ORLANDO — Throughout the preliminaries and finals of the Class A state meet, Shorecrest’s Jack Stein spun into the Orlando YMCA diving pool as if pulled on a wire, piercing the water with the smallest of splashes.
But in Stein’s final two dives in the finals Thursday, his can’t-miss consistency faltered and he failed to win the gold medal.
Seth Jacobson of Coral Springs Charter took the honor, scoring 449.65 points to edge Stein by 1.65 points. It is the first time Stein, a sophomore, has placed in the top two at a state meet.
“It’s a little disappointing because I had pretty high hopes going into this meet,” Stein said. “I really thought I could win. I thought I was ahead for most of it.”
The difference came in the final two dives, Stein said. He put a lot of emphasis on his next-to-last dive, a reverse 2½. Then he lost concentration on his final one, a front-half triple twist.
It was a tough way to end for Stein, who was hoping to win gold for two of his teammates, John Farese and Hope Andrews.
Farese and Andrews came down with pneumonia within the past two weeks and were unable to swim at the state meet.
“It was frustrating because I really wanted to represent the school and my teammates well,” Stein said. “But this gives me something to shoot for next season. I’m going to come out with even bigger and better dives.”
Stein’s sister, Hannah, finished fourth in girls diving with 411.85.
In the swimming events, Clearwater Central Catholic’s boys 200 free relay team of Justin Haas, Eric Thatch, Rhett Mattox and Jared Brown finished eighth in 1:29.66. It was the only event that had a county participant in the finals.
Lauren Driscoll of Plantation American Heritage set the state record in the 200 free with a time of 1:45.37, surpassing the mark of 1:45.49 set by Delray Beach Atlantic’s Rhi Jeffrey in 2002.
Orlando Lake Highland Prep’s Chelsea Britt took first in the 100 fly in a state record in 53.83 seconds, eclipsing the 54.38 set by Caroline Kuczynski of Plantation American Heritage in 2008.
Jacksonville Bolles boys won their 24th straight team title and 34th overall while Bolles girls won their 21st straight title and 25th overall.