Bolles Rolls To FHSAA 1A Sweep; Winkler, Pelaez, Lancaster & Heck Set State Records

2022 FHSAA 1A Championships

  • November 17-18, 2022
  • Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center, Stuart, Florida
  • Short Course Yards (SCY)
  • Full Results (PDF)
  • Results on MeetMobile: “2022 FHSAA Swimming and Diving Championships-1A”

Historically dominant in the 1A division (smaller schools) of the FHSAA Swimming and Diving State Championships, the boys and girls of the Bolles School both ran away with the meet. With their titles, the school has now won 35 straight titles on the boys’ side and 32 on the girls’ side.

Girls Meet Recap

While Bolles came away with the meet title, it was runner-ups The King’s Academy who claimed the first event of the night, narrowly edging out Bolles with a time of 1:42.41 in the 200 medley relay. While Bolles was faster through the back half of the race, it wasn’t enough to make up for the lead created by King’s first two swimmers, Ava Fasano and Alyssa Bozzuto. Fasano finished the backstroke leg in 25.73, while Bozzuto’s breaststroke split of 28.05 was enough to give the team over a second lead at the halfway point over Bolles.

Later in the meet, Bozzuto added an individual gold for King’s, claiming first in the 50 free in 22.69.

The lone multi-event winner on the girls’ side was junior Erika Pelaez, a home-schooled athlete who represented the United States at the Mel Zajac Jr. meet earlier this year. Pelaez not only won both of her individual events, but also set three new state records.

In the 100 fly final, Pelaez put up a time of 52.12 to break the state record of 52.73, set by Nease’s Olivia Peoples in 2019, while also going under her best time of 52.74 set last December at the Speedo Winter Junior Championships – East.

Pelaez, 16, moves into 19th all-time in the girls’ 15-16 age group with her performance.

In the 100 back, Pelaez reset the state record in both the heats and the final, first going 52.30 in the prelims to dip under her previous record of 52.34 set last year. In the final, Pelaez blasted her way to a new best time of 51.78, cracking 52 seconds for the first time and moving up into 15th all-time in the girls’ 15-16 age group.

In the 400 free relay, Pelaez led off the South Florida HEAT’s winning squad in a time of 48.08, yet another best time, vaulting her up into seventh all-time in the girls’ 15-16 age group. Her previous best sat at 48.62.

Pelaez, who was a multiple event finalist at the National Championships this summer, is committed to join the NC State Wolfpack in 2024.

The first individual event of the day, the 200 free, went to Liilian Nesty, a junior from PK Yonge. Nesty, who finished in 1:46.65, led the field by a wide margin, touching over a second and a half ahead of runner-up Bella Ekk (1:48.18). Last year, Nesty narrowly missed a pair of event wins, as she took third in the 50 free and second in the 100 free. She now sits just outside of the all-time top-10 for the FHSAA, with the current 10th fastest time being 1:46.15.

Julia Podkoscielny picked up the win in the 200 IM, dipping below 1:59 to finish at 1:58.81. That time is the seventh-fastest performance in FHSAA State Championship history, putting her just ahead of Sydney Pickrem’s winning tie from 2014. Podkoscielny, who will join the University of Florida next fall and who represented the United States at the Junior Pan Pacific Games last summer, also finished fifth in the 100 back (55.14).

Junior Aspen Gersper of Saint Andrew’s was the only swimmer to break 50 seconds in the 100 free, finishing at 49.15. Gersper is committed to the University of Virginia for 2024.

After finishing second in the 200 IM earlier in the meet, Michaela Mattes came back to win the 500 free in 4:43.80, more than nine seconds clear of the next-fastest swimmer. Mattes is a two-time Junior Pan Pacs gold medalist, having won gold last summer in the 1,500 free and bronze in the 800 free. She’s staying in-state next fall, having committed to the University of Florida.

Bolles claimed its first victory of the meet in the 200 free relay, finishing with a time of 1:32.82. The relay team consisted of Simany Lee, Katherine Meyers-Labenz, Julia Murphy, and Lila Higgo.

In the final individual event of the meet, Auburn commit Olivia Dinehart narrowly held off 50 freestyle state champion Alyssa Bozzuto to claim gold in 1:01.60. Bozzuto touched just behind her in 1:01.72.

Final Scores

  1. Bolles – 374
  2. King’s Academy – 237
  3. Saint Andrew’s – 229
  4. South Florida Heat (Homeschool) – 190
  5. Cutler Bay – 148

Boys Meet Recap

Despite the win by Bolles, the story of the boys’ meet was South Florida HEAT junior Kaii Winkler.

The 200 free saw Winkler post his first of two record-breaking swims for the day. After anchoring his school’s 200 medley relay in a split of 18.98, he turned around 10 minutes later and broke Caeleb Dressel’s Florida high school state record in the 200 free with a time of 1:34.18. That swim also marked a time drop of nearly a full second.

Winkler continued his record-setting spree in the 100 free, where he broke both the Florida high school record (42.95 by Ryan Murphy) and the 15-16 National Age Group Record previously held by Ryan Hoffer (42.67) with a time of 42.52. Winkler now sits less than two-tenths back from the national high school record, which has stood at 42.34 since David Nolan set it in 2011.

