Pickrem and Aitchison lead East Lake to Florida girls 4A title, Riverview boys win

Division I commits Lexi Aitchison and Sydney Pickrem led East Lake to the Florida class 4A girls state title Friday night, while the boys of Riverview picked up their own state championship.

Full results

Girls Meet

East Lake was a force to be reckoned with on the girls side, sweeping all three relays and riding Division I-commit seniors Lexi Aitchison and Sydney Pickrem to four individual wins.

Both Aitchison and Pickrem are Florida-based Canadians who competed internationally for Swimming Canada over the summer. Aitchison, a Duke commit, was a bronze medalist for Canada at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships, while Pickrem, a future A&M Aggie, competed at the Commonwealth Games.

Aitchison won the 200 and 500 frees for East Lake. She went after the 200 first, going 1:46.68 for what was nearly a lifetime-best and about a second off the state record. She cruised the 500 free, going 4:48.80 but saving her best stuff for the two free relays shortly after. (Aitchison put up a lifetime-best 4:44.88 at the regional meet prior to state).

Pickrem won the 200 IM and 100 back. The 200 IM was a blowout – her 1:59.17 was five seconds faster than the field, though it wasn’t quite a personal best. Her 100 back was a 54.72, also a convincing win.

Pickrem swam breaststroke on the winning 200 medley relay, splitting a field-best 28.9. Joining her on the 1:47.34 team were Michelle Turek, Annaklara Doel and Annika Smith.

The 200 free relay featured Aitchison, coming directly off her 500 free win. The senior led off, going 23.59 to put up the best split on the winning East Lake team, which also featured a 23.6 from Turek. Also on the team were Smith and Natalie Clausen.

Aitchison once again led off the 400 free relay, going 50.88. Pickrem anchored in 50.20. In between, the team got solid splits from Doel and Clausen to go 3:28.26 for the win.

Newsome’s Maddie Hess won twice, sweeping the sprints. Her 23.15 was just enough to eke out a state title in the 50 free, and she followed that up with a 50.32 win in the 100 free.

St. Thomas had a pair of individual winners, getting the 1-meter diving title from Karlee Price (503.50) and the 100 breast win from Caitlin Ahern (1:03.33). The other individual winner was Durant freshman Katie Vasiloff, who went 55.69 to win the 100 fly.

Top 5 Teams

  1. East Lake, 257
  2. Olympia, 200
  3. Riverview, 156.5
  4. Newsome, 132
  5. Palm Harbor University, 117

Boys Meet

Riverview won the boys meet despite getting just two event wins over the course of the meet.

Those came courtesy of junior Carter Page and sophomore Campbell Lee. Page won the 500 free, going 4:25.74 to beat tough East Lake senior Grant Sanders. Lee, meanwhile, took the 100 breast in 56.84.

Oviedo senior Noah Hensley won twice in his final high school season. The freestyler got his first win in the 200 free, going 1:39.27 to beat out Page by a few tenths. Hensley would come back to win the 100 fly in 48.76.

The other double winner was Brody Heck, a junior from Boca Raton. Heck won the 50 free (20.59) and 100 free (44.55) by a combined total of .13 seconds.

Other individual winners were South Plantation’s Logan Downey in diving (570.10) and Timber Creek’s Zach Poti in the 100 back (49.30).

Seminole touched out Riverview for the 200 medley relay title. Thomas Ankerholz popped a 22.5 butterfly split to run down Riverview, who led early. Then Maverick Layne split 20.2 on the anchor leg to pass Riverview and win 1:35.98 to 1:36.04. Also on the winning relay were Andrew Gray and Connor Dacus.

In the 200 free relay, it was Wellington that picked up the win. 50 free runner-up Cody Cline led off in 20.48, faster than he or the state champ went in the individual 50. The relay continued with William Layne, Colin Smith and Cash Hollister to go 1:25.50.

Finally, the 400 free relay went to Countryside, which blasted away to the win on a 45.61 leadoff from Cooper Hoffman and a 45.83 from anchor Noah Lense. Also on the relay were Michael Lombardo and Robert Finke, and the team went 3:06.59.

Top 5 Teams

  1. Riverview, 281
  2. Countryside, 153
  3. East Lake, 141
  4. Seminole, 130
  5. Wellington, 111

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8 years ago

Duke commits Lexy Aitchison and Maddie Hess swept the Florida 4A (large school) freestyle events. Congratulations again to Coach Dan Colella on assembling a pretty exciting future for the Duke swim program.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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