Locals finish strong at state swim meet

Several local schools and individuals in The Laker/Lutz News coverage area put up solid showings at the 2019 FHSAA (Florida High School Athletic Association) state swimming and diving championships, held last month at Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center, in Stuart.

The Steinbrenner High swimming and diving program put together a solid showing at the Class 4A meet, as its boys squad finished 13th (out of 45 schools) and girls squad finished 17th (out of 39 schools). (Courtesy of Steinbrenner High School Athletics)

A total of eight area schools were represented across all four classifications —  Academy at the Lakes (Class 1A), Cypress Creek Middle High (2A), Freedom High (3A), Land O’ Lakes High (3A), Steinbrenner High (4A), Sunlake High (3A), Wesley Chapel High (2A) and Wiregrass Ranch High (3A).

Of those schools, Sunlake posted the strongest overall team performance, with its boys squad finishing in seventh place (out of 50 3A schools) and girls finishing ninth (out of 43 schools), respectively; the Land O’ Lakes’ boys team (ninth place in 3A) represented the only other top-10 team finish among local schools.

Another notable overall team showing came from Steinbrenner, who’s boys finished 13th (out of 45 4A schools) and girls finished 17th (out of 39 schools). Also, the Freedom boys team finished 14th in 3A and the Academy at the Lakes girls finished 16th in 1A.

The Sunlake High swimming and diving program put together the best combined team finish among all local schools, as its boys team finished seventh (out of 50 Class 3A schools) and girls team finished ninth (out of 43 schools). (Courtesy of Sunlake High School Athletics)

Aside from team showings, there were a number of noteworthy individual and relay performances.

On the boys side, Land O’ Lakes junior Zuri Ramsey collected four medals, including gold in the 3A 50-yard freestyle, clocking 20.58. He also placed fourth in the 100-yard freestyle (45.71), and teamed with senior Jack Kaatze, junior Griffin Sutek, and senior Ravidu Idippili-Pathiran to place fifth in the 200-yard medley relay (1:37.61) and sixth in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:28.24), respectively. Ramsey is the younger brother of Jabari Ramsey, who was a three-time FHSAA state champion in the 100-yard breast and a one-time champion in the 200-yard medley relay, making him the swimmer to win the most gold medals in Pasco County history.

Crosstown rival Sunlake also had a four medalist standout in senior Jay Jay Fonnotto. He placed fourth in the 3A 100-yard backstroke (52.19), sixth in the 100-yard butterfly (51.04), and teamed with sophomore Sammy Grimme, senior Colin Wilkins and senior Dominic Ortanez to collect fourth place finishes in both the 200-yard medley relay (1:37.19) and 200-yard freestyle relay (1:27.75).

Land O’ Lakes High junior Zuri Ramsey won gold in the 50-yard freestyle in the Class 3A state meet, clocking a 20.58. He also medaled in the 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard medley relay and 200-yard freestyle relay. (Courtesy of Land O’ Lakes High School Athletics)

Elsewhere, Cypress Creek junior Clyde Crouse took silver in the 500-yard freestyle (4:34.48) and placed sixth in the 200-yard freestyle (1:44.01).

On the girls side, Steinbrenner junior Lexie Mulvihill took gold in the 4A 50-yard free (22.46) and silver in the 100-yard free (49.58). She also anchored Steinbrenner’s 200 free relay and 100 free relay teams, which finished 11th and 12th, respectively.

Freedom sophomore Michelle Morgan collected a pair of silver medals in the 3A 200-yard individual medley (2:02.17) and 500-yard free (5:47.38). She also teamed with junior Hannah LaBohn, sophomore Alexa Valdez-Velez and sophomore Carly Joerin to place fourth in the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:35.85).

Academy at the Lakes junior McKenna Smith collected a pair of bronze medals in the 1A 50-yard free (23.05) and the 100-yard free (50.11)

Also, Sunlake freshman Gisella Wright tallied four medals. She finished eighth in both the 3A 100-yard freestyle (54.34) and 100-yard backstroke (1:00.64), and was a leg on Sunlake’s fourth-place 200-yard freestyle relay (1:39.80) and its sixth-place 200-yard medley relay (1:50.07).

