This past weekend the fastest age group swimmers in the state of Florida battled it out at the 2019 Short Course Florida Age Group Swimming Championships held in Orlando, Florida. It was four days jammed-pack with record-shattering swims across all age groups. Below is a recap of all the FLAGS and Florida state records broken by gender and age.
Bogdan Zverev of SKY broke a total of three meet records throughout the weekend. He started off by lowering the 18-year old 100-breast record from 1:14.03 to 1:13.53. On Saturday, he swam 1:02.81 to break Ryan Murphy’s 100-butterfly backstroke record of 1:03.26 from 2006. He wrapped up a stellar weekend by lowering the 200-yard IM record to 2:19.54. The previous record was Kevin Litherland’s 2:19.80 from 2006.
Another notable swim was Joseph Campagnola of WFLA. He took down both a meet and state record in the 50-yard backstroke with is quick 29.26, just getting under Ryan Murphy’s 29.32 from 2006.
The first FLAGs meet record for 11-12 year old girls fell Friday morning in prelims when Savannah Branon of Bolles swam a 2:26.88 in the 200-yard breaststroke to break the nine-year-old record nearly four seconds. She then lowered that time even more in finals, touching the wall in 2:25.77
Twenty-four hours later, Lillian Nesty of Gator Swim Club raced to 24.00 in finals of the 50-yard freestyle to break fellow club teammate Katie Cronin’s meet record of 24.20 from 2014. Nesty would go on to miss the 100 free meet record by 0.3 seconds.
On the final day of the meet, TCA’s Brynn Stoneburg and Sarasota Tsunami’s Sydney Brann battled it out in the prelims of the 200-yard backstroke. Both swimmers were under the previous record of 2:10.77 from 2002, with Stoneburg just out-touching Brann 2:09.39 to 2:09.67. Stoneburg went on to win the event that night by over three seconds, clocking a 2:07.17 to lower the record. Ashlin Cannella of Academy Aquatic Club broke the 200-yard butterfly record in prelims with a 2:08.06 and lowered that in finals by touching at 2:06.62 to win by almost seven seconds. The previous record was a 2:11.88 from 2001.
Wyatt Porch of Bolles was a standout among the 11-12 year-old boys with a total of three records. Two of those came on Friday in prelims when he broke both the 200-yard breaststroke and the 50-yard breaststroke meet records. He just edged under the previous 50-yard breaststroke record of 29.17 with a 29.12. Porch posted a 2:20.55 in prelim and a 2:20.50 in finals of the 200-yard breastroke. The previous record was a 2:22.76 from 2002.
Porch’s third record came in the 200-yard Medley Relay with teammates John McNamara, Hayden Summan, and Lang Gou. They posted a 1:51.71 to break the previous record from 2009 by just two one-hundredths of a second.
Records fell on the first day of competition for 13-14 year-old girls, with Sarasota YMCA’s Michaela Mattes starting the night off with a new 1000-yard freestyle record when she touched at 9:46.56. The previous record was a 9:47.33 from 2005. The next record-breaking swim came soon after when Laker Swim set a new meet and state record in the 800-yard freestyle relay. The team of Michelle Cottle, Isabella Lojewski, Hayley Clark, and Addison Reese posted a 7:28.87 to break Gator Swim Club’s 7:31.90 from 2015.
Friday saw one record fall as Pipeline’s Michelle Morgan set a new meet record in the 400-yard IM in prelims with a 4:17.11; the previous record was a 4:20.05 from 2007. Morgan went on to post a 4:15.85 in finals to lower the record.
The momentum carried into Saturday’s competition where three record were shattered in finals. Lydia Hanlon of ATAC started the night off with a new meet record in the 100-yard backstroke by posting a 54.65. This was just under Elise Haan’s record of 54.74 from 2012. Short after Hanlon’s swim, Michaela Mattes broke her second record of the meet in the 500-yard freestyle. Her time of 4:45.95 was roughly half a second under the previous mark of 4:46.47 from 2007. Morgan, who took second in the event, was also under the previous record with her 4:46.08. The night concluded when Blue Dolphins broke a new meet record and state record in the 400-yard freestyle relay set by Loggerhead Aquatics last year. The team of Kaylin Herbert, Erika Hirschmann, Sarah Cathcart, and Isabella Bishop swam to a 3:27.53, besting the previous mark of 3:28.69.
Lydia Hanlon broke her second meet record on Sunday to wrap up the competition. She swam a 26.26 in prelims of the 50-yard backstroke to take down the previous record of 26.70 set by Alexis Mulvihill last year. Hanlon lowered the record even more in finals with a time of 25.91. She went on to just miss the 200-yard backstroke record by .1 seconds as the only swimmer under 2:00.
Friday was quite the day for Sarasota’s Dimiter Zafirov as he took down three meet records and two state records. His first record-breaking swim came in prelims when he swam to a 50.85 in the 100-yard butterfly to break Joseph Schooling’s record of 51.10 from 2010. He went on to lower the record with a 49.88 in finals. Zafirov broke his second meet record of the day with 200-yard freestyle finals swim where he went a blistering 1:39.08 to set a new state record as well. The previous mark was a 1:39.49 set by Austin Katz in 2014. The night concluded with Zafirov, along with teammates Evan Keogh, William Henry, and Luca Simon won the 400-yard medley relay by nearly eight seconds with a 3:34.08. This broke the meet and state record of 3:36.75 set in 2010 by Bolles.
That same relay team went on to start Saturday’s competition off with a new 200-yard medley relay meet record at the beginning of prelims. The boys posted a 1:38.81 to break another Bolles record from 2010 of 1:40.75. The only other record set in prelims that day came from Alexander Subotich of YFFC. Subotich took down the 50-yard butterfly record from 2011 with his 23.82. He was even faster in finals, touching at 23.72. Three more records fell at finals that night with Patriot Aquatics’ Sage Sungail racing to a 20.68 in the 50-yard freestyle. This took down both Caeleb Dressel’s meet record from 2011 (21.15) and Dawson Joyce’s state record from 2018 (20.087). The night continued with Liam Custer from Sarasota Y setting a new meet record in the 200-yard IM with a 1:54.09 to lower the previous mark of 1:54.52 from 2014. To end the night, Sarasota Tsunami broke yet another meet and state record with a time of 3:15.69 in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The team of Keogh, Luis Gustavo Junqueira, Frank Runge, and Zafirov took down Sarasota Y’s 3:16.32 mark from 2014.
To conclude the weekend, Sage Sungail broke yet another meet and state record in the 100-yard freestyle. Dropping two seconds from his prelims swim, Sungail posted a 45.54 in finals Sunday night. This took down Joyce’s meet record of 46.00 and his state record of 45.85, both set last year.
To say the 2019 Florida Age Group Swimming Championship was eventful would definitely be an understatement. The weekend full of tight races, impressive wins, and of course record-breaking swims will for sure be one for the books. All of us at Florida Swim Network congratulate all swimmer and coaches who participated this past weekend and which everyone the best of luck as championship season continues.
By Hanna Barton