ORLANDO, Florida, November 9. DIVISION 2 swimmers were the first to take to the blocks, beginning the Florida High School State Championships that will take place over the next two days. Division 3 swimmers will compete today, with the Division 1 action taking place tomorrow.
Chiles High School (Tallahassee) and Belen Jesuit Prep (Miami) dominated the competition, earning team titles. Although there were no state records set, several swimmers earned All-American status for both automatic and consideration status.
Chiles swimmers scored a total of 304.5 points. The next four teams were decided by 21 points. Suncoast finished second with 161 points, followed by Martin County (151), Holy Names (142.5) and Gulf Coast (140).
Gulf's team captain, senior Alyssa Yambor-Maul, claimed first in the 100 yard fly with an automatic 55.21 and a consideration 56.83 in the 100 back. Junior Cece Williams grabbed first in the 200 free (automatic 1:47.54) and was second in the 500 free (automatic 4:48.07) to Lakewood Ranch senior Danielle Valley (4:40.97). Valley placed second in the 200 behind Williams with an automatic 1:48.97).
Chiles also captured two of the three relay events with the team of Williams, Yambor-Maul, senior Lia Lombardi and junior Delaney Barnard. They put together swims of 1:46.96 in the 200 medley and 3:29.71 in the 400 free, both automatic times.
Martin County's team of sophomores Hannah Burdge and Sara Lacusky plus seniors Aubrey Murray and Macey Arnold defeated Holy Names' quartet of freshman Olivia Kirkpatrick, sophomore Konner Brewer, senior Tori Litschgi and junior Clare Fleming, 1:37.48 to 1:37.50–both All-American consideration times.
Gulf Breeze freshman Victoria Bindi secured automatic cuts in both her 50 free (23.39) and 100 free (50.81) winning swims. Bindi's teammate, Elise Haan, earned an automatic time with her 100 back win (54.43). Columbia sophomore Hannah Burns (200 IM, 2:00.82) and Creekside junior Meghan Haila (100 breast, 1:02.95) also earned All-America status with their victories.
Elisabeth Tillo, a junior at Stanton, took the diving championship by six points over teammate Carol Gerhardt, a sophomore (411.65-405.65).
Belen Jesuit Prep (Miami) amassed 221 points for the boys team championship. Mosley defeated Gainesville for second, 151-145. Barron Collier placed fourth with 113 points, with Fort Myers not too far behind in fifth (102)
Belen Jesuit's lone individual event champion was senior Julian Ballestas, who posted an automatic 1:38.10 in the 200 free. He also led Belen Jesuit's winning 200 free relay (1:27.24) with sophomore Ryan Guso and classmates Evan Banciela and Tommy Avallone; and the 400 free relay with junior Juan Perez-Costall, senior Jose Alvarez and Guso (consideration 3:09.69).
Caeleb Dressel finished out his high school career at Clay High School with a pair of victories (and automatic times) in the 100 free (44.10) and 100 back (50.08). Mosley senior Michael Duderstadt also claimed two event titles and automatic status (200 IM, 1:50.01; 100 breast, 55.08). Duderstadt swam a leg on Mosley's winning 200 medley relay with fellow senior Michael Whitehead, junior Jonathan Ratliff and sophomore Casey Pridgen (1:36.05, consideration time).
First-place awards were earned by Eastside junior Wesley Olmsted (50 free, automatic 20.73), Fort Myers junior Logan Samuelson (500 free, automatic 4:25.33), and Mitchell senior Devin McCaffrey (100 fly, automatic 48.86). Rutherford's Christian Jackson was the top diver, scoring 447.55 points.