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Lapping on: swimmers look for state berths at today’s regional meets

Posted on Friday, November 3, 2017 at 4:09 pm

By Rick Pedone
For the News-Gazette

Swimmers and divers from several Osceola County schools advanced to the regional meets set for Friday (Class 3A-2) at Winter Haven’s Rowdy Gaines Pool (diving is today) and Saturday (Class 4A-2) at Clearwater’s North Shore Aquatic Center (diving is Friday).

Harmony sends a large contingent of boys and girls to the 3A-2 regional after placing second (girls) and third (boys) at the 3A-5 district meet at the North County Aquatic Center.

News-Gazette Photo/Martin Maddock
Harmony’s Saylor Durost helped the Longhorns’ 200 medlay relay team win the District 3A-5 championship last week, and also with the 200 free relay and 100 backstroke. If she, her teammates and other qualifiers place in the top four in today’s regional meets, they’ll qualify to jump in the pool at the state swim meet.

Viera (537) won the girls district title over the Lady Longhorns (394). Liberty (48) was eighth.

Viera (491) also won the boys meet over Sebastian River (456) and the Longhorns (333).

The district champions for the Lady Longhorns were the 200 medley relay (1:57) of Saylor Durost, Skylar Durost, Savannah Steele and Elly Clark and the 400 free relay (3:50) of Saylor Durost, Shayla Whaley, Steele and Skylar Durost. The 400 relay broke the school record.

Individually, Saylor Durost (2:01) won the 200 free relay and the 100 backstroke (1:03). Skylar Durost (1:00) claimed the 100 butterfly (new school record) and the 100 breaststroke (1:10).

Other regional qualifiers for the Lady Longhorns are Whaley (200 free), Kaley Smith (200 IM, 500 free), Steele (50 free, 100 free), Makenzie Griffin (diving) and the 200 free relay (1:52).

Mason Moore (51.73) was the 100 freestyle district champ for Harmony’s boys. He also qualified for regionals in the 50 free.

Advancing as individuals were Joshua Yi (200 free, 100 butterfly), Cezar Galusca (200 IM, 100 free), Nathan Envall (500 free) and Joshua Murray (100 backstroke).

Also advancing to regionals are the 200 medley relay (Murray, Yi, Galusca and Moore); the 200 free relay (Yi, Murray, Galusca, Moore) and the 400 free relay (Ty Avery, Cole LaFountain, Caleb Platner and Matthew Espinosa).

“The girls did great, and the boys did very well to get third,” Harmony girls coach TJ Walters said.

Swimmers from Osceola, Gateway, St. Cloud and Celebration competed at the 4A-4 district meet at the I-Drive YMCA International Aquatic Center.

Gateway’s Jenny Valido (24.72) had an outstanding district meet and was the only district champion from Osceola County, winning the girls 50 freestyle district title. She also advanced to the 4A-2 region at the North Shore Aquatic Center in Clearwater Saturday in the 100 backstroke and the 100 breaststroke.

News-Gazette Photo/Martin Maddock
Gateway’s Karen Valido advanced to today’s Region 4A-2 swim meet in the 100 freestyle, setting a Panthers school record in the process, and as a part of the GHS 400 free relay team. The Panthers, along with regional qualifiers from Osceola and St. Cloud will be swimming today for spots in next week Class 4A swim meet.

Olympia won both the girls (437) and boys (517) district titles.

Gateway’s girls (193) were fifth, St. Cloud (181) was sixth, Osceola (54) was 11th and Celebration (50) was 12th.

Osceola’s boys (141) placed seventh, Gateway (114) finished eighth, Celebration (105) was ninth and St. Cloud (87) placed 10th.

Also advancing to the 4A-2 regional, one of the most competitive in the state, for the Gateway girls were Karen Valido (100 free), the 200 medley relay of Valeria Olarte, Karen Valido, Jenny Valido and Melissa Salas; and the 400 free relay of Hannah Elmattougui, Olarte, Karen Valido and Jenny Valido.

Jenny Valido broke the county record in the 50 free and Karen Valido set Gateway’s record in the 100 free, breaking records held by Cory Burkley.

“I am super excited for the kids,” Gateway Coach Vonnie Kochensparger said.

For the St. Cloud girls, divers Kaylin White and Morgan Evans advanced along with the 200 medley relay of Natalia Gutierrez, Bailey Reich, Stephanie Contreras and Falon Gardner.

Osceola’s Ezequiel Negron Robles was the district runner-up in the 200 free and the 500 free, advancing to regions in both events. Osceola’s 400 free relay (Robles, Alex McBride, Jesus Machado and Esteban Moran) also qualified. It was the first OHS boys relay to advance to regions under Coach Krystle Bayliss.

Negron Robles recently arrived from Puerto Rico and became eligible through a hardship waiver.

“Amazing kid. He has been out of the water for two months, so that says a lot about what an amazing athlete he is,” Bayliss said.

St. Cloud diver Caleb Endicott also advanced.

The regional champions and top at-large swimmers advance to the state meets.