Class 1A has had a fast start to the high school championship season! Throughout the 12 districts across the state, we have seen some exceptional standouts to keep an eye out for during regionals and the upcoming state championship.
As a sophomore at Episcopal, Scott Haney should be on people’s watch list. He has proved to be a threat in both the 200 and 100 free throughout the season. At 1A’s District 2 championship meet he proved to do just that. Scott dropped a 1:45.34 in the 200 free. With this time he earned the top spot heading into regionals. In the 100, Haney swam a time of 48.75, earning him second place at districts behind Jackson Kirk. At regions, he hopes to secure his spot to move on to the state meet.
Rafael Ponce de León
Rafael Ponce de León is from Peru but is a border at Bolles. He is a lethal freestyler that can race any distance. Ponce de León was cleared to swim by FHSAA halfway through the season and has since shown his dominance in the 50, 200, and 500 free. Although he is a key aspect for Bolles, he is not able to compete in any individual events through the states series. He was not able to compete in the district 2 meet due to an open water event in Peru. At this event, he qualified for the 2019 Pan American games in the 10k and will be representing Peru. Though he will still be a lethal weapon on the relays that he is able to swim.
Pine Crest Girls
As defending state runner-ups, this year Pine Crest is looking for a win and quite the force to be reckoned with. Pine Crest girls were able to defeat the Bolles girls for the second time in a row in 40 years, which could set up an exciting competition at the state meet. They have had quite the season. After winning District 11, the girls solidified an undefeated season and set quite the bar. Some of their girls to keep an eye on going into regionals include Andrea Santander, Rachel Botting, Julia Podkoscielny, and senior Alexandra Meszaros. These four comprise much of Pine Crest dominant defending state champion relays.
Noah Sipowski, a sophomore at Westminster Academy, has shown great improvement this season. After dropping times in many of his events throughout the season, he decided to pick the 50 free and the 100 breast for his championship events. Sipowski won the 50 free with a 22.2 and placed top 5 in the 100 breast with a 1:01.3 at District 11. His performance in these events earned him a spot at regionals, and hopefully move onto states. Sipowski states he is excited to see what the season holds and to move onto regionals. With major drops this season, it is possible we will be hearing more of him.
Over in District 10, Chadé Nersicio, a senior at Trinity Christian Academy and recent University of Florida commit, is definitely one to watch in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle. She won her 50 freestyle district event with a 23.67, not far off her best time set at last years states (22.93). Last year, she missed the state title by a mere 0.04. Based off this season’s results so far, we consider her to be one of the top contenders in the event this year. Her 100 freestyle was equally promising. She won the event in her district with a 52.14.
Shayna Fetes, a senior at Saint Andrews is hoping to hold on to her state title in the 100 breaststroke this year. Fetes recently committed to Auburn University and will be swimming there next year in 2019. At districts, she went a 1:06.60, which has her seeded first going into regionals. Based on Fetes’ time of 1:03.43 that she swam on October 7th at the Palm Beach County Championships, defending her state title in this event is a distinct possibility.
If you have official results from FHSAA state series meets (districts, regionals, states), please email those to firstname.lastname@example.org to be published on FSN. Be sure to include the state class along with the number district and/or region.
By Jojo Richter, Brooke Powell and Jacob Pishko