FHSAA 3A District Championships
Next week begins the Florida 3A State Swimming Series. Kicking off the series will be the 12 District Championship meets that will be dispersed between October 22-27. These schools will compete for selections for their respective regional meets the following week. The division is the 2nd-tier, by size, of Florida high school swimming.
For some district meets, this is only a meager beginning to the series. For other district meets, this meet is only the beginning of a long battle to the state championship. Here are 5 team battles to watch out for as the FHSAA 3A District Championships roll around the corner:
1. Niceville V. Pensacola/Washington (District 1)
Defending District 1 champions, both the boys and girls of Niceville, are looking to defend their title once again. However, the swimmers of Pensacola and Washington are also eager to steal the titles from Niceville. Last year, the final team scores between the 3 schools were very close.
|1. Niceville- 480||1. Niceville- 449|
|2. Washington- 445||2. Pensacola- 394|
|3. Pensacola- 362||3. Washington- 354|
In the same manner, each school played musical chairs in the 3 relays, finishing in different places nearly every relay.
|Rank||200 Medley||200 Free||400 Free||200 Medley||200 Free||400 Free|
|3||Niceville||Pensacola (5th)||Niceville||Washington (4th)||Pensacola||Niceville|
Despite Niceville’s individual event depth, will it be enough this year to take down both Pensacola and Washington once again?
2. Bartram Trail Boys V. Creekside Boys (District 3)
Last year, the Bartram Trail boys won the District 3 meet with 551 points and 6 victories. Right behind them was Creekside with 516.5 points and 4 victories. In the 200 medley relay, both Bartram Trail and Creekside relays had all underclassmen, meaning that each relay could come back with the same swimmers to duel once again. This relay was only a small example of how close the meet between the two would have been.
|Bartram Trail||26.12||55.11 (28.99)||1:20.17 (25.06)||1:42.53 (22.36)|
|Creekside||26.69||55.34 (28.65)||1:20.28 (24.94)||1:42.94 (22.66)|
This year, the Creekside boys defeated the Bartram Trail boys at their dual meet September 20th. Could the Creekside boys defeat Bartram Trail again next week?
3. New Smyrna Beach Girls V. Lake Minneola Girls (District 4)
Last year, New Smyrna Beach (384 points) took the District 4 title over Lake Minneola (343 points) by 41 points, which one of the closest meets among the twelve 3A district meets.
Powering each school this year are Amanda Alfaro (New Smyrna Beach) and Kali Bush (Lake Minneola). Both girls took titles for their teams in the 100 free (Alfaro) and 500 free (Bush). However, when the two girls faced off the in 200 free, Alfaro just out-touched Bush by only 0.23 seconds.
Could Bush take over Alfaro this year and aid Lake Minneola in snagging New Smyrna Beach’s title?
4. Viera Boys V. Sebastian River Boys (District 5)
The boys of Viera and Sebastian River also had a close fight last year at the District 5 meet. Viera took the title with 491 points and only 3 victories while Sebastian River took second with 456 points, yet won 7 events.
Sebastian River senior Ethan McCloud returns to the state series as 2-time defending District 5 and Region 2 champion in the 100 back and 200 IM as well as 3A State runner-up in the 100 back. On the other hand, Viera junior Connor Jones comes as the defending 200 and 500 free District 12 champion, as well as the 500 free champion at the Region 2 meet.
When looking at the in-depth stats, both teams had incredible yet different strengths. Could this year be yet another puzzling battle between Viera and Sebastian River?
5. Gulf Coast Girls V. Estero Girls (District 9)
Last year, the girls of Gulf Coast won the District 9 meet with 433.5 points, the girls of Estero took second with 376 points. Looking at the win count, Estero had 3 victories and Gulf Coast only had 2 victories. How could this be?
What really hurt Estero last year that made the Gulf Coast girls widen the team score gap was the 200 free relay. That relay, Gulf Coast took the title by three seconds. However, finishing 11 seconds behind in 7th place was Estero. If Estero had placed at least in the top 3, the battle between the two teams could have been closer.
This year, both teams are returning a lot of swimmers who were either freshmen or sophomores last year. Could these young swimmers make a big difference after turning one year older?
Among the 7 other districts should be more dominating performances as the schools progress into regionals and the state championships.
Other 2017 Defending 3A District Champions:
- District 2: Chiles
- District 6: Lakeland (Girls)/Winter Haven (Boys)
- District 7: Venice
- District 8: Osceola
- District 10: Martin County
- District 11: Fort Lauderdale
- District 12: Doral Academy