Florida’s high school swimming post-season continues, with the state’s bigger schools in classes 3A and 4A holding region meets over the weekend. Regions are the last major meet before the state championships.
Here’s a rapid-fire look at what happened in class 4A:
State record falls to Buchholz Girls in Region 1
Buchholz swept the boys and girls titles, breaking a state record in the girls 200 free relay. The team of Kirschtine Balbuena, Julia Rodriguez, Kaitlyn Cronin and Talia Bates went 1:33.58 to break a Bolles School record from 2009. More impressive: three of the four are freshmen, with Balbuena only a sophomore. Bates split 22.83 on the anchor leg. That same group hit an All-American automatic cut in the 400 free relay at 3:27.09.
The crew combined for a whole host of wins individually. Bates and Cronin went 1-2 in the 50 free, with Bates winning in an automatic All-America time of 23.29. Bates also won the 100 fly (56.48) and Cronin the 100 free (51.42). Balbuena took the 200 free (1:50.80) and 100 back (56.21) with All-America Consideration times in both.
Mandarin sophomore Kensey McMahon had a big 500 free, going 4:57.04 for All-American Consideration status.
The Buchholz boys also won, but individually, Gavin Jones of Fletcher was the star. He won the 50 and 100 frees, hitting a consideration time of 20.76 in the 50 and just missing that cut with a 46.09 in the 100. Fleming Island hit the meet’s other consideration time, going 1:26.33 to win the 200 free relay.
Katz, Lense Show Down In Region 2
Countryside senior Noah Lense and Riverview junior Austin Katz showed down in region 2, with both getting an automatic All-America bid and going head-to-head in the 200 free.
Lense rocketed to a 100 fly win in 48.64, crushing the field by 1.7 seconds. Katz, meanwhile, won the 100 back in 49.76, winning by 1.9. Both times are automatic All-America swims. The two went head-to-head in the 200 free, with Katz topping Lense 1:39.62 to 1:40.11.
Katz’s Riverview team would win titles on the boys and girls sides. Riverview is the defending boys state champs in 4A.
The biggest girls swims, though, came from Plant High’s Morgan Tankersley who won the 200 and 500 free. Both her times – 1:48.02 and 4:49.09 in the 500 free – were automatic All-America swims. Tankersley is just a sophomore.
Also earning All-America status was Durant sophomore Katie Vasiloff, who won the 100 fly in 54.63. She also took the 50 free with a 23.54.
Cline’s Speed Tops Region 3
Wellington senior Cody Cline was the star of region 3, taking two wins in All-America cuts. His 20.63 in the 50 free was an automatic bid, and his 49.90 in the 100 fly a consideration time.
Boca Raton won the boys team title, getting big swims from Brody Heck. The senior was second behind Cline in the 50 with a consideration time of 20.83. He also win the 100 free in 46.20, anchored the winning 200 medley relay in 20.23 and closed the winning 200 free relay with a 20.14.
The Jupiter girls won with a rounded team effort, their only win coming in the 200 free relay, where Arianna Ortiz led off in 24.04 as the team went 1:38.58.
Guarente Leads Cypress Bay To Double Region 4 Titles
Senior Marco Guarente helped Cypress Bay win both titles in region 4. He hit a pair of All-America Consideration times while winning the 200 IM (1:52.43) and 100 breast (56.51). Both wins came by wide margins.
The girls were powered by juniors Andrea van den Berg and Emiliana Pelaez, who swept the freestyle events. Van den Berg won the 200 free (1:57.03) and 500 free (5:10.00), while Pelaez took the 50 free (25.30) and 100 free (54.12).
Maybe the individual star on the girls side was Cooper City freshman Kathleen Golding, who won a pair of races and put up the only All-America time on the girls side. Golding went 2:04.52 for consideration cuts in the 200 IM, then won the 100 fly in 56.45.
Full results available here: