Photo: Joanne Haner

Swimming to victory

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This year’s swim season began the first day of school, Aug. 21, and ended after the state meet Nov. 3. The team includes 54 swimmers, boys and girls combined. Dominating the competition this season, the team competed in seven swim meets and won all seven. These victories include the district tournament held Oct. 21, and the regional tournament that occurred Oct. 28. The final meet of the season, the FHSAA 2A State Championships, occurred Nov. 3.

The overall top finishes of the State Championship go as follows: senior Catharine Cooper took first place in the 50 Freestyle for State Champion and All American Consideration, and third in the 100 Freestyle; senior Nicholas Pacitti earned second in the 500 Freestyle; senior Christian Kopecki achieved sixth place in the 200 yard Freestyle; Olivia Mason achieved seventh in the 50 Freestyle; senior Kevin Porto earned eighth in the 100 Freestyle. The female swimmers Olivia Mason, Thea McKenna, Annita Huang and Cooper placed second in the 200 Free Relay event. The participants in the 400 Free Relay, consisting of Mason, Huang, Isabella Taylor and Emme Ham, placed eighth in the 400 Free Relay. The boys, comprised of Porto, Pacitti, Nicholas Rossi and Kopecki, also took eighth in the 400 Free Relay.

These wins resulted from rigorous practice schedules. The swimmers typically practice Mon. through Thurs. for an hour and a half, while the more intensely training members practice six days a week, both in the mornings and the afternoons.

Coach Tan highlighted the senior swimmers as the all-stars of this swim season. Cooper, a division one swimmer, went into this year’s state competition as a defending champion of her state title from last year. Three of the male senior swimmers competing in individual events include Pacitti, Kopecki and Porto. “We have a pretty good group of senior members. Catherine [Cooper] has made it into several international competitions and is a strong contender to make it into the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. [Pacitti, Kopecki and Porto] are competing in two individual events each, including one relay. I’m confident in these swimmers’ abilities to do well in any further competitions,” Coach Tan said.

Kristen is a junior at American Heritage School in Plantation, Fla. She is Vice President of Student Government, an officer of the Pre-Law Society, News Editor and Assistant Editor-in-Chief of The Patriot Post and co-founder of the non-profit Friends for Fosters. Kristen loves keeping up with politics, watching Netflix, reading and sleeping in. She considers herself a nerd due to her massive video game and comic collection.

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