FHSAA 2A State Championships
After taking a girls 1A state runner-up title and a boys 5th-place finish, Pine Crest has now redeemed their 2018 season and swept the 2019 2A team titles.
Top 5 Boys’ Team Scores:
- Pine Crest – 296
- Montverde – 187.5
- Jesuit – 174
- Gulliver Prep – 152
- Staton – 109
Top 5 Girls’ Team Scores:
- Pine Crest – 448
- Estero – 200
- Gulliver Prep – 182.5
- Holy Names – 170
- Jensen Beach – 137
The Pine Crest girls had a dominant meet, winning by 248 points. Last year’s 2A girls state champ, Gulliver Prep, wound up in 3rd-place behind 2019 state runner-up Estero. The 2018 runner-up, Holy Names, was able to snag 4th-place ahead of the 5th-place Jensen Beach girls.
The boys also had a comfortable win over the Montverde boys. Behind Montverde by 13.5 points was the 2018 2A state champ, Jesuit. Gulliver Prep and Staton all easily secured their 4th- and 5th-place finishes.
To showcase Pine Crest’s meet dominance, the program won 5 of the 6 relay events. The girls swept all three, 200 medley (1:44.37), 200 free (1:34.66), and 400 free relays (3:27.43) while the boys won the 200 medley (1:34.07) and 400 free relays (3:09.42). Likewise, Pine Crest also picked up 7 total individual wins.
Despite junior Joshua Hanks‘ 20.70 lead-off in the 200 free relay, which would have won the individual, it wasn’t enough for perfect 6-for-6 relay victories. In the end, the Montverde relay emerged victorious with a 1:27.22 winning time. The lone Pine Crest runner-up relay took second with a 1:28.09.
Hanks, earlier in the meet, delivered a 25.23 breaststroke split in the winning 200 medley relay. He then used his breaststroke talent to win the 200 IM (1:49.95) over Stanton senior William Jones (1:50.64), where he split 30.87 in the breaststroke leg. Finally, he picked up a win in the 100 breast with a 56.22.
Stanton’s Jones came back from his 200 IM runner-up finish and powered on to win the 100 fly with a 48.49. Baker County’s Braeden Knight was also under 50 seconds, taking second place at 49.71.
Jensen Beach sophomore Blair Stoneburg picked up two dominant wins on the girls side, aiding her school’s 5th-place team finish. Stoneburg first crushed the 200 free in the morning with a 1:46.25, now No. 61 on the all-time 15-16 age group rankings. In the final, Stoneburg secured her state title with a 1:47.38, nearly 3 seconds ahead of runner-up Pine Crest’s Andrea Santander (1:50.06).
Despite leading the 100 fly prelims with a 53.78, Stoneburg ended up being challenged by Clay’s Sara Stotler in the event final. Stoneburg led Stotler at the first 50 by half a second, however, Stotler brought home the race in a 28.62, four-tenths ahead of Stoneburg. At the finish, Stoneburg was able to touch out Stotler by one one-hundredth with a 54.34.
After taking second in the 200 free, Pine Crest senior Santander later led a Pine Crest 1-2-3 finish in the 100 free. Santander won the event with a 50.46, half a second ahead of teammates junior Rachel Botting (51.02) and freshman Isabella Chambers (52.04). Earlier in the 50 free, Botting stormed to win the 50 free at 23.46.
Contributing to the Pine Crest’s girls massive meet was freshman Julia Podkoscielny, who won both the 200 IM (2:00.46) and 100 back (54.76).
Also winning double events was Dreyfoos junior Reese Branzell. In the 200 free, Branzell and Northeast senior Victor Rosado duked it out for the 100-second race. In the end, Branzell won the event with a 1:39.45, just three-tenths ahead of Rosado (1:39.75).
Branzell also won the 100 free, where he defeated 50 free champ Pompano Beach’s Raphael Santos (20.96) by a full second. Branzell was the lone sub-45 second swim, posting a 44.89 final time. Santos finished in second at 45.71, more than a second ahead of third-place finisher Pine Crest’s Jimmy Hart (47.04).
More Class 2A State Champions:
- Girls 500 Free: Cadence Fort (Estero)- 4:56.32
- Boys 500 Free: Zachary Brewer (Bishop Moore)- 4:34.41
- Boys 100 Back: Will Taner (Pine Crest)- 49.76
- Girls 100 Breast: Michelle Fernandez (Mater Lakes)- 1:04.26