Florida HS 1A Roundup: Regional Meet Highlights & State Preview

The Florida High School Athletic Association’s 2017 state meet series is in full swing, with the Class 1A regional meets now complete. The top 24 swimmers from the combined regions will move on to the Class 1A State Swimming and Diving Championships.

Below are the links you need to view regional meet results and state qualifiers, as well as a list of regional champions and a few highlights from the meets. We’ve also put together a quick preview of the Class 1A state meet.

NOTE: This article covers class 1A only. Classes 2A, 3A, and 4A will be given their own separate posts.

FHSAA CLASS 1A REGIONAL CHAMPIONS

  • Region 1: Bolles boys, Bolles girls
  • Region 2: Trinity Prep boys, Montverde girls
  • Region 3: Berkeley Prep boys, Berkeley Prep girls
  • Region 4: Pine Crest boys, Pine Crest girls

CLASS 1A REGIONAL MEET HIGHLIGHTS

Region 1 Meet:

Region 1 saw 3 Bolles girls sweep their individual events. Leah DeGeorge took control of the middle distance races. She came from behind in the 200 free to beat teammate Camila Batista to the wall, 1:52.77 to 1:53.29. In the 500 free, she was less than half a second shy of the AA-C standard, touching in 4:57.50 folowed by PK Yonge’s Lain Shahboz (4:59.37) and Batista (5:05.62).

Teammate Emily MacDonald also picked up a pair of freestyle wins, putting up a personal best 23.88 in the 50 free to shave half a second off her former best and break 24 for the first time. She also went a best time by almost a second in the 100 free, breaking 53 for the first time in 52.67. Adair Sand was the 3rd Bolles girl to win both of her events, dominating the 200 IM in 2:05.35 and out-touching Shahboz in the 100 back 57.17 to 57.35.

On the boys’ side, Bolles’ defending 100 fly champ Ariel Spektor was the only swimmer to put up 2 wins individually. He was also the only swimmer to put up AA-C times, first winning the 200 IM by 4 seconds to meet that standard with a 1:51.57. Spektor also crushed a 49.79, another AA-C time, to win the 100 fly.

Region 2 Meet:

Lake Highland had a pair of swimmers earn gold in both of their individual races. Abby Burke won a close race in the 50 free, getting her hands to the wall first ahead of Windermere Prep’s Lyndsey Huizenga by 6 hundredth, 23.87 to 23.93. She returned to win the 100 back in 56.93. Teammate Alix Roy swept the middle distance races with a 1:53.38 in the 200 free and a 5:02.81 in the 500 free.

Trinity Prep’s Jan Collazo Torres put together a sprint sweep. In the 50 free, he out-touched Montverde’s Lucas De Oliveira 21.56 to 21.64 to get the ball rolling. The two swimmers returned to battle in the 100 free, this time in a close race with Lake Highland’s Luke Uttley (47.30). Uttley took the early lead, but Collazo Torres had the back half speed, charging home to win in 47.20 followed by Uttley and De Oliveira (47.39).

Defending 200 free state champion Hayden Curley of Lake Highland picked up a win in the 500 free, but came up just short in the 200 free. He trailed St Edwards’ Coleman Kramer until the final 150 yards of the 500 free, roaring home to win in 4:31.49 to Kramer’s 4:32.36. Both swimmers earned AA-C times. The tables were turned in the 200 free, where Kramer got to the wall first 1:41.57 to 1:42.13.

Region 3 Meet:

Cardinal Mooney’s Jillian Santiago swam to victory in a pair of races. In the 200 free, she held off a late charge from Community School’s Emma Feehery, last season’s consolation final winner, to win it in 1:51.75 to Feehery’s 1:51.82. Santiago returned for the 100 free, battling closely with Academy freshman McKenna Smith. At the halfway mark, Smith flipped in 25.26 to take the lead by over half a second, but Santiago was able to run her down with a 26.64 closing split to win it 52.54 to 52.57.

Community School’s Karen Liu went up against 2016 bronze medalist Christin Rockway in the 200 IM, outsplitting Rockway through the first 3 legs to win 2:04.77 to 2:05.81. They both returned for the 500 free against defending state champ Feehery. Liu led the race from start to finish, touching in an AA-C time of 4:56.87. Feehery (4:58.13) and Rockway (4:59.19) also broke 5:00 to round out the top 3.

On the boys’ side, Out-of-door’s Martin Baffico pulled off the 100 fly/100 back double. In the 100 fly, an event in which he placed 5th last year, he used his back-half speed to pull ahead, winning in 50.92. Baffico was nearly as fast as he was at last season’s state meet (52.80) in the 100 back, touching in 52.96 to win by over a second.

