It could not have been a better last couple of weeks for the Nease boys and Ponte Vedra girls swimming and diving teams.
During that stretch, both teams were able to cap a magical run to end the season as Class 3A state champions at the state meet November 4 in Stuart.
Both squads entered the state meet having won their respective district and region championships and followed it up with memorable performances that resulted in various individual state titles en route to bringing home the team title as well.
The Nease boys scored 290 points thanks to winning the 200-yard medley and 400 freestyle relays.
The Panthers’ set a new team record, as the combination of Dylan Ramos (backstroke), Rich Nguyen (breaststroke), Joseph Wyatt (butterfly), and Matthew Koziol (freestyle) set a time of 1:32.88, which was also an automatic All-American time.
Wyatt and Koziol were back at it, this time teaming up with Brandon Gear and Walker Lanoue to post a winning time of 3:08.64 in the 400 freestyle relay.
Koziol’s freestyle expertise continued to be on display as he finished 3rd in both the 50- and 100-yard distances in that discipline.
Nguyen was in contention for the victory in the 100 breaststroke and scored a runner-up finish in the race.
The Ponte Vedra girls team defended their state title from a year ago and did so leaving very little doubt who the best team was in the competition by earning 340 points, which was 125 more than their nearest opponent.
The Sharks were able to post that high score because they took full advantage of their opportunities to gain points with all 11 girls competing at the state meet reaching finals.
Nine out of 11 school records were set during the event and the result included a pair of individual state champions with Annie Wohlgemuth winning the 100 backstroke with a time of 54.40 and Penny Zarczynski winning the 100 freestyle with a time of 51.19.
Zarczynski is only a sophomore and appears to have a promising two more years ahead of her, as she looks to continue her progression as a swimmer and defend her state title.
Wohlgemuth and Zarczynski continued to shine for the Sharks, as they each threatened to win a second state title but added a runner-up to their resume instead.
Wohlgemuth’s runner-up came with a time of 54.84 in the 100 butterfly and Zarczynski’s time of 23.36 in the 50 freestyle earned her a runner-up as well. Both times broke the previous school record and the performances earned them All-American consideration.
As was the case at districts and regionals, the Sharks proved a force to reckon with in the relays.
Wohlgemuth, Annabelle MacAdams, Mary Agnes Smith and Sophie Fox are state champions in the 200 medley relay, while the team of Wohlgemuth, Kate Pelot, Liv Copland and Zarczynski won the 200 free relay.
Both events were also won by the Sharks at last year’s state meet.
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