Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

2A state swimming: Tarpon Springs' Kelsey Buckley defends 200 IM title

ORLANDO — Tarpon Springs' Kelsey Buckley did not want to focus on a specific time in her medal pursuit at the Class 2A state swim meet Saturday at the Orlando YMCA Aquatic Center.

"If I did that I would just get nervous," Buckley said. "And I can get nervous pretty easily. I basically wanted to just go out there and do my best."

Buckley's first event was her toughest. The 200-yard individual medley combines the four disciplines of swimming in a single event. It is one of the state meet's most interesting races, a grueling test of both the technical and the physical.

Though the race is challenging, Buckley had conquered it before, winning the event as a junior at last year's state meet. Buckley again rose to the challenge, defending her title with a combination of explosiveness and virtuosity.

She skimmed the water in the butterfly before churning to a commanding lead during the backstroke. She continued to charge ahead in the breaststroke and lunged toward the wall in the freestyle.

All her competitors saw was the whitewater from her kick as she won in 2 minutes, 1:40 seconds, nearly two seconds ahead of the rest of the field.

Buckley lifted her arms to the ceiling and grinned upon seeing her time flash on the scoreboard. She had not only won, but she had also shaved a second off her personal best.

On the awards stand, with droplets still falling from her swim cap, she proudly held the gold medal she was able to obtain, again.

"My goal was just to go out fast and bring it home," Buckley said. "I didn't really know how I did until I looked at the scoreboard. I was really proud of what I was able to accomplish."

Buckley was not finished. In her final event, the 100 freestyle, she was trying to win what had been an elusive gold medal. At last year's state meet, she was out-touched at the wall in the final and finished second.

She entered Saturday's meet with the top time from the preliminaries. And she exploded out of the blocks and burst into the lead through the first 50 yards. In the final two laps, Buckley was swimming in lockstep with Tallahassee Lincoln's Alex Merritt. In a dash toward the finish, Merritt surged ahead and touched the wall just before Buckley to win the race by 0.50 seconds. Buckley was the runnerup again in 50.81.

"The 100 free is a tough race with really fast swimmers," Buckley said. "It's a sprint, so you need to have good turns and be able to finish strong because you might have a swimmer near you who will hit that button to go faster.

"Of course, I wanted to win both and thought I had a shot to do that, but I'm happy with how everything went."

Osceola's Alexandria Wittman was sixth in the 200 freestyle in 1:55.40 and eighth in the 500 freestyle in 5:10.00.

On the boys side, the Warriors' Calvin Bryant was the only county athlete to place in an individual event, taking eighth in the 500 free in 4:39.51.

Class 2A meet

YMCA Aquatic Center, Orlando

Girls team scores

1. Chiles 298.5, 15. Osceola 66, 20. Tarpon Springs 37, 25. Lakewood 28, 51. Dunedin 1.

Individual results

200 medley relay: 1. Chiles (Sinatra, Lombardi, Yambor-Maul, Barnard) 1:48.36; 7. Osceola (Wittman, Koda, Wiser, O'Connell) 1:54.03;) 1:55.71; 200 free: 1. Valley (Lakewood Ranch) 1:48.17; 6. Wittman (Osceola) 1:55.40; 200 IM: 1. Buckley (Tarpon Springs) 2:01.40; 50 free: Barnard (Chiles) 23.85; Diving: Dye (Leon) 589.20; 4. Golightly (Lakewood) 393.95; 13. Iannello (Osceola) 309.45; 16. Emery (Dunedin) 277.05; 100 fly: 1. Yambor-Maul (Chiles) 55.98; 100 free: 1. Merritt (Lincoln) 50.31; 2. Buckley (Tarpon Springs) 50.81; 11. Halfast (Lakewood) 53.87; 500 free: 1. Valley (Lakewood Ranch) 4:43.56; 8. Wittman (Osceola) 5:10.00; 200 free relay: 1. Academy of the Holy Names (Green, Brewer, Litschgi, Fleming) 1:39.18; 100 back: 1. Haan (Gulf Coast) 56.14; 10. Halfast (Lakewood) 59.49; 100 breast: 1. Burns (Columbia) 1:04.44; Koda (Osceola) 1:09.31 400 free relay: 1. Chiles (Williams, Yambor-Maul, Lombardi, Barnard) 3:31.37; 13. Osceola (Wittman, O'Connell, Koda, Wiser) 3:46.60;


Team scores

1. Gainesville 219, 36. Osceola 15, 46. Dunedin 5

Individual results

200 medley relay: 1. Mosley (Whitehead, Seaman, Yates, Champagne) 1:38.33; 200 free: 1. Rocca (Gainesville) 1:38.87; 13. Bryant (Osceola) 1:45.67; 200 IM: 1. Dressel (Clay) 1:51.13; 50 free: 1. Apple (Paxon) 20.74; Diving: 1. Cole (Leon) 457.80; 100 fly: 1. McCaffrey (Mitchell) 49.10; 100 free: 1. Kazokas (Lakewood Ranch) 45.78; 500 free: 1. Messuri (Ft. Myers) 4:29.79; 8. Bryant (Osceola) 4:39.51; 200 free relay: 1. Gulf Breeze (Gunn, Means, Foley, Dunne) 1:27.04; 100 back: 1. Rocca (Gainesville) 51.13; Hoffman (Dunedin) 55.26; 100 breast: 1. McCaffrey (Mitchell) 56.97; 400 free relay: 1. Gainesville (Rocca, Borgert, Pryblski, Guy) 3:09.58;

2A state swimming: Tarpon Springs' Kelsey Buckley defends 200 IM title 11/12/11 [Last modified: Saturday, November 12, 2011 10:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with critical series at Yankees up first

    The Heater


    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  2. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, July 22, 2017.
  3. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It is going to get interesting tonight when the Rays begin a four-game series against the Yankees in New York. The Rays feel they are good enough to win the East Division. These next four games and the four that follow in Houston will be a good measuring stick.

  4. Jones: Alex Cobb proves again why he's Rays' stopper, no matter how long he's here

    The Heater


    If a team hopes to hang around the pennant race, they better have an ace. A stopper. A pitcher they can count on every fifth day to stop the bleeding, keep a winning streak going or flat-out win a game that a team flat-out needs to win.

    Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing the first inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  5. Twice the talent: IMG football expands to two teams this fall


    BRADENTON — When IMG Academy fielded its first varsity football team in 2013, there were 51 players on the roster. Since then, the roster has nearly tripled. With no junior varsity it was difficult for some to find playing time, and players do not come to IMG to sit the bench.

    The solution? Start another …

    DL Tre’von Riggins 
(6-4, 240) is a  Lakewood transfer.