ORLANDO — They entered the Class 2A state meet as the top seed in the 200 free relay, but Academy of the Holy Names’ Paige Russell, Tori Litschgi, Konner Brewer and Clare Fleming knew that was no guarantee for a gold medal.
“We still had a lot of doubts because we were only .21 seconds in the lead,” Russell said. “It was really close.”
The Jaguars erased all doubt by finishing first in the preliminaries, then winning the event in the finals in a school-record one minute, 39.35 seconds.
The only drama came early in the race. Academy of the Holy Names was in fifth after the first leg, but quickly gained ground in a rush to the final wall.
It was quite a jump for Academy’s relay team considering it did not advance to the finals in the event last season.
“We had no clue we would be this good,” Fleming said. “It’s exciting for us.”
Even better for the Jaguars is that three of the four members return next year.
“I’m a senior but everyone else is either a sophomore or younger,” Russell said. “They’re going to be good for a long time.”
The same four also swam on the 400 free relay that took fourth in 3:39.95. Russell was eighth in the 100 fly (1:00.02).
Sickles’ Katie Cook was fourth in the 50 free (23.83) and fourth in the 100 free (51.83). East Bay’s Kayley Chevalier took seventh in the 200 IM (2:10.86) and eighth in the 500 free (5:06.42).
On the boys side, Jesuit, due in large part to the performance of its relays, finished fourth overall with 110 points, the highest placement among county teams.
The Tigers’ 200 free relay of John Simon, Chase Goodwin, Will Jennings and Chris Swanson took second in 1:28.68. Their 400 free relay team of Simon, Goodwin, Thompson Marston and Swanson took fourth in 3:16.74. Swanson was fifth in the 200 free (1:41.50) and fourth in the 500 free (4:36.49).
Hillsborough’s 200 medley relay team of Jamie Perez, Louis Go, Daniel Arnone and David DeSena was sixth in 1:42.29.