Florida HS 4A States: Buchholz Girls, Riverview Boys Successfully Defend State Titles



  1. FW Buchholz- 276
  2. Plant High School- 204
  3. Oviedo High School- 193
  4. Olympia High School- 165
  5. Riverview- 158

The Buchholz girls succesfully defended their team title at the 2016 Florida High School 4A State Championships. A strong sophomore class led the team to victory, as they won with a total of 276 points. Also scoring north of 200 points were the Plant High School girls (204), who established themselves as the runner-up by 11 points over Oviedo High School (193).

Plant High School’s Morgan Tankersley was arguably the swimmer of the meet on the girls’ side, picking up state titles in the 200 free and 500 free with state records in both races. Tankersley kicked off the meet by shattering the 200 free State Record, clocking a 1:44.31 to lower the previous mark of 1:45.37 set by Lauren Driscoll in 2010.

Tankersley then returned to the pool for the 500 free, where she took down the State Record with her 4:37.60 en route to another state title. The previous record was a 4:37.91 set by Jamaican Olympian Janelle Atkinson at the state meet in 1999.

In addition to her invidual wins, Tankersley was a key player on her team’s 200 medley relay and 400 free relay. In those races, she anchored with free splits of 22.14 and 47.80 respectively.

The Buchholz sophomore sprint duo of Talia Bates and Kaitlyn Cronin combined to win a total of 3 individual events to help their team capture the state title. The two swimmers went 1-2 in the 50 free, as Bates blasted a 22.69 for the victory and Cronin followed with a 23.32 for silver. Bates followed that up with another victory in the 100 fly, racing to a winning time of 53.83. Cronin picked up a gold of her own, clocking a 50.70 to win the 100 free ahead of teammate Kirchstine Balbuena (50.92).

Another Buchholz sophomore Caitlin Brooks, won the state title in the 100 back. Their teammate Caitlin Brooks, also a Buchholz sophomore, took the 100 back title. Brooks dominated the race in 53.38 to win by nearly 2 seconds.


  1. Riverview- 276
  2. Fleming Island- 189
  3. Countryside- 160
  4. FW Buchholz- 153
  5. Plant High School- 120

The Riverview boys swam their way to a 2016 Florida High School 4A State Championships team title, succesfully defending their 2015 title with 276 points this season. Swimming to the runner-up position were the boys from Fleming Island High School, while the Countryside team rounded out the top 3.

Countryside’s Robert Finke swam his way to 2 individual state titles to help his team come up with their 3rd place finish. In the 200 IM, Finke trailed as the swimmers turned at the 150-mark, but he blasted a 25.21 freestyle split to come from behind and win it in 1:49.34. He followed that up with a dominant victory in the 500 free, clocking the only sub-4:30 time to win his 2nd title in 4:22.92.

Swimming for the runner-up Fleming Island boys, Nick Hackett won a pair of events for the team. Hackett’s first 2016 state title came in the 200 free, where he clocked a 1:39.04 to edge out Riverview’s Brendan Firlie (1:39.32). He then returned to the pool for the 100 fly, winning by nearly a full second with his 48.88.

Riverview’s Austin Katz, a Texas commit, traveled to the meet to swim relays only. He led off the team’s 200 medley relay with a 22.54 to help them take the win. His next race came in the 200 free relay, where he took the 2nd leg with a 20.69 to help his team to a silver medal. Finally, Katz took the 2nd leg of the 400 free relay, helping the team to another gold with his 44.60 split.

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Meet observer
4 years ago

Tankersly also broke another state record leading off the 400 free relay in prelims with a 48.69. Overall a ridiculous high school champ meet performance.

4 years ago

Logan Downey from South Plantation won the Boys Diving event for the 4th year in a row.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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