Swimmer of the Year: Maddie Hess, Jr., Newsome
Why we picked her: Like Rasmus Skjaerpe, Hess was also last year’s Tampa Bay Times’ Hillsborough County swimmer of the year, and she followed her 2012 campaign with an even better junior season. For the second season in a row, Hess won three gold medals and a bronze at the Class 4A state championship meet. Hess, who has now won back-to-back state titles in the 100 freestyle and backstroke, swam automatic All-America times in both events for the second straight season, but improved both times from 2012. Hess’ winning 200 free relay also scored All-American status.
Proudest accomplishment: Hess might be a four-time individual state champion, but her biggest moment this season, she said, was winning the 200 free relay with teammates Lauren Harper, Sarah Neely and Allison Greenwood. Hess didn’t swim that event last year, as she swam in the 200 medley and 400 free relays instead. Taking gold in the event was a pleasant surprise. “We weren’t expecting that,” Hess said. “Being able to do that was incredible.”
Future plans: Perhaps the most impressive thing about Hess is that she’s still a junior, and thus has yet to begin the formal college recruiting process. Swimming at the next level, however, is still her short-term goal, even though she says she doesn’t have a specific school in mind just yet. “I’m keeping my eyes open to whatever offer is good,” Hess said. Until then, she’s got her eye on breaking the state record in the 100 back (52.46). With her time of 54.38 from the 2013 meet, she’s less than two seconds away.
Did you know? Hess began swimming in a summer league at age 5 and hasn’t played another organized sport since. Her one true love has always been swimming. The motivation for her longtime devotion to the sport, Maddie says, originally came from her mother, Janet, also a backstroker in her own swimming days.
Coach of the Year
Bill Shaffer, Academy of the Holy Names. Shaffer coached the Jaguars to third place overall at the 2A state meet, their best finish since they were state runners-up in the mid 1970s. AHN set seven school records at the championship meet and had 10 top-eight finishes.
200 medley relay Plant (Carter Flynn, Alexandria Donahue, Martha Pointer, Sarah Rossi): 1:47.34, third in the 4A state meet
200 free Bailey Bowden Sr., Plant City: 1:54.21, sixth in the 3A state meet
200 IM Dee Sopapong, Jr., Wharton: 2:04.57, third in the 4A state meet
50 free Alexandria Donahue, Jr., Plant: 23.60, first in the 4A state meet
Diving Allyson Nied, Jr., Newsome: 424.30, third at the 4A state meet
100 fly Gigi Gibbs, Jr., Strawberry Crest; 1:00.39, 21st at the 4A state meet
100 free Maddie Hess, Jr., Newsome: 50.35, first in the 4A state meet
500 free Bailey Bowden, Sr., Plant City: 4:58.01, fifth in the 3A state meet
200 free relay Newsome (Maddie Hess, Sarah Neely, Lauren Harper, Allison Greenwood), 1:35.48, first in the 4A state meet
100 back Maddie Hess, Jr., Newsome: 54.38, first in the 4A state meet
100 breast Alexandria Donahue, Jr., Plant: 1:02.50, first in the 4A state meet
400 free relay Newsome (Lauren Harper, Sarah Neely, Allison Greenwood, Madeline Hess), 3:31.10, third in the 4A state meet
200 medley relay: Academy of Holy Names (Oliva Kirkpatrick, Shae Timmons, Julia Cogdill, Alex Nuyianes); 200 free: Clare Fleming, Sr., Holy Names; 200 IM: Savannah Savitt, So., Tampa Prep; 50 free: Olivia Kirkpatrick. So., Holy Names; Diving: Sydney Power, Sr., Plant; 100 fly: Kendal Allen, So., Sickles; 100 free: Clare Fleming, Sr., Holy Names; 500 free: Angie Gallastegui, Sr., Strawberry Crest; 200 free relay: Holy Names (Olivia Kirkpatrick, Alex Nuyianes, Konner Brewer, Clare Fleming); 100 back: Olivia Kirkpatrick, So., Holy Names; 100 breast: Dee Sopapong, Jr., Wharton; 400 free relay: Tampa Prep (Savannah Savitt, Carylyn Waite, Caroline Brown, Hannah Fredlake)
Holy Names: Margret Shumake, Lauren Sellers, Lara Lontoc, Colleen Driscoll, Kristen Dawson, Julia Codgill; Berkeley Prep: Kerry Horan, Clare Harrison, Megan Blatz, Elle Chancey, Anne Myers, Sabrina Vergara, Stephanie Punzak, Nicole Potts, Amanda Dumar, Kayla Whitlock; Bloomingdale: Stacy Weaver; Newsome: Allison Greenwood, Sarah Neely, Louiza Garayeva; Plant: Sierra Terrana, Riley Springett; Robinson: Madison Strasen; Spoto: Maureen Moore; Steinbrenner: Ashley Kubel; Tampa Prep: Carylyn Waite, Annika Tuechs, Rain Siswanto, Kimberly Fulton, Lizel Cuevas, Alexis Drelich
Swimmer of the Year: Rasmus Skjaerpe, Sr., Tampa Prep
Why we picked him: If his name looks familiar, there’s a good reason. This is Skjaerpe’s third time as the Times’ Hillsborough County swimmer of the year and the fourth time on the all-Hillsborough County first team. Last year Skjaerpe won his first gold medal in the 200 free; this year he followed up with two more individual gold medals — in the 200 individual medley and the 100 back. Skjaerpe was also a member of Tampa Prep’s fifth-place 400 free and 200 medley relays. In his individual swims at the Class A state meet, both of which were automatic All-America cuts, Skjaerpe didn’t just beat the competition, he smoked it. Skjaerpe won the 200 IM by more than three seconds, then beat the second-place finisher in the 100 back by more than a second.
