Records were broken and titles were claimed by area athletes at the 2020 Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) state swimming and diving championships, held last month at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center, in Stuart.
A total of nine local schools were represented across all four classifications — Academy at the Lakes (Class 1A), Carrollwood Day School (1A), Cypress Creek Middle High (2A), Freedom High (3A), Gaither High (3A), Land O’ Lakes High (3A), Sunlake High (3A) and Wiregrass Ranch High (3A) and Steinbrenner High (4A).
Two of these programs registered top-10 finishes— the Freedom Patriots girls team finishing eighth among the 41 schools competing in 3A, and the Land O’ Lakes Gators boys team winding up eighth out of the 43 schools competing in 3A.
Another notable combined team showing came from the Steinbrenner Warriors, whose girls team finished 11th (among 32 schools competing in 4A) and boys team went 17th (among 37 schools competing in 4A).
The most striking showings came in the way of individual and relay performances.
On the boys side, Land O’ Lakes senior Zuri Ramsey captured three medals, headlined by his second-consecutive gold medal in the 3A 50-yard free, clocking 20.51. That bested his state title in the event last year, when he posted 20.53.
Ramsey also took second in the 100-yard free (45.87) and fifth in the 200-yard medley relay, teaming with sophomore Michael McCloskey, senior Griffin Sutek and freshman Garret McNab, who combined to post a 1:37.12 in the race.
Ramsey is the younger brother of former Gators standout Jabari Ramsey, who was a three-time 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.
Cypress Creek senior Clyde Crouse captured multiple 2A medals for the second-straight year — placing fourth in the 200-yard medley free (1:42.43) and fifth in the 500-yard free (4:40.35) Last year, Crouse took silver in the 500-yard freestyle (4:34.48) and sixth in the 200-yard freestyle (1:44.01).
Other medals (top-eight finish) were collected in diving by Land O’ Lakes senior Mason Gandy and Cypress Creek freshman Jace Beckwith. Gandy went eighth in the 3A event (scoring 340.55) and Beckwith took seventh in the 2A event (322.40).
Also, Freedom senior Zachary Kopel earned an eighth-place medal in the 3A 500-yard free (4:39.62)
A slew of banner performances took place on the girls side of the pool, as well.
Most notable was Steinbrenner senior Alexis Mulvihill, who took gold in both the 4A 50-yard free (22.22) and 100-yard fly (53.16).
The Auburn University signee’s 50-yard free time is a new state record.
The previous mark of 22.30 was set in 2002 by Gulliver Prep’s Christina Swindle. Interestingly, Swindle went on to swim at Auburn and competed at the 2003 Pan American Games, winning gold in the 400-meter free and silver in the 100-meter free.
Of note: Mulvihill was about a half-second shy of the national high school swim record in the girls 50-yard free clocked at 21.59 — set in February by Gretchen Walsh, of Nashville, Tennessee.
And, Mulvihill wasn’t the only local girls swimmer to earn a state crown.
Freedom junior Michelle Morgan took first in the 3A 200-yard medley, clocking 2:00.92.
She also took silver in the 500-yard free (4:48.43) and anchored bronze in the 400-yard free relay with senior Hannah Labohn, and juniors Alexa Valdez-Vellez and Carly Joerin, who combined to swim the event in 3:32.58.
Other local female swimmers captured multiple medals, too.
Academy at the Lakes senior McKenna Smith — a Duke University signee — took third in both the 1A 50-yard free (23.15) and 100-yard free (50.34).
Carrollwood Day School freshman Adele Sands went fifth in the 1A 100-yard free (51.96) and seventh in the 200-yard free (1:52.60).
Wiregrass Ranch junior Maryam Khalil went fifth in the 3A 100-yard breast (1:06.53) and eighth in the 50-yard free (24.48).
Land O’ Lakes senior Apryl Paquette took eighth in the 3A 200-yard free (1:57.62) and anchored an eighth-place finish in the 200-yard free relay, teaming with freshmen Jahzara Ramsey and Abigail Hahm, and junior Catherine Pinkos, as the group clocked 1:41.29 in the event.
Other medal performances came out of Sunlake, where it’s 3A 200-yard free relay team took seventh (1:40.17), while senior Isabella Monagas finished eighth in diving (342.25). The podium-earning relay team consisted of sophomore Madison Houck, juniors Amber Ewald and Lillian Hilt and senior Alex Sprague.
