Gulliver Prep and Pine Crest have a date with destiny this weekend at the FHSAA State 2A and 1A Swimming and Diving Championships at Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Center in Stuart.
Gulliver Prep, defending 2A state girls champion, is not only favored to repeat but also win its first boys’ state title based on last weekend’s region qualifier.
“That’s the goal,” said first-year head coach Chris George.
The boys’ team won the program’s first Region 4-2A crown on Saturday with 336 points ahead of Riviera Beach Suncoast (301.50) and defending state champion American Heritage (246).
Gulliver Prep was led by junior Miguel Cancel, who represents Puerto Rico internationally. Cancel won the 200-yard individual medley in 1:51.40, an All-American consideration time and 500-yard freestyle in 4:36.46.
Cancel also anchored the winning 200-yard freestyle relay that won in 1:28.47 with relay members Pablo Luchau, Mauro Negrao and Jonathan Rodriguez.
Gulliver Prep Junior Trahern Gribble won the 100-yard butterfly in 51.38.
Cancel and Tribble were also members of the winning 400-yard freestyle that won in 3:10.99 with Luchau and Orest Danyliv.
Other Dade and Broward individual winners were:
American Heritage junior Kevin Porto won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:43.56. Porto transferred from Mater.
St. Brendan’s Irvin Hoost was a double winner in the 50-yard freestyle in 20.88, an All-American consideration time and 100-yard freestyle in 46.29.
Cardinal Gibbons senior Zach Allen won the 1-meter springboard diving title with 532.30 points.
Cape Coral senior Jonah Martinez won the 100-yard breaststroke in 59.68, the only swimmer to crack 1 minute.
The Gulliver Prep girls team defended its region title with 473 points ahead of Riviera Beach Suncoast (267.5), American Heritage (190) and Cardinal Gibbons (177).
The Raiders dominated the girls’ competition sweeping all three relays and winning four individual events.
The 200-yard medley relay team of Emily Cordovi, Olivia Hernandez, Alicia Mancilla and Sarah Abril won in 1:49.83. The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Abril, Chloe Hernandez, Daniela Luchau and Brooke Ellis won in 1:39.21. The 400-yard freestyle relay of Cordovi, Abril, Mancilla and Ellis won in 3:34.15.
Ellis also won the 200-yard individual medley in 2:07.42 and was second in the 100-yard butterfly in 57.17.
Cordovi won the 100-yard butterfly in 55.16, an All-American consideration time, and 100-yard backstroke in 57.29.
Junior Marcella Ruppert-Gomez of Gulliver Prep won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:53.84, an All-American consideration time.
Cathy Cooper of American Heritage, who represents Panama internationally, was a double winner. The junior won the 50-yard freestyle in 23.52, an All-American consideration time and 100-yard freestyle in 51.97.
Cardinal Gibbons sophomore Savannah Yates won the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:06.65 and was second in the 50-yard freestyle in 24.68.
Pine Crest girls team are poised to win its first state team title in more than 20 years after dominating the Region 4-1A meet at Nova Southeastern University Aquatic Center.
The Panthers, led by 2016 U.S. Olympic trials qualifier Marta Ciesla, are favored to break Jacksonville Bolles’ monopoly at the state meet. The Sharks have won the girls’ title 25 straight years. Last year Pine Crest was fourth, swimming without Ciesla, who opted to represent the U.S. at the FINA World Cup.
In its final tuneup, Pine Crest won the girls’ region crown with 441 points. South Florida Heat was third with 189.5.
Ciesla won the 50-yard freestyle in 23.09, an automatic All-American time and 100-yard freestyle in 50.25, another automatic All-American time. She was also a member of the winning 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays.
The Panthers will pick up valuable points with divers Ishani Singh, Ali Watson and Juliette Pozzuoli, who swept second, third and fourth places at the region meet.
Freshman diver Maia Goldstein of University School is expected to defend her state title in 1-meter diving after winning the region title with 473.05 points.
Westminster Academy junior and defending state champion Jessica Nava won the 100-yard butterfly, breaking her own state record in 53.64, an automatic All-American time.
Kyla Valls of Ransom Everglades is defending champion in the 200-yard freestyle. She was second at regions behind South Florida Heat’s Mary Smutny expected to battle for the state title.
In the boys competition, Bolles is favored to win its 29th straight state title despite several top qualifiers from Broward.
Pine Crest boys are led by sprinter Nico Ferrara and diver Kevin Mendez, both region champions.
University School’s one-two punch of Patrick Groters and Daniels Jacobs are among favorites. Groters, a junior, is defending state champion in the 200-yard individual medley. Jacobs won region title in the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyles. Groters and Jacobs represent Aruba internationally.
FHSAA STATE SWIMMING AND DIVING
at Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Center, Stuart
Class 1A: Friday, prelims 9 a.m., finals 5:30 p.m.
Class 2A: Saturday, prelims 9 a.m., finals 5:30 p.m.