Proudest accomplishment: After winning the 200 free at state in 2012, Skjaerpe finished second in his other individual event, the 100 fly. This time around, Skjaerpe made it his goal to bring home double golds. When he won the 100 back, his second gold of the day, Skjaerpe’s dream — and proudest accomplishment — had been fulfilled.
Future plans: Skjaerpe has committed to swim at Arizona, which finished the season ranked 15th in the nation. Skjaerpe said the environment at Arizona and the work ethics of the other swimmers there helped him decide on the Wildcats. Skjaerpe, who swims for the Norwegian National Team, also plans to use college swimming as a way to train and make the cuts for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro. Skjaerpe said injuries affected his chances of making the 2012 Olympics, but he’s ready for his next opportunity. “I’m pretty confident that if everything works out, I think I have a decent chance,” he said of making the Norwegian team.
Did you know? Skjaerpe isn’t the only renowned athlete in his family. His sister, Astrid, is a rower at Marist, and his twin brother, Oscar, plays soccer, runs track and swims at Tampa Prep. While at Tampa Prep, Astrid won a state title in rowing, and Oscar has won two in soccer. “It’s pretty cool that we all throughout our high school careers got a state title,” Skjaerpe said. “We’ve all had pretty successful high school careers.”
Coach of the Year
Jason Bowes, Tampa Prep. This is the second straight year Bowes has earned this honor, this time coaching the Terrapin boys to a fifth-place overall state finish, three spots up from their eighth-place finish in 2012. Likewise, the Tampa Prep girls finished 15th in 2012, and improved to 12th this year.
200 medley relay Tampa Prep (Van Cates, Rasmus Skjaerpe, Gregory Campo, Fernando Sedano-Roman): 1:36.42, fifth in A state meet
200 free Kyle Kimura, Sr., Plant: 1:40.58, fourth in the 4A state meet
200 IM Rasmus Skjaerpe, Sr., Tampa Prep: 1:48.64, first in the A state meet
50 free Ross Brown, Sr., Robinson: 21.30, second in the 2A state meet
Diving Reid Fleming, Jr. Plant: 427.25, fourth at the 4A state meet
100 fly Kyle Kimura, Sr., Plant: 50.62, fourth in the 4A state meet
100 free Ross Brown, Sr., Robinson: 46.44, prelims of 2A state meet
500 free Wes Mcgovern, Jr., Newsome; 4:29.93, third in the 4A state meet
200 free relay Berkeley Prep (Keating Mosher, Ryan Franzese, Harrison Keane, Zak Copper), 1:31.37, 10th at A state meet
100 back Rasmus Skjaerpe, Sr., Tampa Prep: 48.59, first in the A state meet
100 breast Austin Sellers, Jr., Jesuit: 57.37, second in the 2A state meet
400 free relay Tampa Prep (Rasmus Skjaerpe, Gregory Campo, Van Cates, Fernando Sedano-Roman), 3:11.33, fifth in the A state meet
200 medley relay: Newsome (Wes Mcgovern, Blaise Genne, Blake Mcgovern, Derek Mitchell); 200 free: Sean White, So., Durant; 200 IM: Austin Sellers, Jr., Jesuit; 50 free: Cole Wisecarver, Sr., Strawberry Crest; Diving: Max Jenkins, So., Plant; 100 fly: Gregory Campo, Sr., Tampa Prep; 100 free: Ryan Franzese, Jr., Berkeley Prep; 500 free: Nikolas Milosavljevic, Fr., Durant; 200 free relay: King (Jed Rodriguez, Eric Luo, Lukas Harries, Kevin Zhou); 100 back: Wes Mcgovern, Jr., Newsome; 100 breast: Tyler Graves Jr., Spoto; 400 free relay: Jesuit (Shane Paul, Byrne Litschgi, Austin Sellers, Tommy Shaffer)
Berkeley Prep: Zak Copper, Tyler Duic, Hugo Rapp, Jesse Potts, Wade Munger, Anthony Rauft-Lomano, Daryl Pickerell, Wade Patterson, Delton Gunn, Bradley Mitchell, Thomas Mayer, Graham Olney; Bloomingdale: Jesse Mazen; Freedom: Marc Berson, Jordan Shollenberger; Jesuit: Stephen Dawes, Jimmy Dang, Alex Hernandez, Shane Paul, Trey Foody, Trevor Schaettle, Dart Hutson; King: Eugene Luo, Mathew Lee; Newsome: Blaise Genne; Plant: Paxton Rhoads, Tyler Heath, Dylan Power, Cameron Davidson, Mack McKelvin; Robinson: Connor Brown, William Oken, Michael Hoffman; Spoto: Davaugn Woodruff, Daniel Moore, Carl Lehman; Strawberry Crest: Zach Kitzis; Tampa Prep: Van Cates, Zach Burmeister, Oscar Skjaerpe, Jay Hutchinson, Trey Fields