Region 4 Meet:

Pine Crest’s Andrea Santander rocked an Automatic All-American standard swim in the 200 free. She battled closely with Trinity Christian’s Nicole Gomez through the halfway point, leading 53.20 to 53.42. Santander started to pick it up on the 3rd 50, stretching out her lead to win it in 1:48.36 while Gomez settled for silver in an AA-C time of 1:49.18. Gomez then went on to win the 500 free in another AA-C time of 4:56.26.

In the 100 free, Santander went up against Trinity Christian sprinter Chade Nercisio. Throughout the race, Nercisio held a slight lead, getting to the wall first as both swimmers put up AA-C times. She won it in 50.53 to Santander’s 50.96. Nercisio swept the sprints, having won the 50 free earlier in an AA-C time of 23.47.

Westminster Academy’s Jessica Nava, the defending state champ in the 100 fly and 100 back, won both of those races in the region. She went head-to-head with Benjamin’s Alessandra Baldari, the 2016 runner-up, in the 100 fly. They were neck-and-neck the entire race, but Nava got her hands to the wall first, 54.39 to 54.53, as they both met the Automatic All-American standard. Nava returned to win the 100 back later in the session, touching in an AA-C 56.04.

NSU School had 2 swimmers sweep their individual races. Patrick Groters, the reigning 100 back champ and 200 IM runner-up, dominated with an AA-C time of 50.80 in the 100 back, making him the fastest man in class 1A thus far by a second. He also clocked in with a 1:53.47 to win the 200 IM. Teammate Daniel Jacobs was the middle distance champ, winning the 200 free in 1:43.07 and the 500 free in 4:41.12.

Pine Crest’s Nico Ferrara established himself as the man to beat in the sprints. He was nearly 2 full seconds ahead of the field in the 100 free, putting up a 45.95 to miss the AA-C standard by just over a tenth. That makes him the only man to have broken 47 so far and marks the first swim of his career under 46. He also won the 50 free in 21.47.

Saint Andrew’s had a pair of swimmers put up AA-C times, as Shayna Fetes (1:04.16) and Izaak Bastian (56.43) won their respective 100 breast races.

2017 FHSAA 1A STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS PREVIEW:

The state meet for class 1A is set to take place on Saturday, November 4th. Swimmers will compete in both prelims and finals, with the top 8 swimmers out of prelims advancing to the ‘A’/championship final to compete for medals and points, and the 9th through 16th place swimmers out of prelims competing for points in the ‘B’/consolation final.

Below are a few of the big races and swimmers to watch. Stay tuned for these swims and more at the big showdown on Saturday.

Last season, Bolles’ Ariel Spektor only swam one individual event, as he was the state champ in the 100 fly and a member of all 3 winning relays. This season, however, he’s taking a crack at the 200 IM. He’s very dangerous in that event with a personal best 1:46.57 from last year’s winter juniors. He’s also the favorite in the 100 fly again with a best time of 47.39.

One of the biggest competitors Spektor will face in the 200 IM is University School’s Patrick Groters. Last season, Groters was the runner-up in the event, and he holds a personal best 1:48.28 from 2016 winter juniors. Groters is also the heavy favorite in the 100 back, boasting a 49.19 from last season’s final.

Reigning 200 free and 500 free champion Hayden Curley of Lake Highland will make a run at back-to-back titles. One of the biggest obstacles to achieving that goal will be NSU School’s Daniel Jacobs. Last season, Jacobs was 3rd in the 200 free, about 6 tenths behind Curley. Both come in with best times in the 1:39-range. In the 500 free, however, Curley is a bigger favorite as he’s the only returner to have broken 4:30 in the 500 free last season (4:26.70).

The girls’ 100 fly should once again be one of the best races of the meet and will feature State Record holder Jessica Nava of Westminster Academy. After coming up short to Nava by a tenth last season, Benjamin’s Alessandra Baldari will be making a run at that record as well. Last season, Nava and Baldari were both in the 53-mid range in the final, but it’s worth noting that Nava has since cleared the 53-barrier with a 52.91 at 2016 winter juniors. Nava will also look to defend her 100 back title, where she’s the heavy favorite with her 54.20 from last season’s state meet.

Last season, Tampa Catholic’s Christin Rockway was the runner-up in both of her races, but this year she’s looking to upgrade to a pair of golds. In the 200 IM, she’ll battle Baldari again, as she out-touched Baldari by 3 hundredths for the bronze in 2016. With the champion and runner-up now graduated, they’re the top returners in the event. Rockway will go up against defending champion Emma Feehery of Community School in the 500 free. Last season, Feehery won the race by a second and was the only woman to break 4:50. Since then, Rockway has made big improvements in the 500 free with a 4:46.80 at winter juniors, so we should see at least 2 women under the mark this time around.

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Adair Sand won the 100 Back not the Fly in 1A 🙂

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. She got her M.S. in Criminology from Florida State and seems exceptionally confused about which team she should cheer for during the college football season. Lauren is currently working on her M.A. in …

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