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BJHS captures 7th straight title

There must be something in the water in Madison County.

This weekend, the Bob Jones Patriots’ boys’ swim team captured the Class 6A state title at the University of Alabama Aquatics Center for the seventh year in a row.

With the win, Bob Jones equaled Huntsville’s seven-year run from 1977-83 as the second-longest championship streak in state swimming history.

Another school in the county, Grissom, owns the longest streak with 13 in a row from 1984-96.

Bob Jones finished with 300 points, followed by Auburn with 254 and McGill-Toolen with 194 points.

Phil Deaton led the Patriots by winning two events and setting a state record along the way.

Deaton won the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 46.19 seconds and the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 50.65 seconds.

The Patriots won the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:13.29 and the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:27.90.

The Patriots finished second in the 200-yard medley relay.

Scott von Jouanna took second in the 50-yard freestyle, second in the 100-yard freestyle,

The Hoover Bucs captured their first girls’ state title, while Grissom finished second.

Bob Jones head coach Mike Gunner said North Alabama has become known as having some of the strongest swimming programs in the state because of the pride that is instilled in the athletes at the school level.

“People want to represent their schools and swimming is something they can do and be proud of,” Gunner said.

And although many schools across the state have recently begin swimming and diving programs, it’s the number of kids and number of meets North Alabama teams have that sets them apart.

“You’ll see a lot of schools come in here with some great athletes, but it’s the depth that wins,” Gunner said.

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