STUART -- St. Brendan swimmer Wayne Denswil was involved in one blowout and one nail-biter, but the result was the same each time.
Denswil won the 200-yard individual medley and the 100 breaststroke in the Class 2A FHSAA finals at Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart on Saturday night.
“I think the 200 IM feels better because I didn’t expect that one at all,” said Denswil, who finished second in the 100 breast last year.
Denswil was dominant in the 200 IM, finishing with a time of 1:52.47. Rockledge’s Matt Holmes was a second in 1:55.19. Denswil’s stronger strokes are the breaststroke and freestyle, and he said he just tried to stay close to the leaders in the IM until he could make his move.
“I just wanted to get a good pace on the butterfly, really get into my stroke,” he said. “On the backstroke, I’m not really a backstroker, so I was just trying to keep up with everybody else. On the breaststroke, that’s when I really go all out. I was just waiting to go.
“At the turn from back to breast, I knew I was going to get [the lead]. This feels great. I’ve been training for this my whole life. I never knew I was an IMer until this year, so I’m pretty excited and pretty happy.”
The 100 breast was a much closer race. Denswil won in 56.97 seconds, less than half a second better than runner-up Austin Sellers of Jesuit. The two remained close the entire race, with Denswil taking a slight lead during the final 50 yards.
“In the morning it wasn’t that great,” Denswil said. “I went out to fast and I took more strokes that I was supposed to. At night, I tried to be smooth and long and just go out during the last 50. That was my goal.”
Gulliver Prep’s girls finished fourth overall with 189 points. Pensacola-Washington won the meet with 233 points.
“We’re excited about the big step we took this year with our program,” Gulliver Prep coach Jeff Poppell said. “I’m extremely proud of our team. Last year, our girls were 17th, and they’re made up mostly of eighth-, ninth- and 10th-graders. With our kids being very, very young, I feel like we have a very bright future ahead of us.”
Gulliver had two second-place finishers — Niki Urquidi in the 200 free and Namill Sanchez in the 500 free.
Urquidi led the 200 for almost the entire race, but got edged out by Wesley Chapel’s Abbey Duncan. Duncan finished with a time of 1:50.82 — just .17 better than Urquidi.
“It was a hard race, there was some really good competition, but I just put it all out there and left it all in the pool,” Urquidi said. “I was really happy with how I did.”
Doral’s boys finished seventh with 97 points, and St. Brendan was 10th overall with 81; Plantation American Heritage won the boys’ title with 276 points.