FHSAA 4A STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Friday, November 10th
- Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center (Stuart, FL)
- Results for district and regional meets
- SwimSwam state series preview
- 2016 State Series Results
TOP 5 FINAL BOYS’ TEAM SCORES:
- Riverview- 278.5
- Lake Brantley- 198
- Fleming Island- 162
- Buchholz- 150
- Seminole High- 139
TOP 5 FINAL GIRLS TEAM SCORES:
- Buchholz- 360.5
- Plant- 273
- Riverview- 196
- Oviedo- 161
- Palm Harbor University- 101
The Florida High School Athletic Association class 4A state championships concluded on Saturday night in Stuart, Florida. The Buchholz girls successfully defended their state title with a dominant performance, while Plant secured another runner-up finish. On the boys’ side, Riverview defended their state title successfully ahead of Lake Brantley.
NOTE: This article covers class 4A only. All other classes are given their own recap at the conclusion of the meets.
CLASS 4A STATE MEET HIGHLIGHTS
The Buccholz girls were on fire, setting the State Record in all 3 relays. Here’s how they went down:
- In the 200 medley relay, Caitlin Brooks (back- 24.66), Kirschtine Balbuena (breast- 29.81), Julia Rodriguez (fly- 24.90), and Kaitlyn Cronin (free- 22.97) combined to set the mark in 1:42.34.
- Next up was the 200 free relay, in which Talia Bates (23.05 leadoff), Cronin (23.00), Georgia Bates (23.15), and Isabel Ivey (22.46) put up a record-setting 1:31.66.
- Finally, the team demolished the 400 free relay record, with Ivey leading the way in a 48.89 leadoff followed by Balbuena (50.28), Georgia Bates (51.81), and Talia Bates (49.97) en route to a 3:20.95.
Buchholz’s Ivey came through with a pair of wins, taking down 2016 state champ Morgan Tankersley of Plant in the 200 free. Tankersley stayed withing half a second of Ivey at the 100-yard mark, but Ivey took off on the 3rd 50 to seal the deal, winning in 1:44.68 to Tankersley’s 1:46.75. In her next individual race, the 100 breast, Ivey blasted a new State Record. She turned in 29.02 and continued to pull away from the field as she touched in 1:00.99, posting a best time by 2.5 seconds and taking almost 7 tenths off the former State Record, which stood at a 1:01.68 done by Caroline White in 2015. Tankersley went on to defend her title in the 500 free, clocking in at 4:44.75 after a close battle with Riverview’s Emma Weyant (4:45.11).
Ivey’s teammate Talia Bates also collected 2 individual golds and set a State Record, defending her state titles in the 50 free and 100 fly. She blew away the field in the 50 free, posting the only sub-23 with a quick 22.67. Bates won back-to-back races, as the 100 fly was the next event. She used her back half speed to push ahead of Oviedo’s Abigail Gibbons (53.60), winning in 53.28. That clipped the record of 53.39 set by Jessica Nava at 1A states last weekend.
Buchholz almost had a 3rd swimmer set an individual State Record with Brooks in the 100 back. She dominated the race from start to finish, hitting the wall in 52.65. The record still stands at a 52.46 done by Clara Smiddy in 2013.
Cooper City’s Kathleen Golding secured the 200 IM threepeat, breaking 2:00 for the first time after cutting it close to the 2:00 barrier at each of the last 2 state meets. Golding took off with a 25.77 fly split and never looked back, building her lead to win it by almost 3 seconds in 1:59.72. She returned for a close battle with Flagler Palm Coast’s Micayla Cronk in the 100 free. Cronk, a freshman, had a very impressive performance, using her front half speed to push ahead in 23.78 at the 50 and holding off Golding down the stretch to win in 49.58 to Golding’s 49.79.
On the boys’ side, Countryside’s Robert Finke, a Florida commit and U.S. National Team member, successfully defended his state titles in the 200 IM and 500 free. In the 200 IM, Finke took the early lead, but Lake Brantley’s Gabe Parnell swam past him on the breast leg. Finke was able to reel him back in down the stretch with a powerful free leg, out-touching Parnell at the finish 1:47.41 to 1:47.50. Parnell went on to win the 100 breast (56.07), while Finke picked up his next gold in the 500 free. There, Finke dominated by 7 seconds, breaking 4:20 for the first time in 4:18.74.
Park Vista’s Kyle DiMatteo threw down to sweep the sprints. He took the 50 free title by over half a second, touching in 20.42 for the win. Fleming Island’s Jack Neeley joined him under the 21 barrier in prelims with a 20.97, but no one other than DiMatteo was able to do so in the final. He completed the sweep in the 100 free, finishing body lengths ahead of the field in 44.45.
Buchholz’s Mason Wilby came up just short of defending his 100 back title in a thrilling battle with Countryside’s Joey Licht. They were just 3 hundredths apart, 24.07 to 24.10, at the 50, with Licht holding the lead by a fingernail. Wilby outsplit Licht by a hundredth on the back half, but finished a nail behind as Licht won it in 49.56 to Wilby’s 49.58. In the 100 fly, Wilby picked up a gold, turning in a 48.12 to win it over 2016 champion Nick Hackett (48.89) of Fleming Island. His teammate, Julian Hill, also won an individual race for Buchholz with a 1:37.68 in the 200 free.
Additional Event Winners
- Boys 200 medley relay: Lake Brantley, 1:33.72
- Boys 200 free relay: Fleming Island, 1:24.82
- Boys 400 free relay: Riverview, 3:05.23