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Picayune and PRC swim programs are ready to dive into the season – Picayune Item

The Picayune Maroon Tide and the Pearl River Central Blue Devils released their season schedule and both teams are prepared to place swimmers at the podium during the state finals set to be held in Tupelo.
The Maroon Tide swim team is coached by Rachel Rutherford, and the Blue Devils is coached by Beverly Griffing.
Rutherford and Griffing’s background.
Griffing’s has been the assistant coach for Pearl River Central High School’s swim team since Hurricane Katrina occurred. She then became head coach in 2020-21 seasons after taking a short leave of absence. Last year the Blue Devils had 27 of their 29 swimmers earn state qualifying times. The boys relay team won state in the 50-meter freestyle. Swimmers Jake Rogers, Zak Kennedy Jared Bryson and Austin Woods placed second in the 200m free relay. Woods, Bryson, Kennedy and Wyatt Waltman placed third in the 400m free relays and Kennedy placed third in the 500m free race. Griffing said quite a few female swimmers achieved top 5 finishes at state as well.
“We are hoping for the same success this year,” said Griffing. “The swimmer sets goals for themselves so I and Coach Shelly Dill encourage them to reach those goals.”
Rutherford’s been the Maroon Tide’s head coach since 2019. Last year, Rutherford took her largest team ever to the south state championships with almost 18 swimmers. It included one boys relay, two girls relays and several individual races (500m free, 100m breast stroke, 100m fly and 100m backstroke) that placed the team on the top 16 times in the South State championships. They were able to qualify two girls in the 100m breaststroke and one boy in the 100m backstroke in the top eight swimmers in the state finals.
At the state finals, Kylee Burnette placed third in the 100m breaststroke, and Lauren Stephenson placed fourth in the 100m breaststroke.
This year, Rutherford has a full team of 27 swimmers.
“We’ve already been practicing and the team’s been doing good with training,” said Rutherford. “I really am looking forward in my goal setting for state to take at least one boys relay swimmer to place top eight (in finals), if not two boys relays that make it to state.”
Rutherford’s goals are focused more on placing as many swimmers as possible in south state championships.
“I want all my kids to be able to compete in a South State time,” said Rutherford.
Meet schedule.
PRC and Picayune home meets are held at the Millbrook County Club facility beginning at 5 pm
The Pearl River Central Blue Devils’ swim team schedule is as follows:
– Tuesday, Aug. 16, home meet against Picayune, Pass Christian and West Harrison.
– Saturday, Aug. 27, Coastal Invitation in Biloxi.
– Tuesday, Sept. 6, home vs. Picayune meet at Millbrook.
– Saturday, Sept. 17, West Jones Invitational in Laurel.
– Tuesday, Sept. 27, home vs. West Harrison.
_ Saturday, Oct. 1, JD Invitational in Biloxi.
– Tuesday, Oct. 4, home vs. Hancock and Picayune.
– Saturday, Oct. 15, Class 1 South State meet in Laurel.
– Friday, Oct. 21, is the State Championship meets in Tupelo.
The Picayune Maroon Tide’s swim team schedule is as followed:
– Saturday, Aug. 13, Maroon & White inter-sqaud meet at Millbrook County Club at 10 am
– Tuesday, Aug. 16, home meet against PRC, Pass Christian and West Harrison.
– Saturday, Aug. 27, Coastal Invitation in Biloxi.
– Tuesday, Sept. 6, home vs. PRC.
– Saturday, Sept. 17, West Jones Invitational in Laurel.
– Tuesday, Sept. 27, home vs. West Harrison.
_ Saturday, Oct. 1, JD Invitational in Biloxi.
– Tuesday, Oct. 4, home vs. Hancock and Picayune.
– Tuesday, Oct. 11, Maroon & White inter-sqaud meet at Millbrook County Club.
– Saturday, Oct. 15, Class 1 South State meet in Laurel.
– Friday, Oct. 21, is the State Championships at Tupelo.

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