The high school championships have started! First up is 4A and 3A Districts, which took place last week across the state. After watching some fast swimming, we wanted to put the spotlight on some 4A swimmers that stood out to us. These swimmers may not be your top seeds going into the regional meets, but they may be ones to keep your eyes on as we head into the State Championships.
The reigning state champions’ state series started out rough: their 200 medley relay, which would have finished with the top time in the state, was disqualified at the District 1 Championship. The team would have had a chance to reset the state record, which Buchholz currently holds from last year. Buchholz also lost multiple-time state champion Isabel Ivey, who decided to not swim for the Bobcats her senior year. Despite this, the Buchholz girls are still a force to be reckoned with, and won their District Championship last week. Seniors Talia Bates, Caitlin Brooks, Kaitlyn Cronin, and Julia Rodriguez were all top swimmers in the respective events, and they could still be in the running to repeat as state champs.
If you want a freshman to watch this season, Dawson Joyce from Seminole is a good bet. Just this past year, Joyce has broken multiple Florida Swimming age group records, including one of Caeleb Dressel’s. We featured Joyce this past February, but now as we head into the state series, Joyce will be one to keep an eye on. In District 2, Joyce placed second and third in his 50 and 100 freestyle respectively. He was also a member of the 200 medley and 200 free relays, which both narrowly out-touched Oviedo and Lake Brantley for gold. Based on his past year of age-group swimming, Joyce is likely to have a stellar state debut this season.
Ryan Warmbier, a sophomore, swims at Newsome High School in Lithia. Warmbier dominated in the sprint freestyle events at the District 5 meet, placing first in both individual events. Warmbier ranked first in the 200 freestyle and finished first with a personal best in the 100 freestyle. He swam 1:46.55 and 48.22, respectively. In the 200 free relay, Warmbier anchored with a 21.92, catching and passing several other teams to place first. The 200 medley relay was also a success, where Warmbier swam the breastroke leg. His team placed second in the event and Newsome placed second overall.
After making A-Final at states last year, senior Isabel Traba from Sarasota High had a stellar rest of her season. Swimming at Winter Juniors East, Traba won bronze in the 200 butterfly, posting a best time. While the 200 fly is not a high school event, Traba has been steadily improving since her junior year, and will be a powerful contender in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly. Traba won the 100 fly in the District 6 Championship, and took silver in the 200 IM.
Jupiter High’s Boys
Jupiter’s young boys team is one to watch this season. Three sophomores make up the Warrior’s powerhouse, and they all have been dropping time since their freshman state meet. Together, Varis Monroe, Nicolas Gallego, and Caleb Petranchuk effectively swept District 7’s freestyle events. Monroe won the 100 and 200 free swimming 49.67 and 1:48.82, Gallego won the 500 in a 4:55.26, and Petranchuk won the 50 with a 21.96. Gallego and Petranchuk also won the 200 IM and 100 butterfly, swimming 2:04.79 and 53.79, respectively. These boys have been on a roll all season, swimming undefeated in the regular season and placing top 3 at the Palm Beach County Championship meet. This past summer, the trio earned medal after medal at the FGC Junior Olympics and Senior Championships, with Petranchuk earning his first Futures cuts. The boys, along with junior Joshua Curtis, make up two relays, and have a good chance at making the state final.
A sophomore from St. Thomas Aquinas, Lesage had his 4A debut at the District 9 Championship. As a freshman, Lesage swam for Fort Lauderdale in the 3A class, where he placed seventh in the 100 backstroke at the state meet. Lesage had some big drops this summer, and with his switch to 4A, could be one to watch heading into states. At districts, Lesage swam the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke, with a 49.52 and 54.22, respectively. Seeded top-two at regionals in both events, he should have a good shot at moving on.
Since the beginning of the season, junior Leonardo Mateus has posted strong times in both of his individual events, and has improved upon them since the Broward County Athletic Association Swimming and Diving Championships. At the BCAA Championships, Mateus swam the 200 IM, where he started off the season with a 2:01.12. For the 500 Freestyle, he began the season with a 4:57.00. At the District level, he improved his 500 Freestyle time to a 4:55.22. He also placed fourth in the overall event for the meet. Mateus qualified for the regional meet, like he has for the past three years, and it is most likely that he will qualify for states for a third time. He’s going to be one to watch this season.
Molly Golding, a sophomore from Cooper City, has definitely proven that she is a swimmer to look out for. She has shown improvement in the past couple months, and could post some best times by the end of the season. She placed second in both her events at the District 10 Championship, which guaranteed her a spot in the regional meet. Golding stated that she is looking forward to competing in the Region 4 meet this Thursday. She made it to regionals and states last year, and it is possible we will be hearing her name again.
If you have official results from FHSAA state series meets (districts, regionals, states), please email those to email@example.com to be published on FSN. Be sure to include the state class along with the number district and/or region.
By Erika Wesch, Xander Gardner and Sophia Bedoya