Fast High School Times
The seven-month long high school championship season got under way the first two weekends of November with some swift swimming in Florida and Arizona.
Florida 3A. The Florida Championships, held in Gainesville, Nov. 5-6, featured some very fast swimming despite administrative foul-ups that resulted in the final races being swum close to midnight.
In the 3A division, Bradley Ally, an Olympian from Barbados and a senior at Saint Thomas Aquinas High, set a national high school record in the 200 yard IM with a time of 1:46.31. His splits: 22.84, 49.43 (26.59), 1:20.47 (31.04), 1:46.31 (25.84).
Ally lowered the former standard of 1:46.90, registered by Jason Lancaster in 1994 for Indiana’s Carmel High. Ally also took top honors in the 100 breast with a mark of 54.79 (54.72p) and helped Aquinas win the 200 medley relay (1:34.52). Aquinas took the boys’ team title with 82 points over Winter Park and Lake Mary, tied with 63. The Aquinas girls won, too, with 92 points to Buchholz’s 56, giving the school a 3A sweep.
Alex Forbes, a junior at Lyman High, led four swimmers under 21 seconds in the 50 free final, touching in a nation-leading 20.22; he picked up a second win in the 100 fly, 49.44.
In the girls’ competition, Alia Atkinson, a senior at Flanagan High, swept the 100 breast (1:02.66) and 100 free (50.64).
Florida 2A. Satellite High took the girls’ 2A title while Bishop Kenny edged Satellite by three points, 72-69, to earn the boys’ crown. The division’s most exciting race saw Booker sophomore Ashley Largo nip her sister, Lindsey, a senior, by 5-hundredths in the 500 free, as she touched in 4:57.91.
Florida 1A. The Bolles School won its 17th straight boys’ and 14th straight girls’ 1A titles. The boys amassed 153 points to runner-up North Broward’s 60, while the girls, seeded only third, won comfortably with 105.
Shaun Fraser, a junior and Cayman Islands Olympian, was the standout for the Bolles boys, winning the 200 free (1:37.50), the 500 (4:27.05) and anchoring his team’s winning 400 free relay (3:06.52) with a 45.51 split.
The Bolles girls, who lost 16 swimmers from last year’s team, won only one individual event when sophomore Cat McReynolds took the 500 free in 4:48.48.
Tampa Prep sophomore Chelsea Nauta and Coral Shores senior Mhyria Miller each won two events with superlative performances. Nauta took the 100-200 free double in 50.25 and 1:48.16, while Miller snagged the 200 IM (2:02.25) and 100 breast (1:03.94).
Arizona 5A. Across the continent in Arizona, the swimming was as hot as the weather. Brophy Prep, led by Alex Righi and David Pursley, won its 18th straight 5A boys’ crown, tallying 515 points to Mesa Mountain View’s 183. Righi, Yale-bound, swam a state record and nationleading 48.00 in the 100 yard back, and picked up wins in the 50 free in 20.31 (just 1-hundredth off Gary Hall Jr.’s state mark from 1994) and the 100 free in 44.76, and led off Brophy’s state record-breaking medley relay (1:33.70). Pursley took the 500 free (4:29.64) and 200 IM (1:51.86), and anchored his school’s 200 (state record 1:23.86) and 400 free relays.
Xavier Prep won its sixth straight 5A girls’ title and its 18th in the last 20 years, scoring 443 points to Scottsdale Desert Mountain’s 297. Xavier’s 400 free relay set a state record of 3:28.73, one second under Shadow Mountain’s 1996 standard.
Arizona 4A. Tucson Catalina Foothills retained both its boys’ and girls’ 4A crowns, with Scottsdale Chaparral High School second in both, as six 4A marks were broken.
Chaparral started the record breaking with its girls’ medley relay, which touched in 1:48.55. Matt Barnard, a senior at Tucson Sabino, broke two sprint marks previously held by Arcadia’s Justin Ewers, who went on to shine at Stanford. Barnard lowered the 100 from 45.80 to 45.43 and led off Sabino’s 4 x 50 freestyle relay at 20.69 to clear out Ewers’ 20.80.
Skye Elbert, a junior at Millennium, lowered her own 50 free from 23.46 to 23.30. Elbert also won the 100 back at 55.63, just 2-hundredths off the 4A mark she set as a freshman.
Finally, the Catalina Foothills boys’ 200 free relay team clocked 1:25.12 to smash the former 4A mark, and lowered the 400 free relay standard to 3:10.09.
Copyright Sports Publications, Inc. Dec 2004
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