seventh (57.73), ninth (58.60), and 13th (58.93), respectively.
After two days of competition at the Centennial Sportsplex in Nashville, the final event would decide the team championship. GPS trailed Ravenwood by one point heading into the 400 Free Relay. With the point difference between places in a relay being just two, the Bruisers knew that they had to finish ahead of the Raptors to grab the title. Chapin, Tabibiazar, Bohner, and Sharplin competed in Lane 6 with their Ravenwood counterparts in Lane 1. Both teams swam incredibly well, but the GPS time of 3:31.22 was half of a second ahead of Ravenwood and good enough to give the Bruisers the state championship.
“We are incredibly proud of our girls for putting forth a true team effort to win this meet,” said GPS Director of Athletics, Jay Watts. “We obviously needed every single swimmer and diver to pull out the victory in the end. Roger and his coaching staff did a tremendous job preparing our girls to compete at their highest level of the season.”
For his efforts at this meet and throughout the season, Dahlke was named TISCA Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year.