Last weekend in sunny Stuart, Florida, Class 2A swimmers took to Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Center to battle it out in the pool for the Class 2A State Championship meet. Here is the rundown of what took place:
200 Medley Relay
The 200 medley relay turned out to be a close race for the top three finishers. Jesuit, consisting of Nicholas Shaffer, Anthony Kirchner, Robbie Shaffer, and Alex Caceres, took the crown with a time of 1:36.91. Coming down to the wire for second place was Mater Lakes and Cape Coral. With a massive anchor swim from Daniel Quijada, Mater Lakes placed second with a time of 1:37.69. Cape Coral placed third with a time of 1:38.60, bettering their tenth-place finish from last year.
The 200 freestyle at this state meet was dominated by an older crowd with all of the top three finishers being seniors. Lucas Kravchenko from Merritt Island became state champion in this event, winning by a full second and some change and putting up a time of 1:40.5. Kravchenko went out hard and fast, splitting his first one hundred in 47.74. John Pellegrino from Cape Coral and Jonathan Rodriguez from Gulliver Prep both had impressive swims as well, with Pellegrino going 1:41.93 and placing second and Rodriguez going 1:42.36 and placing third. Both Pellegrino and Rodriguez made a massive jump in placing from last year’s state where they placed ninth and twelfth, respectively.
200 Individual Medley
The class of 2019 also dominated the 200 individual medley, capturing the top three finishes. Tyler Watson from Paxon put up a time of 1:49.11, not only making him state champion but also accomplishing the automatic All-American standard in this event. His time would have earned him first in any four of the state meets this year. Spencer Sehlhorst from Mosley placed second with a time of 1:49.86 and Steven Rua from Cape Coral placed third with a time of 1:51.65. All three boys returned to podium this year; last year the boys placed second, third, and fourth in the same consecutive order as this year.
Senior from Land O’ Lakes Highschool Patryk Pilkowski beat out the rest of the field and achieved All-American consideration in the 50 freestyle with a time of 20.87. Placing second was Land O’ Lakes teammate Zuri Ramsey with a time of 20.98. Ramsey made an impressive showing this state meet, seeing as he went from not even making the state meet in an individual event last year to placing second at states this year. Andrew Garcia from Mourning, a veteran in this event, placed third with a time of 21.14.
Jonathan Geraghty, a junior from Lincoln Park who became state champ last year, successfully defended his state championship this year with a winning score of 524.20. Junior Skylar Migon from Gulliver Prep increased his third-place finish from last year to second this year with a score of 494.20. Diving into the state scene this year was Elisha Dees from Ed White. Freshman Dees made an impressive showing, placing third and scoring a total of 398.95 points.
Senior Watson from Paxon also achieved gold status in the 100 fly. To top off his high school swimming career, Watson also obtained the automatic All-American standard in this event. William Jones, a junior out of Stanton, flew into second place with a time of 49.51, accomplishing All-American consideration. Third place belongs to Braeden Knight who is a sophomore from Baker County and put up a time of 50.31.
With all the top three finishers not having made top eight at last year’s states, these new players came out of the gate to fight for the win this year. Dreyfoos’s Resse Branzell became state champion in the 100 free with a time of 45.53, achieving All-American consideration. Senior Max Milicevic from Ponte Vedra hit the wall second in 46.66 seconds. Newcomer Ramsey continued to show his sprint prowess with a third-place finish and a time of 46.71.
In a tight race between the top two, Duke-commit Brendan Driscoll became repeat state champion and obtained All-American consideration in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:32.29. Driscoll’s second place adversary, Andrew Kalaman, clocked in with a time of 4:33.82. The senior from Bayshore High stuck with Driscoll the whole race until Driscoll managed to inch ahead on the final laps. Zachary Brewer, junior from Bishop Moore, rounded out the top three with a time of 4:35.29.
200 Freestyle Relay
Land O’ Lakes’ Pilkowski, Ravidu Idippili, Jack Kaatze, and Ramsey brought home the gold for their school with Ramsey chasing down Dante Poe of Pompano Beach for the win in this tight race. These boys also obtained all American consideration. Second place was claimed by Pompano Beach with a time of 1:26.37 and Ponte Vedra took third with a time of 1:26.68.
Our 200 freestyle winner, Kravchenko, was also crowned champion of the 100 back in an All- American consideration time of 50.14. Pilkowski, winner of the 50 free, became state runner up in this event, clocking in with a time of 50.97. Rounding out the top three was Jesuit sophomore Shaffer with a time of 51.76.
Sehlhorst, the silver medalist from the 200 IM, found gold in the 100 breaststroke, swimming a time of 57.56. Steven Rua, also returning from a top three finish in the 200 IM, took second after swimming a 57.81. Brandon Moran from Mater Lakes grabbed bronze in 58.50 seconds.
400 Free Relay
The Land O’ Lakes dream team relay won their second gold of the night, throwing down a time of 3:11.39. In this close race between the top two, Jesuit hit the wall second with a time of 3:11.69. Mosley finished up the top three, narrowly out-touching fourth place Gulliver Prep, with a time of 3:13.29.
As they did in 2017, Jesuit nabbed the state title and Gulliver Prep was runner up. Jesuit was far ahead of the pack, scoring 212.5 points while second-place Gulliver Prep scored 179 points. Land O’ Lakes High School made a stand-out performance this year, coming in third with 161 points. This is a big jump from their tenth-place finish in 2017.
With the 2018 State Championship Series having come to a close, all of us FSN send some big congratulations to all high school swimmers on their performances this year. We are already looking forward to the 2019 season!
High school season has ended, but Florida swimming is still in session and we will continue to keep you informed on the latest news in the FL swimming world.
By Ryley Ober