State swimming: Taylor Anderson keeps Mitchell golden

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Fri. November 15, 2013 | Bob Putnam | Email

STUART — Taylor Anderson’s first championship race was the usual explosion of froth and flailing. There was no conservation of energy and hardly any breathing.

The Mitchell junior’s only strategy Friday in the 50-yard freestyle was to go out as fast as she could. Anderson got the best start.

Others were close. They all reached the finish as if carried by one large wave.

Anderson, still heaving from an all-out sprint, looked at the wall at the far end of the Sailfish Splash Water Park to see the results.

Then the realization hit. She won the Class 3A state title in 23.39 seconds, shaving nearly half a second off her personal best.
It was her first state title. Anderson finished third in the event at last year’s state meet.

“At the finish, I touched my arm as far as I could at the wall,” Anderson said. “I still didn’t know if I had won or not. I had to look at the wall and see the 1 by my name to know it was real.”

The 50 free is a mad dash from one end of the pool to the other, a race that is usually over in less than 24 seconds.

The brevity of the event allows for no error; one tiny mistake can mean a fraction of a second, which in this context is an eternity. After all, this is swimming’s version of a drag race, flat-out speed and froth.

It also was Pasco County’s best event Friday night. Besides Anderson, the county had one other girls swimmer who made the finals in the 50 free — Wiregrass Ranch’s Athena Cimino, who was sixth in 24.20. Cimino also placed eighth in the 100 free in 53.63.

Plant City’s Bailey Bowden was fifth in the 500 (4:58.01), the highest finish by a Hillsborough County swimmer. Osceola had the best performance in Pinellas County with two swimmers who placed in the top three, Alex Wittman (third, 200 free) and Calvin Bryant (second in 200 and 500 free).

But this night belonged to Anderson, the only swimmer from the bay area to take home gold. It has been a remarkable climb for Anderson, who started swimming when she was 10 as a way to cool off in the summer.

Anderson now is the undisputed leader of the Mustangs’ swim program, taking over that role from Devin McCaffrey, who is now a freshman at LSU. Her title also allowed Mitchell to keep its gold medal streak intact after McCaffrey won a combined three state titles in the previous two seasons.

Better still, Anderson has another year to go.

“I’ve always wanted to win, and that’s what I was aiming for at this meet,” Anderson said. “There was a lot of hard and support that went into it. For me, it was believing in myself. So much of it is mental.

“It feels good, but I know I can come back and swim even faster. I have high expectations.”

Girls
Team results:
  1. Chiles 250   2. Gulf Coast 220 3. Niceville 144   4. Osceola 132 5. Northeast 121   6. Gainesville 116 7. Creekside 114 8. Fleming Island 108 9. Columbia 107 10. Lakewood Ranch 92 11. Martin County 87  12. Fort Myers 77 13. Seabreeze 73  14. Charlotte 65 15. Fort Lauderdale 53  16. Forest Hill 46 17. Wiregrass Ranch 38  18. Bartram Trail 33 19. Atlantic Coast 31  20. Venice 30 20. Winter Haven 30  22. Mitchell 29 22. Lincoln 29  22. East Ridge 29 25. Pace 27  25. Plant City 27 38. Clearwater 5 39. Viera 4  39. Terra Institute 4 39. Sickles 4  
Individual results:  Diving — 1 Hirapara (AC) 428.85, 5 Phipps (Ne) 341.50, 11 Boyd (Ne) 302.00, 12 Borresen (Clw) 299.65, 14 Lamanna (Osc) 296.80; 200 medley relay — 1 Gulf Coast (Haan, Fistrovic, Tennant, Gillen) 1:46.26, 5 Osceola (Walker, Wittman, Tournant, Sawyers) 1:51.48; 200 free — Williams (Chi) 1:47.31, 3 Wittman (Osc) 1:49.58, 6 Bowden (PC) 1:54.21;  200 IM — 1 Burns (Col) 2:00.95, 4 Burrows (Ne) 2:06.98; 50 free — 1 Anderson (Mit) 23.39, 6 Cimino (WR) 24.20; 100 fly — 1 Tennant (GC) 55.39; 100 free — 1 Barnard (Cit) 51.02, 8 Cimino (WR) 53.63; 500 free — 1 Williams (Chi) 4:45.67, 4 Wittman (Osc) 4:53.04, 5 Bowden (PC) 4:58.01, 6 Neely (Ne) 5:00.46; 200 free — 1 Chiles (Williams, Ma. Ayers, Mo. Ayers, Barnard) 1:37.71, 7 Northeast (Neely, Kanstoroom, Wilson, Burrows) 1:41.68; 100 back — 1 Haan (GC) 53.22, 8 Neely (Ne) 59.22; 100 breast — 1 Haila (Cre) 1:02.73, 5 Sawyers (Osc) 1:06.56; 400 free relay — 1 Chiles (Williams, Lombardi, Ayers, Barnard) 3:30.77, 4 Osceola (Wittman, Nesto, Tournant, Sawyers) 3:38.64, 8 Northeast (Neely, Krasteva, Wilson, Burrows) 3:43.73
Boys
Team results:
  1. Miami Belen Jesuit 249 2. Gainesville 240 3. Venice 165  4. Lakewood Ranch 159 5. Sebastian River 124  6. Charlotte 120 7. Jensen Beach 106  8. Winter Haven 75  9. Bartram Trail 74  10. Niceville 73 11. Osceola 70  12. Creekside 69 13. Fleming Island 60  13. Fort Myers 60  15. Fort Lauderdale 53  16. Chiles 52 17. Pace 49  18. St. Augustine 46 19. Mater Academy 45  20. Barron Collier 42 25. King 24  26. Northeast 22  33. Freedom 9
Individual results: Diving — 1 Voisard (WH) 493.10, 2 Morehouse (Ne) 405.95; 200 medley relay — Belen Jesuit (De Pawlikowski, Lopez, Carriazo, Guso) 1:34.95; 200 free — 1 Samuelson (FtM) 1:38.58, 2 Bryant (Osc) 1:39.37; 200 IM — 1 Wojcik (SR) 1:53.17; 50 free — 1 Hartley (JB) 20.73; 100 fly — 1 Hartley (JB) 49.57;  100 free — 1 Thomas (Pasce) 45.91; 500 free — 1 Samuelson (FtM) 4:22.77, 2 Bryant (Osc) 4:23.47; 200 free — 1 Venice (J. Pelton, M. Pelton, Ruvira, Leeson) 1:27.35; 100 back — 1 De Pawlikowski (BJ) 50.13; 100 breast — 1 Wojcik (SR) 56.77; 400 free relay — 1 Belen Jesuit (Guso, PerezCosta, Carrizao, De Pawlikowski) 3:09.55

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