Tupelo boys cruise to North title

FLOWOOD – Tupelo High School’s boys swim team heads to Biloxi this Saturday looking to win its fourth consecutive state championship.
“This boys team hasn’t lost a meet in four years,” Golden Wave coach Lucas Smith said.
The team’s latest victory came Saturday in the MHSAA North Mississippi Championships at the Courthouse Aquatics Center. The Golden Wave scored 446 points to outdistanced Madison Central with 299.5 and the remainder of the field.
“That was a good showing, but we can swim faster,” Smith said. “You have to swim faster when your going for another state championship.”
Tupelo’s boys are led by senior John Servati and Serbian exchange student Mihailo Nikolic.
Servati, a senior, won the 100-yard freestyle in 48.88 seconds and the 100 backstroke in 53.06. Nikolic captured wins in the 200 free in 1:47.52 and 500 free in 4:48.44. He beat defending state champion Ben Vaughan of Clinton in the 500.
“I think the last meet we lost was when I was in the eight grade,” Servati said. “It’s something I’m proud of.”
Tupelo won all three relays. Servati, Nikolic, Colton Fremont and Eli Jones swam a 3:25.61 to win the 400 freestyle relay.
Rick Deaton, Nikolic, Jackson Nabors and Jessie Ware won the 200 freestyle relay in a blazing 1:33.55 while Servati, Deaton, Fremont and Nabors won the 200 medley relay in 1:40.78.
Deaton also won the 100 breaststroke for THS in 1:03.80.
Oxford girls win
In the girls meet, Oxford won with 328 points, followed by Madison Central at 255 and Tupelo with 254. Starkville placed fifth with 211.
“Oxford’s deep. They’ve got a lot of girls who can get in the top 16 and score,” Smith said.
Tupelo’s Lacy Russell, a junior, won the 100 free in 54.40 and the 200 free in 1:57.93, however, she’s not sure what she’ll swim Saturday at state.
She’s sure she’ll swim the 200 free, but doesn’t know if Smith will assign her the 100 free or 100 breaststroke.
“I’d really like to swim the 100 free,” she said. “I’m wearing one of the new suits at state and I think I can swim faster.”
Her goal in the 100 free is to break the state record of 52.88 set last year by teammate Hannah Wilson, a Florida State signee and 16-time state champion.
Russell was a member of the winning 200 medley relay team with Bailey Scott, Cris Roberts and Rachel Wilson. Their winning time was 1:58.17. The same four won the 400 freestyle relay in 3:50.57.
Cris Roberts won the 100 butterfly in 1:01.57 and Bailey Scott captured the 50 freestyle in 25.32 for the Lady Wave.
Ripley’s Rachel Dees won the 200 individual medley in 2:16.34. Oxford’s Dora Chen won the 500 freestyle in 5:39.47 while Starkville’s Laken Vickers won the 100 breast in 1:10.44.
In boys, Oxford’s Matthew Nichols won the 50 free in 22.40 and the 100 butterfly in 53.58.
Contact Gene Phelps at 678-1593
or gene.phelps@djournal.com.

GENE PHELPS / NEMS Daily Journal