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By DANNY P. SMITH
A strong finish at the Mississippi High School North State meet has Starkville High School swimming coach Angela Hobart encouraged about the possibilities as her team competes at the State meet today in Cleveland.
The Yellowjackets compete in the Class 2 portion of the meet, made up of Class 5A and 6A teams.
"I am looking forward to several swimmers making finals (tonight) at state," Hobart said. "With the new meet format, it will be interesting to see the outcome of our division."
The SHS boys finished third in North State behind first place Tupelo and second place Madison Central, while the Lady Jackets came in fourth behind Tupelo, Madison Central and Oxford.
If Starkville is to challenge for the top, Hobart points to the relays as a key to making it happen.
"I feel that our relays are strong, and that pulls a lot of weight," Hobart said. "There are very few 5A schools that had all six of its relays to advance to state, yet all six of ours not only advanced but five of those are seeded in the top eight, and the other is seeded ninth with a good chance of scoring in the top eight."
Seniors Andy Bond, a captain, and Savannah Hobart will be participating in their final meet with SHS after six years of high school competition. Bond has been an All-State swimmer and has lettered six consecutive years, while Hobart has lettered for five years.
"Our team will miss their leadership," Angela Hobart said. "We wish them the best at the meet and in their futures."