On Saturday, September 29th, Jensen Beach High School hosted their annual Florida Swimming Pool Association Invitational at the Sailfish Splash Aquatic Sports Center. With Sailfish Splash being the FHSAA State Championship venue for the past five years, this invitational has been unofficially dubbed the “state prep” meet, where swimmers are supposed to come back in November and feel a sense of “déjà vu.” There was a ton of fast swimming from teams all over Florida at this prelims-finals meet.
In the sprint freestyles events, Chade Nersicio, a senior from Trinity Christian, swept the 50 and the 100 for the girls. She went 23.45 and 50.84, respectively. In the 100, Nersicio out-touched the rest of the field by almost 2 seconds. Nicole Agular, a freshman from Palm Beach Central, finishing second in 52.41. Senior Ian Cooper from Creekside swept the boy’s 50 and 100 free, swimming a 20.98 and 46.27 for two clear victories. Freshmen Blair Stoneburg from Jensen Beach and Dawson Joyce from Seminole placed second in their 50 freestyles, touching in 23.70 and 21.13, respectively.
For the mid-distance events, Stoneburg took the 200 freestyle in a personal best of 1:48.92. Sophomore Anna Auld from Forest Hill took the 500 in 4:56.05. On the boys’ side, Varis Monroe, a sophomore from Jupiter, just out touched Providence’s Blake Moran to win the 200, going 1:43.09. Moran finished second with a 1:43.95. Adrian Aguilar, a senior from Doral Prep, dominated the boy’s 500, finishing first by over nine seconds. His time of 4:30.19 would have placed him in the top four at any state meet last season.
Individual Medley and Butterfly Events:
In the 200 IM, UNC Chapel Hill commit Caroline Cooper from Winter Park took gold with a 2:06.04. Close behind were Eriana Temperino, a senior from Trinity Christian, and Heidi Smithwick, a freshman from Jupiter, going 2:06.97 and 2:08.71, respectively. The trio managed a repeat in the 100 butterfly, with Cooper and Temperino tying for first in a 56.24. Smithwick, again, took the bronze with a 57.63. For the boys’, senior Steven Rua from Cape Coral won the 200 IM in a 1:52.22 after a close race with Aguilar (who finished with a 1:52.78). After his defeat in the 50 freestyle, Joyce took the boys’ 100 fly in a 51.40, just eight hundredths ahead of second place junior Mason Herbet from Oviedo.
Backstroke and Breaststroke Events:
After finishing third in the 50, Forest Hill sophomore Megan Murphy won the 100 backstroke with a 56.16, dominating the field by over 2 seconds. Madison Koutavas, a sophomore from Creekside, won the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.98. Carlos Cartagena, a senior from Oviedo, took his first win of the night in the 100 backstroke, just out-touching freshman Joshua Zuchowski from King’s Academy. The boys swam 50.59 and 50.82, respectively. After taking the 200 IM in the beginning of the meet, Rua grabbed his second title in the 100 breaststroke, finishing with a 58.06.
In the 200 medley relay, Seminole High School swept both races. Their girls collectively swam a 1:47.84 and the boys a 1:35.94. Seminole boys also took the 200 freestyle relay, swimming a 1:25.42, while the Trinity Christian girls grabbed the 200 freestyle title with a 1:37.76. In the 400 freestyle, Creekside just out-touched Trinity Christian for gold, going 3:32.07 to Trinity’s 3:32.20. Doral Prep Firebirds grabbed their first win of the night in the boy’s 400 freestyle with a 3:08.23, dominating the field by almost five seconds.
On the diving boards, sophomore Chloe Bishop from Trinity Christian took the gold with 416.2, out scoring Wellington senior Julia Wortman by 34 points. Jupiter sophomore Haley Fekete took bronze in the girl’s event. Jupiter boy divers took the top two spots, with junior Tyler Coffey and senior Will Lefebvre scoring 470 and 461.5 respectively. Vero Beach sophomore Tristan Trax took bronze with 324.5 points.
After a long day of swimming, Oviedo came out on top, sweeping the Girls, Boys and Combined team awards. Creekside and Trinity Christian took silver and bronze for the girls, while Seminole and Creekside grabbed their respective trophies for the boys. Overall, Creekside placed second, with Seminole in third, Jupiter fourth and then Winter Park to round out the top five. With such fast swimming so early in the season, this year’s state series is going to be one to watch.
By Erika Wesch