Here’s a look at all the results among locals at the state meet:

Class 4A
Steinbrenner (13th place, out of 45 schools)

200 medley relay: (Eighth place, 1:36.93) — Shane MacGregor, junior; Garrett Sykes, sophomore; Max Martino, senior; Bradley Stoker, senior

200 free: Matthew Ross, sophomore (19th, 1:43.97)

200 individual medley: Bradley Stoker (16th, 1:57.40)

500 free: Max Martino (10th, 21.28)

100 fly: Max Martino (17th, 51.50)

100 free: Matthew Ross (ninth, 47.07)

200 free relay: (sixth, 1:26.89) — Matthew Ross, Bradley Stoker, Shane MacGregor, Max Martino

100 back: Shane MacGregor (16th, 54.26)

100 breast: Bradley Stoker (20th, 1:00.05)

Steinbrenner (17th place, out of 39 schools)

50 free: Lexie Mulvihill, junior (first, 22.46)

100 free: Lexie Mulvihill (second, 49.58)

200 free relay: (11th, 1:38.62) — Justine Answeeney, junior; Mackenzie Hall, junior; Jada Kamuf, senior; Lexie Mulvihill

100 free relay: (12th, 3:34.82) — Justine Answeeney, Mackenzie Hall, Kayla Daley, freshman; Lexie Mulvihill

Class 3A
Sunlake (Seventh place, out of 50 schools)

200 medley: (fourth, 1:37.19) — Jay Jay Fonnotto, senior; Sammy Grimme, sophomore; Colin Wilkins, senior; Dominic Ortanez, senior

50 free: Dominic Ortanez (sixth, 21.38)

100 fly: Jay Jay Fonnotto (sixth, 51.04)

100 free: Dominic Ortanez (16th, 49.13)

200 free relay: (fourth, 1:27.75) — Jay Jay Fonnotto, Sammy Grimme, Colin Wilkins, Dominic Ortanez

100 back: Jay Jay Fonnotto (fourth, 52.19)

Land O’ Lakes (Ninth)

Diving: Mason Gandy, junior (eighth, 303.65)

200 medley relay: (fifth, 1:37.61) – Ravidu Idippili-Pathiran, senior; Griffen Sutek, junior; Jack Kaatze, senior; Zuri Ramsey, junior

50 free: Zuri Ramsey (first, 20.58)

100 free: Zuri Ramsey (fourth, 45.71)

200 free relay: (sixth, 1:28.24)— Jack Kaatze, Griffin Sutek, Ravidu Idippili-Pathiran, Zuri Ramsey

100 back: Ravidu Idippili-Pathiran (23rd, 56.19)

100 breast: Griffin Sutek (16th, 1:02.03)

Wiregrass Ranch (35th)

200 free: Douglas Lankton, senior (21st, 1:47.54)

400 free relay: (10th, 3:18.71) – Douglas Lankton, Yueng Chen, sophomore; Noah Porter, sophomore; Manny Silva, junior

Freedom (36th)
500 free: Zachary Kopel, junior (sixth, 4:38.74)

Sunlake (Ninth place, out of 43 schools)

Diving: Isabela Monagas, junior (sixth, 374.55)

200 medley: (sixth place, 1:50.07) — Amber Ewald, sophomore; Audrey Ballash, senior; Gisella Wright, freshman; Alex Sprague, junior

50 free: Alex Sprague (12th, 24.90)

100 free: Gisella Wright (eighth, 28.49)

200 free: (fourth, 1:39.80) – Tori Eurell, senior; Audrey Ballash, Alex Sprague, Gisella Wright

100 back: Gisella Wright (eighth, 1:00.64); Amber Ewald (13th, 1:00.65); Madison Houck, freshman (17th, 1:00.86)

100 breast: Audrey Ballash (ninth, 1:06.24)

400 free relay: (14th, 3:46.63) — Tori Eurell, Leah Fonnotto, sophomore; Lilli Hilt, sophomore; Madison Houck

Freedom (14th)

200 individual medley: Michelle Morgan, sophomore (second, 2:02.17); Carly Joerin, sophomore (18th, 2:11.74)

50 free: Hannah LaBohn, junior (16th, 25.09)

100 free: Hannah LaBohn (13th, 54.72)

500 free: Michelle Morgan (second, 4:47.38); Carly Joerin (15th, 5:06.67)

400 free relay: (fourth, 3:35.85) — Hannah LaBohn, Alexa Valdez-Velez, sophomore; Carly Joerin, Michelle Morgan

Wiregrass Ranch (40th)

Diving: Abby Galo, sophomore (18th, 204.50)

100 breast: Maryam Khalil, sophomore (15th, 1:08.05)

Individual: 200 free — Apryl Paquette, junior, Land O’ Lakes (19th place,  1:58.86)

Class 2A
Cypress Creek (21st, out of 46 schools)
200 free: Clyde Crouse, junior (sixth, 1:44.01)

500 free: Clyde Crouse (second, 4:34.48)

Wesley Chapel (33rd)
50 free: Charles Fields, senior (seventh, 21.69)

Individuals: Diving — Tifani Farquhar, senior (19th, 215.30)

Class 1A
Academy at the Lakes (16th place, out of 45 schools)
50 free: McKenna Smith, junior (third, 23.05)

100 free: McKenna Smith (third, 50.11)

Published December 11, 2019

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