Josh Ruger, Woodland High swimming coach, said that's why a lot of the county's 22 swimming records -- 11 girls and 11 boys events -- could fall to athletes competing Saturday in the preliminaries at 10 a.m. and finals (top eight) at 4 p.m. in the Bartow County Championships at the Adairsville Natatorium.
"I'd say over half have a great possibility of coming down," Ruger said.
Last year, 15 records were set. Also, Woodland defended its title then with a first-place finish, followed by Cartersville, Cass and Adairsville.
Among those gunning for records this weekend will be Woodland's Travis Culp, who will targeting the 200 and 500 free-style events.
"Our boys 200 free-style and 400 free-style are looking to break those records," Ruger added.
Other schools have athletes who are making names for themselves, including:
-- At Adairsville, Tyler Ann Herron, who competes in the 50 free-style and 100 breast-stroke events;
-- At Cass, Shane Walters in the 50 free-style and 100 breast-stroke and Patrick Johnson in the 200 free-style and 500 free-style events;
-- At Cartersville, Elise Hart in the 100 back stroke event.
Ruger said the records are falling locally because of the competitive strides schools here have made in recent years.
"In a lot of sports, records are fairly established," Ruger said. "With our sport, it's been growing rapidly and the talent level has increased. The kids have gotten so much faster in a short period of time."
Ruger said that's why Bartow County has become so much better represented at the state level in swimming competition.
"When I came here to Woodland," Ruger said, "Bartow County had two athletes who qualified for state. Now six years later Woodland has 10, Cartersville has one plus a relay team for at least five, Adairsville has one and potentially two, and Cass has one.
"It's gone from two to 15 athletes who potentially will go to state," he said. "That's a huge jump. We've all definitely gotten a lot better."