Results among locals at the state meet:
Steinbrenner (17th place, out of 37 schools)
200-yard freestyle relay: Jayden Repak, freshman; Alex Harkness, senior; Shane MacGregor, senior; Gavin Peck, freshman (ninth, 1:27.35)
100-yard backstroke: Shane MacGregor (11th, 52.81)
100-yard breaststroke: Garrett Sykes, junior (16th, 1:01.65)
400-yard freestyle relay: Shane Macgregor; Jayden Repak; Alex Harkness; Gavin Peck (ninth, 3:13.06)
Steinbrenner (11th, out of 32 schools)
50-yard freestyle: Alexis Mulvihill, senior (first, 22.22)
100-yard butterfly: Alexis Mulvihill (first, 53.16)
400-yard freestyle relay: Alexis Mulvihill; Emma Brown, senior; Kayla Daley, sophomore; Gavriela Daniels, freshman (ninth, 3:34.30)
Land O’ Lakes (eighth, out of 43 schools)
200-yard medley relay: Michael McCloskey, sophomore; Griffin Sutek, senior; Garret McNab, freshman; Zuri Ramsey, senior (fifth, 1:37.12)
50-yard freestyle: Ramsey, senior (first, 20.51)
Diving: Mason Gandy, senior (eighth, 340.55)
100-yard freestyle: Ramsey (second, 45.87)
200-yard freestyle relay: McCloskey; Sebastian Arbelaez, senior; McNab; Ramsey (12th, 1:31.58)
100-yard breaststroke: Griffin Sutek (ninth, 59.53)
Wiregrass Ranch (16th)
200-yard intermedley: Noah Porter, junior (14th, 2:03.21)
100-yard freestyle: Yuheng Chen, junior (14th, 49.30)
50-yard freestyle: Emanuel Silva, senior (12th, 22.17)
200-yard freestyle: Emanuel Silva; Matthew Gomez, senior; Noah Porter; Yuheng Chen (10th, 1:31.03)
400-yard freestyle relay: Noah Porter; Matthew Gomez; Emanuel Silva; Yuheng Chen (ninth, 3:19.97)
500-yard freestyle: Zachary Kopel, senior (eighth, 4:39.62)
Gaither (tied 41st)
100-yard freestyle: Zachary Cannon, junior (15th, 49.64)
Freedom (eighth, out of 41 schools)
200-yard intermedley: Michelle Morgan, junior (first, 2:00.92)
50-yard freestyle: Hannah LaBohn, senior (tied 15th, 24.15)
100-yard freestyle: Hannah LaBohn (10th, 53.77)
500-yard freestyle: Michelle Morgan (second, 4:48.43); Carly Joerin, junior (11th, 5:03.06)
400-yard freestyle relay: Hannah LaBohn; Alexa Valdez-Vellez, junior; Carly Joerin; Michelle Morgan (third, 3:32.58)
200-yard medley relay: Amber Ewald, junior; Lillian Hilt, junior; Madison Houck, sophomore; Alex Sprague, senior (ninth, 1:53.64)
50-yard freestyle: Alex Sprague (tied 13th, 24.92)
Diving: Isabela Monagas, senior (eighth, 342.25)
200-yard freestyle: Madison Houck; Amber Ewald; Lillian Hilt; Alex Sprague (seventh, 1:40.17)
100-yard backstroke: Madison Houck (13th, 1:00.39)
Land O’ Lakes (23rd)
200-yard freestyle: Apryl Paquette, senior (eighth, 1:57.62)
Diving: Madison Burnstein, senior (20th, 199.75)
200-yard freestyle relay: Jahzara Ramsey, freshman; Abigail Hahm, freshman; Catherine Pinkos, junior; Apryl Paquette (eighth, 1:41.29)
Wiregrass Ranch (tied 24th)
50-yard freestyle: Maryam Khalil, junior (eighth, 24.48)
Diving: Abby Galo, junior (12th, 307.20)
100-yard breaststroke: Maryam Khalil (fifth, 1:06.53)
Cypress Creek Middle High (tied 19th, out of 48 schools)
200-yard medley freestyle: Clyde Crouse, senior (fourth, 1:42.43)
Diving: Jace Beckwith, freshman (seventh, 322.40)
500-yard freestyle: Clyde Crouse (fifth, 4:40.35)
No local schools or individual placed finishers
No local schools or individual placed finishers
Academy at the Lakes (18th, out of 48 schools)
50-yard freestyle: McKenna Smith, senior (third, 23.15)
100-yard freestyle: McKenna Smith (third, 50.34)
Carrollwood Day School (tied 20th)
200-yard freestyle: Adele Sands, freshman (seventh, 1:52.60)
100-yard freestyle: Adele Sands (fifth, 51.96)
Published December 09, 2020