Mark Szaranek, Lillie Nesty Highlight Florida Senior Championships In Ocala

2023 Florida Senior Championships

Former NCAA champion and three-time Commonwealth Games medalist Mark Szaranek was among the big names in attendance at the 2023 Florida Senior Championships July 20-23 in Ocala, as the Scottish native was one of many swimmers contributing to Gator Swim Club emerging atop the combined team standings.

Szaranek, 27, won all three individual events in which he contested, including hitting a new season-best time of 1:59.69 in the 200 IM. The time is his fastest in five years.

The 200 IM is the event in which Szaranek won the 2017 NCAA title while representing Florida, and he finished 11th in it at the 2017 World Championships and set a best time of 1:58.07 at the 2018 European Championships where he placed fifth.

Szaranek also logged a season-best of 54.18 in the 100 fly, with his PB sitting at 53.28 from 2016, and in the 100 free, he put up the second-fastest swim of his career to win in 50.82 (PB of 49.75 from 2015).

Highlighting the female competition was Gator Swim Club’s Lillie Nesty, the Texas commit who is the daughter of University of Florida head coach Anthony Nesty.

Nesty blew away the competition in the girls’ 15-16 age group, sweeping all six of her individual events while adding four relay victories for 10 golds.

Nesty, 16, set new best times in the 100 back (1:02.25), 50 fly (28.42) and 100 fly (1:01.33), with the former moving her into 98th all-time in the 15-16 age group. She also won the 50 free (26.30), 100 free (56.96) and 200 back (2:16.84).

Another noteworthy performance came from Blue Dolfins swimmer Ian Heysen, who dropped numerous best times and won four events despite in the younger half of the boys’ 15-16 age group.

The 15-year-old hit PBs to claim the 100 breast (1:05.45), 200 IM (2:07.05), 400 IM (4:34.83) and 100 free (53.34), and he also logged a best of 2:21.27 in the 200 breast to place second.

Heysen now ranks second in the U.S. this season among 15-year-old boys in the 200 IM, sixth in the 200 breast, 10th in the 100 breast and 16th in the 400 IM.


  • Sixteen-year-old Ethan Ekk set a best time of 8:06.44 to win the 800 free, moving him into 30th all-time in the boys’ 15-16 age group. Ekk only swam that race individually, though he did lead off Area Tallahassee’s 800 free relay in 1:51.44, a new 200 free PB that ranks tied for 47th all-time among 15-16s.
  • Gator Swim Club’s Aris Runnels, 19, broke 1:00 for the first time in the women’s 100 fly, clocking 59.59 to earn an Olympic Trials cut. Runnels is a rising sophomore at Florida, having placed 13th at the 2023 NCAAs in the 100 back.
  • Her teammate Talia Bates won all four events in which she contested, setting new season-bests in the 50 free (25.79), 100 free (56.81) and 200 free (2:01.31) while clocking 1:02.90 in the 100 back.
  • University of Notre Dame swimmer Luke Uttley, who represents the Greater Orlando Aquatics Team, set a pair of best times in the 50 fly (24.30) and 100 fly (54.21), and the 21-year-old also put up a season-best of 23.52 to win the 50 free.
  • Episcopal AmberJax’s Zachary Zubero put up a time of 31.57 in the boys’ 50 breast, nearing his PB of 31.29 set earlier this year which ranks him third this season among 13-year-olds. He also neared his PB in the 100 breast, clocking 1:10.88, and set new bests in the 50 fly (28.05) and 100 fly (1:03.68).


  1. Gator Swim Club, 1689
  2. Blue Dolfins, 1674
  3. Academy Aquatic Club, 975
  4. Greater Orlando Aquatics Team, 913.5
  5. Southwest Stars Swim Club, 873

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Lap Counter
11 months ago

Good times for Mark as he is an assistant coach for the Gators and training at an elite level!

Reply to  Lap Counter
11 months ago

I believe you are thinking of his brother Jack who is on the Gators’ staff

Lap Counter
Reply to  Mike
11 months ago

You are right. Sorry my mistake

11 months ago

Senior Champs was hosted in Ocala, FL

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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