Girls swimmer of the year
Rebecca Werdine, Jr., Tampa Prep
Why we picked her: Werdine had an exceptional season overall, but her performance at the Class A state meet set her apart. In her first season with Tampa Prep after two at Plant, the junior finished second in the 50-yard freestyle (23.85 seconds) and third in the 100 freestyle (51.53), both All-America consideration times. Werdine was also part of the Terrapins’ 200 freestyle relay (fourth; All-America consideration time of 1 minute, 37.31 seconds) and 200 medley relay (seventh; 1:51.36). Her four-medal day in Orlando gave Werdine the edge over a lengthy list of candidates, including Sickles’ Katie Cook and Newsome’s Barbara Caraballo.
Proudest accomplishment: Werdine pointed to two specific instances from her outstanding junior season. Individually, her third-place finish at state in the 100 free stood out; she only trailed two automatic-qualifying All-America times, and she beat the next-closest swimmer by a half-second. Werdine also expressed a great deal of pride in her team for winning the Class A, Region 3 title, something the Terrapins did by 199 points.
Did you know? It’s safe to say swimming has always been the focus of Werdine’s life: Her mother and father swam at the University of Tennessee, and Werdine has been swimming competitively since she was 4 years old. She said she tried to pick up other sports in elementary school, including soccer and softball , but she always came back to swimming. As an eighth grader at Academy of the Holy Names, she finished 22nd in the 50 free, meaning Werdine has competed at state for three high schools (AHN, Plant, Tampa Prep).
What’s next: Werdine still has another high school season left, a senior year in which she should again compete for several state titles. She will also continue her year-round swimming with Tampa Bay Aquatics .
50 free: Katie Cook, Sr., Sickles. FSU commitment posted All-America consideration time of 23.83 seconds in fourth-place finish at the 2A state meet.
100 fly: Emma Siewert, Jr., Tampa Prep. Posted a Hillsborough-best 57.48, good for seventh at the Class A meet.
100 free: Rebecca Werdine, Jr., Tampa Prep. Third at state with an All-America consideration time of 51.53.
100 back: Tori Litschgi, So., Academy of the Holy Names. Was 21st at state in 1:03.47.
100 breast: Barbara Caraballo, So., Newsome. Sixth at 3A state meet (1:06.47) .
200 free: Danielle Albright, Jr., Wharton. Ninth at 3A state meet (1:52.82); owned the county’s top time by more than four seconds.
200 individual medley: Barbara Caraballo, So., Newsome. Fourth in an automatic All-America time of 2:03.63.
500 free: Kayley Chevalier, Jr., East Bay. Eighth at state (5:06.42).
200 free relay: Academy of the Holy Names (Paige Russell, Tori Litschgi, Konner Brewer, Clare Fleming). County’s only state champions, won Class 2A title in school-record time of 1:39.35.
200 medley relay: Plant (Tara McGowan, Emma Donahue, Emily Clifford, Haley Hahmann). County’s fastest squad (1:50.68) was sixth at 3A state meet.
400 free relay: Plant (Emily Clifford, Tara McGowan, Elle Munns, Haley Hahmann). 11th at state, but with county-best time of 3:38.02.
Diving: Brittany Mathers, Sr., Newsome. 12th at state with county-best 399.25 points.
50 free: Clare Fleming, Fr., AHN. 100 fly: Gaia Ferrari, Jr., Durant. 100 free: Blair Kuethe, Sr., Wharton. 100 back: Amy Taylor, Jr., Newsome. 100 breast: Emma Donahue, So., Plant. 200 free: Paige Russell, Sr., AHN. 200 IM: Emily Clifford, So., Plant. 500 free: Emily Carideo, Jr., Tampa Prep. 200 free relay: Tampa Prep (Emma Siewert, Carylyn Waite, Katie Carter, Rebecca Werdine). 200 medley relay: Tampa Prep (Rebecca Werdine, Carylyn Waite, Emma Siewert, Katie Carter). 400 free relay: Newsome (Sarah Neely, Amy Taylor, Barbara, Kylie Piche). Diving: Hanna Everson-Saji, 6th, Berkeley Prep
AHN: Mary Green, Margaret Shumake, 400 free relay. Berkeley Prep: Stephanie Punzak, Nikki Potts. East Bay: Cathy Flocken, Libby Olson, Stephanie Williams. Hillsborough: Nirja Patel. Newsome: Meghan Sinning, 200 free relay, 200 medley relay. Spoto: Giorgie Graves. Steinbrenner: Emma Volz. Tampa Catholic: Kristin Martin. Tampa Prep: 400 free relay. Wharton: Megan Smith, 200 free relay.