By Sharon Robb
November 8, 2017—It’s show time for high school swimmers whose season kicks into high gear at the FHSAA State 3A and 4A Swimming and Diving Championships in Stuart and Region 1A and 4-2A Meets in Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers.
The FHSAA State Swimming and Diving Championships begin Friday at Sailfish Splash Waterpark and Aquatics Center with the State 3A competition featuring three talented Pembroke Pines Charter swimmers including district and region champion Victoria Torres, a freshman.
Torres, one of the youngest swimmers in the region meet, won the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:06.71 and is seeded ninth at state.
Pembroke Pines Charter freshman Jena Legaspi, also of SOFLO, was second in the 100-yard backstroke in 1:02.01. She is seeded 19th at state.
Pembroke Pines Charter junior Rafael Rodriguez was second in the 200-yard individual medley in 1:58.31 and third in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:44.63. He is seeded seventh in the 200 IM and 16th in the 500 freestyle.
The State 4A competition, featuring the bulk of Broward County teams including Cypress Bay, Cooper City and St. Thomas Aquinas, is Saturday.
Cooper City senior Kathleen Golding will close out an impressive high school career before heading to University of Florida for the next chapter of her swimming career.
Golding will be going for a four-peat in the 200-yard individual medley. She won as a freshman in 2:00.40, an All-American automatic time; as a sophomore in 2:00.34, another All-American automatic time; and as a junior in 1:59.72, also an All-American automatic time.
Golding is expected to go head-to-head with Sarasota Riverview’s Emma Weyant who finished runner-up last year in 2:02.44 and is seeded first in 2:02.67. Golding will also compete in the 100-yard freestyle. She was second last year in 49.79 to Flagler Palm Coast freshman Micayla Cronk in 49.58. Both were All-American automatic times. Golding is seeded second in the 200 IM and fifth in the 100 freestyle. Golding will also swim on the 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relays.
The 4A meet has several SOFLO swimmers competing including St. Thomas Aquinas sophomore Lance Lesage in the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke. Lesage is seeded 22nd in the 100 freestyle and ninth in the 100 backstroke.
Cooper City freshman Mallory Schleicher will make her state meet debut in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events. She is seeded 16th in the 500 freestyle in 5:03.05 and 20th in the 200 freestyle. She won region titles in the 200 freestyle in 1:54.14 and 500 freestyle.
Cypress Bay sophomore Paige Lane also qualified in the 200-yard freestyle, seeded 24th at the state meet in 1:55.94 and also the 100-yard freestyle, seeded 24th in 53.60. Lane was runner-up in the 100- and 200-yard freestyles. Lane anchored Cypress Bay’s runner-up 400-yard freestyle relay.
Molly Golding of Cooper City qualified in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:07.23 and is seeded 11th and 200 IM and is seeded 13th in the 100 breaststroke. She was second in the 100 breaststroke and third in the 200 IM in 2:09.21.
Jennifer Rodriguez of Hialeah Gardens is seeded fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:04.58. She also qualified in the 200 IM and is seeded 22nd in 2:10.44. She won the 100 breaststroke and was fourth in the 200 IM at regions.
Gaby Banks of Cypress Bay is seeded 11th in the 50-yard freestyle in 24.23. Cooper City’s Solana Capalbo is seeded 17th in the sprint event in 24.58. Banks won the 50-yard freestyle at regions. Capalbo was second in the 50 freestyle and third in the 100 freestyle in 53.62.
Sarah Acevedo is Everglades’ lone qualifier. Acevedo will also make her state meet debut in the 500-yard freestyle, seeded 24th in 5:11.43. She was second at regions.
Cypress Bay sophomore Philopatier Ibrahim will make his state debut after qualifying in the 200-yard freestyle, seeded 18th in 1:45.02 and 500-yard freestyle, seeded 23rd in 4:44.83. He was fourth in the 500 freestyle. He was also a member of the runner-up 200-yard freestyle relay team.
Robert Wilson of Cooper City is seeded 20th in the 100-yard freestyle in 48.48 and 22nd in the 50-yard freestyle in 22.25. Wilson won the region title in the 50 in 22.25 and was third in the 100 freestyle n 48.48.
Javier Roman of Cooper City is seeded 22nd in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:00.69.
Swimming prelims at 9 a.m. and finals at 5:30 p.m. Boys diving begins 9 a.m. and girls diving at 1:30 p.m. There is a live webcast at NFHS Network for a subscription fee.
The Region 1A and 2A qualifying meets are also being held this week for next weekend’s state competition, the ultimate meet in high school swimming. The top 24 swimmers from the combined regions around the state qualified.
NSU University School will host the Region 4-1A Swimming and Diving Championship on Friday at NSU Aquatic Complex. The meet features defending champion Pine Crest and St. Andrew’s. The diving and swimming competition begins 10 a.m.
The Region 4-2A, hosted by Cape Coral and featuring American Heritage Plantation’s Nicolas Rossi and Archbishop McCarthy’s Juan Mora, is Saturday at Florida Gulf Coast University Aquatic Center. The swimming timed finals are 10:30 a.m. and diving at 11 a.m.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org