2022 Florida HS 1A Roundup: Regions Highlights and State Qualifiers

2022 FHSAA 1A REGION CHAMPIONSHIPS

Following the conclusion of their respective District Championship meets, Florida high school swimming teams in Class 1A and 2A (smaller schools) wrapped up their Regional meets over the weekend, which serve as qualifiers for the State Championships.

The state champs, originally scheduled for Nov. 11 and Nov. 12, have been pushed back by one week, so the 1A championship will take place next Friday, Nov. 18, and the 2A championships will be Saturday, Nov. 19.

FHSAA CLASS 1A REGION CHAMPIONS

  • Region 1: Bolles girls, Bolles boys
  • Region 2: Montverde Academy girls, Montverde Academy boys
  • Region 3: Tampa Prep girls, Out-of-Door Academy boys
  • Region 4: The King’s Academy girls, Saint Andrew’s School boys

CLASS 1A REGION HIGHLIGHTS

Girls

The majority of the top times produced in the girls’ Regions meets came out of Region 4, where South Florida HEAT’s Erika Pelaez led the way by posting the top times in the 100 fly and 100 back.

In the 100 fly, she leads the 1A field by more than two seconds heading into the state meet after clocking 53.26, just over half a second off her best of 52.74 set in December 2021. In the 100 back, she was 52.80, with her PB sitting at 52.26.

Pelaez, a junior, won 1A state titles last year as a sophomore in the 50 free and 100 back.

The NC State commit also led off her team’s 400 free relay in 49.04, as HEAT takes the top seed into the 1A champs after finishing in 3:26.46.

The King’s Academy, which won the team race in Region 4, had some top swims from junior Aly Bozzuto, who clocked 23.42 in the 50 free and 1:02.41 in the 100 breast for the top seed at the state meet.

Bozzuto set best times in both events last month, putting up respective showings of 22.93 and 1:02.36 at the PBCHS Swimming Championships.

In the 100 breast, defending champion and Cutler Bay senior Olivia Dinehart was a close second in 1:02.48, just shy of her best set when she won the state title last year of 1:02.28.

Bozzuto also played a pivotal role in The King’s Academy’s 200 medley relay, which put up a time of 1:43.40 to come within earshot of the state record, which stood at 1:42.38 until Riverview Sarasota lowered it to 1:42.04 at the 4A state meet on Saturday.

Bozzuto, who split 28.09 swimming breast on that relay, also led off the team’s 200 free relay in 23.18 as they put up a time of 1:34.44, narrowly edged out by Bolles (1:34.40) for the top seed heading into the state meet.

Also posting the top time in the class from Region 4 was Florida commit Julia Podkoscielny, who paced the 200 IM in 2:03.29. The Pine Crest senior has won three consecutive state titles in the 200 IM (2A in 2019 and 2020), and has put herself in position for the career sweep next week.

Region 1 featured top times from Bolles’ Simany Lee in the 100 free (50.51) and PK Yonge’s Liilian Nesty in the 200 free (1:47.38), both setting new best times.

Maclay junior Bella Ekk sits second in both events, hitting respective times of 50.62 and 1:49.64.

Over in Region 3, Cardinal Mooney senior Michaela Mattes appears well on her way to a fourth straight title in the 500 free, leading the field by more than two seconds in 4:50.89. Mattes, who is committed to Florida, has been as fast as 4:40.12, done this past March.

Boys

The Bolles boys, who powered to the Region 1 team victory by 380 points, had numerous swimmers post top times across the Region meets to set themselves up for a run at yet another state title.

Senior Kayden Lancaster posted the fastest overall time in both the 200 free (1:39.13) and 500 free (4:29.64), with his best times, set at last year’s state champs, sitting at 1:37.58 and 4:27.28, respectively.

His senior teammate and fellow Louisville commit Aidan Paro was the top swimmer in the 200 IM, clocking 1:48.96 to lead Bolles’ teammates Will Heck (1:49.59) and Carter Lancaster (1:49.81).

Paro also led Region 1 in the 100 fly, clocking 49.01 to rank third overall in 1A behind Miami Country Day’s Dylan Smiley (47.88) and Saint Andrew’s Diego Balbi (47.93) over in Region 4.

Heck, the reigning state champion in the 100 breast, posted the top time in that race in 54.78, with the NC State commit owning a blistering PB of 53.64 from the 2021 champs.

Smiley, who is committed to Indiana, set a best time of 55.37 in Region 4 to advance second overall into the 1A championships behind Heck.

Balbi, a junior, was the fastest swimmer in the 100 back, narrowly missing his best of 49.97 in 50.06.

Also posting top times for Bolles was Andrew Kravchenko in the 50 free (20.70), and the team also put up the quickest times across all three relays.

Bolles Relay Times

200 free relay 400 free relay 200 medley relay
S. Tolentino – 21.11 S. Tolentino – 46.27 C. Lancaster. – 23.31
A. Kravchenko – 20.24 A. Whittall – 45.19 W. Heck – 24.41
C. Lancaster – 20.82 M. McGrath – 46.81 A. Paro – 21.51
W. Heck – 20.52 K. Lancaster – 45.14 A. Kravchenko – 20.66
1:22.69 3:03.41 1:29.89

Region 4 also featured Florida South HEAT junior Kaii Winkler, who made headlines earlier this year by becoming the fastest American 15-year-old ever in the long course 100 free. The HEAT is a team of home-schooled athletes.

Winkler, also the second-fastest 15-year-old ever in SCY with a best of 43.04 (he’s now 16), was nine-tenths off that mark to post the top time overall in the 100 free (43.94), and he’s also ranked second behind Kayden Lancaster in the 200 free (1:39.27).

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Go Utes!
2 months ago

I thought Kaii Winkler was a Junior.

Admin
Reply to  Go Utes!
2 months ago

He is. Fixed.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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