For Bolles, the team started the meet strong and never looked back, claiming the top spot in the 200 medley relay by nearly three seconds. The team of Carter Lancaster (22.93), William Heck (23.98) Aidan Paro (21.07) and Andrew Heck (20.07) combined for a blistering time of 1:28.05, just three one-hundredths shy of the state record set by Bolles in 2012 (1:28.02).

That squad consisted of some names you may recognize: Ryan Murphy, Joseph Schooling, Josh Booth and Santo Condorelli.

In his lone individual event of the day, Carter Lancaster set a new state record in the 200 IM, putting up a time of 1:45.02 to break the previous mark of 1:45.51 set by The King’s Academy’s Josh Zuchowski last year.

Lancaster, a Cal commit, came into the meet with a best time of 1:46.91, set at last year’s championships, and brought that down to 1:46.58 in the prelims before his massive drop in the final.

Lancaster led a 1-2-3-4 sweep for Bolles, as Paro (1:46.54), William Heck (1:47.18) and Wyatt Porch (1:47.77) took second, third and fourth, respectively.

Another state record fell in the 100 breast, as William Heck blasted his way to a time of 52.38 in the prelims, shattering his previous mark of 53.64 set last year. That time moves Heck, an NC State commit, into a tie for 17th all-time in the boys’ 17-18 age group.

Heck went on to win the final for a repeat title in 53.60, while Porch was the runner-up in 54.01, having set a best of 53.97 in the heats.

While he would take second to Winkler in the 100 free later in the meet (44.68), Bolles’ Andrew Kravchenko was able to claim first in the 50 free. Kravchenko swam nearly identical times in both prelims and finals, stopping the clock at 20.40 in the morning before winning the event at night in 20.41. Kravchenko is only a sophomore but already sits just barely outside of the state’s all-time top-10 for both sprint events.

Indiana University commit and Miami Country Day senior Dylan Smiley claimed the title in the 100 fly, finishing in 47.12. That time was good enough for a personal best in the event, and would have been fast enough to score in the ‘C’ final of the 2022 Big Ten Championships. Smiley also took third in the 100 breast, finishing in another personal best time of 54.51.

Bolles picked up another win in the 500 free, with Louisville commit Kayden Lancaster topping teammate Victor Derani by five seconds. Lancaster, who will join Louisville next fall, finished in 4:25.74.

With the Bolles relay being disqualified, Pine Crest was able to claim the title in the 200 free relay behind a quartet of strong splits from Collin Nealy (21.56), Lucas Opperman (21.57), Kingsley Bailey (21.46) and Roman Ferrara (21.97) in 1:26.56. Bolles had notably gone 1:25.12 in the prelims.

Bolles would rally from the disqualification later in the meet, winning the 400 free relay by almost six seconds with a time of 2:58.05.

Bolles added another win in the 100 back, as Landon Kyser picked up his first gold of the meet as he made it to the wall in 49.02.

Final Scores

  1. Bolles – 546
  2. South Florida Heat (Homeschool) – 182
  3. Saint Andrew’s  – 172.5
  4. Pine Crest – 162
  5. King’s Academy – 133.5

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Jaxson
2 months ago

Bolles swimming program is awesome – and Coach Greg Troy did an amazing job building up and maintaining this program over the years on both the boys and girls side.

Despite its well earned successes, Bolles and other similar high school programs with boarding programs should be excluded from competing in Florida High School sports – as boarding programs allow these schools to attract local, national and international talent which is not typically found in everyday high school programs.

These schools should only be allowed to compete against other high schools across the country w similar boarding programs like Peddie, and Exeter – to create a more even playing field.

However, even with this proposed change, Bolles would still shine… Read more »

Exaggerated
Reply to  Jaxson
2 months ago

You must be confused with another program. Bolles’ current program has never swam a set like that. There are old school training programs with high yardage teams around the country, but Bolles’ current program isn’t one of them.

Riley
2 months ago

Lost in the (justified) fanfare around those insane Winkler swims is the fact that NC State finally has a blue chip breaststroker in Heck. That 52.3 he swam is faster than Hunter went to win their invite last week and I believe is right around any times that Kusto and Graber went for them the last 4-5 years.

Will be interesting to see if the 2 year overlap he has with Hayes and Curtiss and 3 with McCarty will result in them finally taking a medley relay and not just a free one.

NoFastTwitch
2 months ago

What would it feel like to break records by Dressel, Murphy and Hoffer on the same day?

ArtVanDeLegh10
Reply to  NoFastTwitch
2 months ago

That’s got to be close to 20 individual NCAA championships between the 3.
Murphy has 8, I think Hoffer has 4, and Dressel maybe 7?

JP input is too short
Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
2 months ago

Pretty sure Dressel has 9 individually? 3 in 2018, 3 in 2017, 2 2016, 1 2015.

ArtVanDeLegh10
Reply to  JP input is too short
2 months ago

I think you’re right. 2015 was the 50 and 2016 was the 50 and 100.