Kaii Winkler Blasts National High School Records in 200 Free & 100 Free at Florida 1A State Championships

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Kaii Winkler -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Kaii Winkler Blasts National High School Records in 200 Free & 100 Free at Florida 1A State Championships

Four months ago, an injury denied Kaii Winkler a chance to seek qualification for a U.S. international squad, but the 17-year-old from South Florida and future NC State Wolfpack swimmer has quickly returned to his record-breaking ways. At his last high school state championship meet Saturday in Ocala, Fla., Winkler won two individual titles while recording a pair of scintillating relay leadoffs, and he emerged with two national high school records.

Winkler, representing South Florida Heat, won the title in the 200 free by more than three seconds as he clocked a time of 1:32.68. That beat the previous national record of 1:32.85 established by Carmel’s Aaron Shackell in February. Winkler joins a talented list of men who have topped the nation in the 200 free, with Carson Foster and Drew Kibler both previous owners of this mark, and now Winkler has a quicker time than either did entering their college years. In this record-breaking swim, Winkler also annihilated his own state record of 1:34.18 set last year.

Next up, Winker won the 100 butterfly in 46.33, and he clocked 19.59 leading off SFH’s 200 free relay, which ended up placing second. He concluded his day on the 400 free relay, which also earned runnerup honors, and Winkler’s leadoff split of 42.14 was another national high school record. He took two tenths off the 42.34 that David Nolan established back in 2011. Winkler knocked four tenths off his previous state record (42.52) from last season.

Speaking of state records, Erika Pelaez had a few of her own Saturday. Pelaez, also swimming for South Florida Heat and also heading to NC State next season, won the girls’ 50 free in 21.98, well under the previous state mark of 22.22 set by Alexis Mulvihill in 2020. Pelaez also went 51.29 in the 100 back to beat her previous state mark of 51.78. Finally, her 400 free relay leadoff split of 47.78 was also a record, surpassing the 48.08 she set last season.

More meet information is available here.

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Sharon Robb
Sharon Robb
5 months ago

Results still are not posted on FHSAA website as of Sunday 7 a.m. They should have posted immediately after the meet and were not. The same thing happened for State 2A. There are people interested.

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