The eyes of Texas were upon Aitor Fungairino and so were everyone else’s at the Class 3A state swimming and diving finals Saturday.
Fungairino, who signed with three-time defending national champions Texas this week, won two individual state championships and helped his Belen Jesuit 200-freestyle relay to a third-place medal at Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Center.
The Venezuelan native won the boys’ 200-free, just missing the state record by 0.20 seconds, though he still captured automatic All-American status with an electric 1:34.89 dart through the pool.
“I was going for [the record]. I really wanted to get it. The time was insane, but it was so close yet so far away,” said Fungairino, who did reach his main goal this week.
“Since I came here, I wanted to go with Texas. It’s been my goal since I got here from Venezuela, and it happened,” Fungairino said.
He came back in the 500-free and easily clinched a second automatic All-American status time when he finished first with a 4:25.73 — and he only needed a 4:29.04 for his fourth career All-American swim.
“I would have liked to go faster, but we have to work on it. It’s fast, but not what I wanted for myself. I don’t care how hard it can be, I put in my goals and look further than what I can do, and then get surprised by it,” Fungairino said.
Earlier in the day, he reached All-American consideration in both the 200-free prelims with a 1:39 and the 500-free prelims, cruising to the finish wall at 4:29.45.
He topped off his big state finals performance handling the anchor leg of Belen Jesuit’s third-place 200-free relay that finished at 1:26.75. Also on the squad were Andres Wong, Hugo Marin and Hector Paz.
The Doral boys opened the night finishing third in the 200-medley relay with Nestor Montero, Santiago Gomez, Adrian Aguilar and Aaron Rodriguez in the lineup. They stopped the clock at 1:36.76.
“It’s a young relay, mostly sophomores, so we are anticipating next year to be even better for us because we will have a little more depth and a little more muscle,” Doral coach Kathy Silveira said.
Aguilar came back with a state runner-up finish in the 100 butterfly, freezing the timer at 50.10 — and only an automatic All-American time by Tallahassee Chiles’ Ryland Sun beat him at 48.55.
“That wasn’t the time I was going for, but I will take it,” said Aguilar, who won his eighth state finals medal.
Doral finished second in the boys’ 200-free relay with a 1:26.74 and saved their best for last, winning the 400-free relay with a 3:08.83 — an All-American consideration time. In prelims, they were faster at 3:08.61.
Doral senior Stephanie Hernandez finished seventh in the girls’ 200 free with a 1:53.19 and finished prelims a smidge better at 1:53.16. She also led off the Doral 200-free relay, which garnered eighth-place medals after a 1:43.11 effort. Also on the squad were Stephanie Sequera, Sabrina Perna and Madeleine Peraza.
Fort Lauderdale sophomore Kevin De Grijze captured a third-place medal in the boys’ 200 IM at 1:52.45, and it took two All-American times from Seminole Osceola’s Ricardo Martinez and St. Johns Bartram Trails’ Jack VanDeusen to beat him. Pembroke Pines Charter’s Ricardo Roche finished seventh with a sharp 1:54.16. He also finished sixth in the 100 breaststroke at 59.10.
Also from Fort Lauderdale, Racine Ross won a bronze medal in the girls’ 100 fly, finishing at 56.73.
Pembroke Pines Charter senior Kelley Heron finished sixth in the girls’ 200 IM at 2:08.17. She was even faster in prelims, qualifying for finals with a 2:07.21.
Pembroke senior Andres Lares hit an All-American consideration time in the 500 free with a 4:31.18, good for third place. Lares, Roche, Sebastian Sevilla and Rafael Rodriguez tied for fifth in the 400-free relay at 3:14.16.
Belen Jesuit senior Javier Saumell finished ninth in boys’ diving with 352.50 points.
Tallahassee Chiles won the boys’ state championship for the second-straight year with 320 points, and St. Johns Creekside took the girls’ state title trophy with 237.