Defending Florida State Champions Pine Crest Will Participate in 2020 Season

Over the summer, Pine Crest School announced that it would not participate in high school athletics in the fall season of 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, this decision has changed, and the Swimming & Diving program will indeed have a season, beginning on October 26 with their District meet.

On July 11, 2020, the school stated it would follow the Florida High School Athletics Association (FHSAA) instructions for returning to athletics, however the association later announced it would continue with the original fall sports season schedule, despite the recommendations of its medical advisory board. Because of this, Pine Crest decided not to participate in the fall season.

Pine Crest has won 28 FHSAA girls’ high school Swimming & Diving state championships, as well as 18 for the boys. Combined, the two programs have about 400 individual event champions. 

The school stated in July that “P.E., swim, and tennis will be offered for Lower, Middle, and Upper School students when it is safe and prudent to do so. For Middle and Upper School students, coaches will continue to provide individual, specialized, and small group training before, during, and after school. Like many independent school and collegiate teams, Pine Crest will not participate in Middle and Upper School competitive sports in the fall.”

Head coach for the high school and club team Mariusz Podkoscielny, a 2-time Olympian for Poland, said that the club program would be able to train “on a limited basis.”

On September 1, Jeff Johnson, the director of athletics, sent out a letter to the community explaining the status of fall sports. Three phases were detailed.

  • Phase 1 (September 21): Upper-school student athletes were allowed to begin conditioning in Pine Crest’s athletic facilities
  • Phase 2 (October 12): Upper school fall practices can begin
  • Phase 3 (Date TBD): Upper school Interscholastic Competitions begin

Although Pine Crest teams will compete independently in the fall, there will be a “possible exception” for the Swimming & Diving program. 

Recently, head coach Mariusz Podkoscielny stated that Pine Crest will start their season with their District Championship meet, after the FHSAA lifted requirements for regular season dual meets. For District meets, classes 1A & 2A  will compete October 26-31 and classes 3A & 4A will compete October 19-24. For Regional meets, Classes 1A & 2A start from November 2-7, and classes 3A & 4A start from October 26-31. For State Championships, classes 1A & 2A will race from November 13-14, while classes 3A & 4A will race from November 6-7.

The Swimming & Diving calendar and schedule can be found here.


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2 years ago

Glad Pine Crest is showing leadership and not a bunch of scaredy cats!!!!

2 years ago

Most of the schools here in the Sarasota area started the year with virtual meets and then duals with strict Covid-19 protocols: no spectators, no access to locker rooms, strict social distancing on deck, masks until on the blocks, no flyovers & clearing the pool between heats, etc. As a meet official, it’s been challenging at times, but most folks have been good with everything.
When they waived the minimum dual meet swim requirement, I thought more schools might follow Pine Crest’s example and not show up until Districts, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.