The only area Class 2A state champions to rise from the pool Saturday came from Pasco County — Wesley Chapel freshman Abbey Duncan in the 200 free (1:50.82) and Ridgewood’s Emir Muratovic in the 50 free (20.81) — but there were still plenty of outstanding performances to celebrate from other areas, particularly the Academy of the Holy Names.
In a wild conclusion to the meet — that included a three, four, five finish for the Jaguars in the breaststroke — Academy surged to 206 points to place third, just behind Estero (216 points) and the state team champion, Pensacola Washington (233).
For Academy, which set seven school records in the process, it would be impossible to pin accolades on a single hero because there were so many.
Academy sophomore Olivia Kirkpatrick certainly had one of the best nights, placing fourth in the 50 free in 23.84 seconds, fifth in the 100 backstroke in 57.57, and helping the 200 medley relay and 200 free relay to third-place finishes.
But if you mention Kirkpatrick, you must also tip your hat to Alex Nuyianes, who placed sixth in the 200 IM (2:09.20), fifth in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.27) and swam on the aforementioned relays.
And right alongside those girls were fellow Jaguars Clare Fleming, Shae Timmons, Julia Cogdill, Konner Brewer and Margret Shumake, all of whom contributed multiple points to the cause.
“It really couldn’t have gone much better,” Academy and Jesuit coach Bill Shaffer said. “Estero and Washington earned it because we did everything we possibly could.”
On the boys’ side, Jesuit’s Austin Sellers had one of the brightest nights from the area, taking second in the 100 breaststroke (57.37), sixth in the 200 IM (1:56.86) while also helping the Tigers to seventh place in the 200 medley relay (1:40.85) and fourth in the 400 free relay ( 3:16.88).
Sellers and Robinson’s Ross Brown ended up being the only individual runners-up from Hillsborough County. Brown placed second in the 50 free in 21.30.
Overall, the Tigers finished fifth with 117 points, highest among area teams. Lakewood placed eighth with 84.
Other top-eight finishers from the area include:
Lakewood’s Noah Harasz in the 200 free (second, 1:38.99).
Land O’ Lakes’ Jordan Wheeler in the 200 IM (fifth, 1:56.01).
Spoto’s Tyler Graves in the 200 IM (seventh, 1:1:57.33) and the 100 breaststroke (sixth, 58.19).
Land O’ Lakes’ Cam Hilgenberg in the 50 free (third, 21.33) and the 100 breaststroke (seventh, 59.45)
Lakewood’s Jonathan Long in the 50 free (fourth, 21.43) and the 100 free (fourth, 47.25).
Spoto’s Maureen Moore in the 500 free (seventh, 5:14.62).
Jesuit diver Dart Hutson (eighth, 339.15 points).
Lakewood’s boys 200 free relay (eighth, 1:30.08).
Land O’ Lakes’ Jocelyn Williams in the 100 breaststroke (seventh, 1:09.28).