By Doug Gorman
When it comes to winning the Clayton County swim meet, the Jonesboro High School squad has built a dynasty.
Starting today at the Steve Lundquist Pool in Forest Park, the Cardinals will go after their 10th straight title.
A year ago, the Jonesboro squad solidified its ninth straight title with a combined score of 704 points. Lovejoy was second with 455 points.
Action begins today with preliminary events, followed by the finals on Wednesday.
"Our squad knows about the history of the Jonesboro program," said coach Terry Tuck. "They don't want to be the ones to end the streak."
Tuck gives credit to fellow Jonesboro coaches Denise Antram and Michael Houze for getting the team prepared each week.
Jonesboro is led by several returning county champions. A year ago, Jamie Gose won the 50 free and the 100 free in the boys division.
Emily Montesinos is back to defend her titles in the 50 and 100 free. Teammate Michaelle Kennel is back to defend the 100 breast stroke. Ashton D'Hollosy captured the 500 free and teammate Stephanie Worn won the 100 breast stroke county title in 2004.
Jonesboro will also attempt to defend the county title in the 200 medley relay and the 400 free relay in both the boys and girls divisions.
One swimmer who will try to do her part to dethrone the Jonesboro swim team is Mt. Zion swimmer Amanda Hall. Last year, Hall won the 200 free and the 100 butterfly in the county championships.
Hall is one of several local swimmers who have already qualified for the state meet later this year.
The Mt. Zion swimmer has qualified for six events including the 200 free (1:58.19), the 50 free (25.98), 100 fly (100.83), 100 free (55:50), 500 free (5.39.99) and the 100 backstroke (1:05.11).
Montesinos has also qualified for several events at the upcoming state meet, including the 50 free (24.38), 100 fly (1:02.63) and the 100 free (54.50).
The Jonesboro 200 free relay (1:51.81) has also qualified for the state meet. Jessica Bates, D'Hollosy, Jamie Johnson, Kennell and Worn are members of the relay team. Gose has earned a spot at the state boys meet for Jonesboro, qualifying for the 50 free (23.26).
The Jonesboro boys also placed its 200 medley relay (1:51.72) and its 200 free relay (1:36.33) to the state meet.
Members of the relay teams include Frank Alvarado, Gordon Calloway, Bryan Kerr, Joel Smith, Joshua Teske.