The 2018 FHSAA State Championship series has come to an end. With the completion of 3A, 4A, 1A and 2A these last two weekends, it has been a busy month. The 4A class, the state meet with the largest schools, competed November 10th. It was a fast one.
200 Medley Relay
Heading into the A-Final, Lake Brantley was top seed. Seminole’s team of Noah Evans, Skylar Klein, Dawson Joyce, and Payton Poore took the gold after Lake Brantley’s breaststroker had an early start and knocked the team off the podium. Seminole swam a time of 1:33.61. Buchholz took second, while Oviedo grabbed third with times of 1:33.70 and 1:34.05, respectively. All three teams achieved All-American Consideration.
Defending state champion Julian Hill from Buchholz won his second consecutive state title, finishing in 1:35.70. This time is only a second off of Caeleb Dressel’s state record. Hill has committed to swim for Arizona State in the fall. The next fastest swimmer was teammate Peyton Werner, who touched in a 1:38.40. Both boys achieved Automatic All-American Status. Kyle Korvick, a freshman from Miami Palmetto, placed third with a 1:40.50. With only two seniors in the A-Final, this event will be one to watch in the years to come.
Last year, the top four boys were all seniors, including national teamer Robert Finke. Their graduation left the podium wide open for the 2018 season. Junior Garrett McGovern from Newsome took gold this year with a 1:50.30, an All-American Consideration time. Nathaniel Buccuzzo, a junior from Lake Brantley, and Carlos Cartagena-Diaz, a senior from Oviedo, battled it out for silver. Cartagena-Diaz ended up at the wall first, out-touching Buccuzzo by just .05. The boys swam 1:52.03 and 1:52.08, respectively.
We were not wrong when we said Joyce, the freshman from Seminole, was one to watch. He glided to gold in the 50, swimming an Automatic All-American time of 20.34. Junior Cole Parnell from Lake Brantley came in second with a 20.73, an All-American Consideration time. Luke Carey, a senior from Olympia, finished third with a 21.02.
Jupiter High School remains victorious in diving after taking two of the top three places. Tyler Coffey, a junior that finished third last year, won gold with a score of 516.10. Teammate Will Lefebvre, a Yale commit and the previous state champion, came in third with 500.10 points. After coming in fifth last year, Brandon Wegner, a sophomore from Olympia, finished second with 502.7 points.
The class of 2019 swept the top three spots in the 100 fly. Juan Zapata from Saint Thomas, Sebastian Aguirre from Lakewood Ranch, and Jhon Moncada from Lake Brantley took gold silver, and bronze, respectively. All were within a second, with Zapata going 50.06, Aguirre 50.27, and Moncada 50.59.
Joyce swept the sprint free events, taking the 100 free by three tenths. Parnell again finished second behind Joyce, with Korvick coming in third. All three boys swam under 46, with the times 45.12, 45.42, and 45.66, respectively. All three also achieved All-American Consideration. With such young champions, the 100 free looks like it will remain fast and consistent for the next three years.
Buchholz also swept the 500, with Hill and Werner repeating as top two. They both swam Automatic All-American times, finishing in 4:22.35 and 4:27.09, respectively. Chance Conde, a junior from Fletcher Neptune, rounded out the top three with a time of 4:30.90. Including Conde, three swimmers achieved All-American Consideration times.
200 Free Relay
Seminole won their second relay of the night, with a team of Joyce, Poore, Griffin Ciancimino, and Andy Rivera-Maldonado. The boys swam a time of 1:24.38, an Automatic All-American standard. Lake Brantley came in second with a 1:25.32, an All-American Consideration time. Oviedo finished up the top three, narrowly out-touching fourth place Olympia, with a time of 1:26.19.
After grabbing bronze in the butterfly, Moncada took gold in the 100 back. He swam a 50.47, which qualifies for All-American Consideration. Evans, a junior from Seminole, took silver, while Cartagena-Diaz took bronze. The boys swam 50.68 and 50.74, respectively.
Buccuzzo, the bronze medalist from the 200 IM, found gold in the 100 breaststroke, swimming a 56.88. The junior from Lake Brantley achieved All-American Consideration. Hector Rodriguez, a senior from Winter Park, took second after swimming a 57.12. Daniel Varon, another senior from Treasure Coast, grabbed bronze in 57.60. Varon and Rodriguez returned to the podium this year; last year they both placed in the top three.
400 Free Relay
Buchholz’s 500 duo of Werner and Hill was not enough to topple Lake Brantley, who won with a 3:06.26. Lake Brantley’s team consisted of Sage Sungail, Moncada, Alexander Guitian, and Boccuzzo. The relay achieved All-American Consideration along with Buchholz. The Bobcats came in second with a time of 3:07.30. Seminole finished third, touching at 3:10.77.
After four years of dominance, Riverview has been dethroned. Instead, Oviedo grabbed the state title this year, after finishing seventh in 2017. With 231.5 points, Oviedo was far ahead of second place Seminole, who finished with 216 points. Lake Brantley came in third with 211 points, while Buchholz finished fourth. Buchholz was far off the pack, with only 150 points. Newsome completed the top five, with a total of 127 points. Riverview ended up finishing seventh, with Jupiter in sixth.
Speed and depth defined the Class 4A State Meet, and the swims in Stuart were some of the best that Florida had to offer. Now that the 2018 State Series has drawn to a close, swimmers will be finishing up their winter season with local meets, as well as Winter Juniors in Greensboro. Everyone here at FSN wants to congratulate ALL high school swimmers on a fantastic season. We are looking forward to next year; 2019 will be a year to watch.
By Erika Wesch, Xander Gardner and Sophia Bedoya