TALLAHASSEE — There were 11 swimmers who competed in 14 individual events and three relay teams that represented the bay area at the Class A meet Thursday. But it was the youngest among them who stole the show.
Bishop McLaughlin freshman Maddie Siebold, who finished fourth in 1-meter diving, was the highest finisher from the bay area. She is the first diver from Bishop McLaughlin and stands on the verge of making next week’s state meet at the YMCA in Orlando.
“Maddie was real pleased with the way she dove,” Bishop coach Brian Hengesback said. “She’s a former gymnast and she has taken to diving really well. She was the district champ last week.”
The top finisher from each of the three regions advance then the other 21 are seeded by points. With an aggregate total of 345.68 and her fourth-place finish in what is traditionally one of the toughest regions, Siebold’s chances look good.
“She’s already made history because she’s the first girl we’ve ever have dive at the school,” Hengesback said. “To go ahead and make state in her first year will just make what she’s already accomplished even more historic.”
The bay area had only one girls swimmer make consolation finals, Bishop’s Jemma Cropanese who finished 12th in the 100-yard fly and 16th in the 100 free.
There were four relay teams in the consolation finals: Pasco girls 200 free (DQ); Pasco boys 200 medley (DQ); Pasco 200 free (11); and Pasco 400 free (14).
The Bishop girls finished 17th; Pasco boys finished 19th. Jacksonville Bolles was the region champion in the girls and boys meets.
Swimmers making regionals but not qualifying for consolation or championship finals:
Girls: 200 free, Sarah McConnell, Bishop (23); 50 free, Camille Baumrucker, Bishop (19); 100 fly Cropanese, Bishop (12); 100 fly, Shannon Christmas, Pasco, (21); 100 free, Cropanese, Bishop (14), 100 breast, Baumrucker, Bishop (21).
Boys: 200 medley, Mason Cruz, Pasco (20), Daniel Burt, Pasco (23), 50 free Peter Mercadante, Pasco, (21); 100 free, Peter Mercadante, Pasco, (17); 100 back, Mason Cruz, (24); 100 breast, Tim Dombrowski, Pasco (23), Caleb Balogh, Pasco (20)