ORLANDO — Newsome’s Barbara Caraballo touched the wall like every swimmer, turning around breathlessly, pulling off her goggles to squint at the scoreboard to search for her time and place.
The 200-yard individual medley was her best event, the one where she thought she could get a top-five finish at Saturday’s Class 3A state meet.
Caraballo had been nervous when the heat started, surrounded by the larger-than-life atmosphere of the sophomore’s first state meet.
Still, she accomplished what she set out to do by placing fourth in two minutes, 3.63 seconds.
“I was really nervous because this was my first big meet in a long time,” Caraballo said. “I was hoping for top five in both of my events (200 IM and 100 breast).”
Caraballo, who moved to Florida from Puerto Rico this year, missed out on her last goal by finishing sixth in the 100 breast in 1:06.47. It was disappointing considering her time in the event was more than a second slower than what she swam at the FSPA meet held at the same pool more than a month ago.
“I’m not sure what happened,” Newsome coach Chau Clark said. “I think it was a good dose of U.S. swimming. This is an awfully tough class.”
Wharton’s Blair Kuethe was sixth in the 100 free (52.01) and Plant’s girls 200 medley relay team of Tara McGowan, Emma Donahue, Emily Clifford and Haley Hahmann finished sixth in 1:50.68.
Tampa Bay Tech’s Teo Boscaino was sixth in the 200 free (1:43.14), the only county boy to place in the top eight of an event.