Austin Katz, Buchholz Freshman Dominate Florida 4A State Championships

The Buchholz women’s team and the Riverview (Sarasota) men’s teams were crowned the 2015 Florida High School State Champions over the weekend. Both teams set the tone on the opening event of the meet, winning the 200 medley relays.

A strong freshman class helped lead Buchholz women’s team to victory. Caitlin Brooks, Savannah Fessenden, Julia Rodriquez, and Kaitlyn Cronin combined to win the 200 medley relay with a final time of 1:44.81. Fessenden, a senior, was the only non-freshman on the squad. Buchholz went on to earn two more individual event victories and sweep the other two relays.

Brooks and Talia Bates, both freshman, each earned an individual victory over the weekend for the team. Brooks won the 100 backstroke with a time of 55.67 and Bates won the 50 freestyle with a 23.07. Three Buchholz freshman finished in the top eight of the 50 freestyle.

With a stronghold on the sprint freestyle events, the team of Kirschtine Balbuena, Cronin, Rodriguez, and Bates ran away with the 200 freestyle relay, finishing a second and a half of the second place team with a 1:33.88, breaking the State Record that was set by Bolles School at 1:33.90 in 2009.

There were no double winners over the course of the meet, but there were a handful that got close. Spence Atkins of Riverview (Sarasota) and Morgan Tankersly of Plant traded off in the 200 and 500 freestyles. Tankersly won the 200 freestyle in 1:47.54 and then finished second in the 500 at 4:50.52 while Atkins won the 500 free in 4:48.74 and finished second in the 200 free at 1:49.03.

Other individual winners include:

  • 200 IM – Kathleen Golding, Cooper City – 2:00.40
  • 100 Fly – Katie Vasiloff, Durant – 54.78
  • 100 Free – Lauren Dunn, Mandarin – 50.96
  • 100 Breast – Isabel English, Winter Park – 1:03.31

Women’s Team Scores:

1. Buchholz – 262
2. Riverview (Sarasota)  – 195
3. Olympia High School – 174
4. Oviedo High School – 157
5. Boca Raton – 126
6. Lakewood Ranch High School – 125
7. Plant (Tampa)-  114
8. Palm Harbor University – 103
9. Mandarin 96
10. Lake Brantley High School – 82
11. Winter Park – 73
12. Sarasota High School – 71

On the men’s side, Austin Katz lead Riverview to their state title. Katz, Lee Campbell, Keanan Dols, and Tyler Carmichael combined to win the first event of the day for Riverview with a 1:33.30 in the 200 medley relay. Immediately following his relay swim, Katz jumped on the blocks for the 200 freestyle where he won with a 1:37.05. If that wasn’t enough, he followed up his first two swims with two more state titles. Katz won the 100 backstroke with a 47.92 and then lead off their winning 400 freestyle relay with a 45.23.

There were great races all throughout the men’s meet. Double winner Marco Guarente won the men’s 200 IM with a 1:49.77, but Keanan Dols was just behind him with a 1:50.11. Guarente later won the 100 breaststroke with a 55.76. The 50 free was even closer, with Cody Kline touching first at 20.14 and Brody Heck finishing second at 20.18. Heck later won the 100 free with a 44.49. In the 100 butterfly, Noah Lense held off Nick Hackett’s 48.96 with his winning time of 48.18.

Drew Clark and Dan Erlenmeyer threw down in the 500 freestyle, creating one of the most exciting races of the night. They were even through 350 yards before Clark started pulling away little-by-little from the favorite, Erlenmeyer, who posted a 4:20.21 in prelims. Clark held him off with a 4:21.84. Erlenmeyer finished second with a 4:22.67.

The 200 freestyle relay was the only relay not won by Riverview. Flemming Island’s team of John Hutton, Jack Neeley, Drew Heinton, and Nick Hackett won the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:25.00.

Men’s Team Scores:

1. Riverview (Sarasota) – 324
2. Countryside (Clearwater) – 138
3. Fleming Island – 133
4. Cypress Bay (Weston) – 123
5. Seminole High School (Sanford) – 119
6. Boca Raton – 107
7. Jupiter – 100
8. Buchholz – 96
9. Fletcher – 88
10. Winter Park – 75
10. Wellington – 75
12. West Port High School – 66

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7 years ago

I know this site is about swimming, but Logan Downey from South Plantation High School 3-peated as State Champ in 1meter diving. It’s worth a side note.

About Tony Carroll

Tony Carroll

The writer formerly known as "Troy Gennaro", better known as Tony Carroll, has been working with SwimSwam since April of 2013. Tony grew up in northern Indiana and started swimming in 2003 when his dad forced him to join the local swim team. Reluctantly, he joined on the condition that …

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