One streak continued and another was put to an end at the Youth Fair Invitational on Saturday.
The Ransom Everglades girls’ swim team won easily for the eighth year in a row, but on the boys’ side, Doral Academy snapped Belen’s streak of seven in a row in a battle that came down to the final event.
With Doral trailing by two points in team scores, the Firebirds’ 400-yard relay team beat out the Wolverines — state champs seven of the past eight seasons — by 1.96 seconds to come out on top 328-324.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Doral Academy coach Cathy Silveira, who has coached the team since it was established 14 years ago with six swimmers. “It’s tough for us. We’re a public charter school. We don’t have a facility like Belen or Ransom, so we kind of piece together our practice.
“Our kids just come in. They don’t come here [to attend] a swim powerhouse.”
Adriano Martinez, who also won the 100-yard backstroke (53.32) and the 100-yard freestyle (48.35), anchored the relay victory. He took over the fourth leg with Belen and Doral in nearly a dead heat but gave his squad the final push to victory.
“I just felt really pumped. I saw my team tied with Belen and I had to do what I had to do to win it,” said Martinez, a sophomore. “I just gave it everything I had.”
The 400-yard relay win capped a day of four school records for the Firebirds — three relays and Alex Arrieta’s time of 4:36.12 in the 500-yard freestyle.
“Our team saying is, ‘If you can’t win, make them break a record to beat you,’” Silveira said.
The Doral boys are looking to improve off a sixth-place finish at states last season. They make up a young team comprised of only one senior, so chances at a run in Class 2A only appear to be improving beyond this season.
For the Ransom girls, it was no new feeling winning the Youth Fair Invitational, but they also want to use the results of the midseason swim meet to catapult them into the final stretch.
The Raiders are hoping to improve on another fourth-place finish at states, their second in a row, with Jacksonville Bolles — winner of 23 consecutive state titles — as their target in Class 1A.
“The big goal is at the end of the season. We want to improve on what we did last year,” Ransom coach Andy de Angulo said. “We’re doing well. We’re tired. We’re swimming strong. It’s just a matter of figuring out what we can do better to get where we want to go at the end of the season.”
Senior Laine Morgan, dealing with the effects of a cold Saturday, headlined Ransom’s effort, winning the 100-yard backstroke (59.44) and butterfly (57.36).
For Morgan and the senior-laden Raiders, having one more shot at states is what drives them.
“It definitely motivates me — not that I wouldn’t be motivated otherwise,” Morgan said. “But it’s our last year, and I want to make it the best one yet.”
Reagan’s Arianna Noya was the only other girl to win two events — the 100- (53.09) and 200-yard freestyle (1:51.15).
Saint Brendan’s Zuhayr Pigot took home individual titles in the 50-yard freestyle (21.25) and 100-yard butterfly (49.43).
In the tightest finish of the meet, Miguel Madeira of Reagan won the 200-yard freestyle in a photo finish, beating Arrieta by three-hundredths of a second, 1:45.19-1:45.22.
Girls’ team scores (top 10) — 1. Ransom Everglades 391, 2. Doral Academy 362, 3. Coral Reef 235, 4. Coral Gables 192, 5. Palmetto 183, 6. Lourdes 165, 7. Carrollton 90, 8. Southwest 88, 9. Saint Brendan 78, 10. Westminster Christian 66.
Girls' Individual Winners — 200 medley: RE 1:51.02; 200 free: Arianna Noya (RR) 1:51.15; 200 IM: Melannie Vargas (DA) 2:14.02; 50 free: Sofia Rivas (RE) 25.13; 100 fly: Laine Morgan (RE) 57.36; 100 free: Arianna Noya (RR) 53.09; 500 free: Kyla Valls (RE) 5:08.83; 200 relay: RE 1:42.69; 100 back: Laine Morgan (RE) 59.44; 100 breast: Carlotta Verita (RE) 1:08.60; 400 relay: RE 3:39.76.
Boys' Team Scores (Top 10) — 1. Doral Academy 328, 2. Belen 324, 3. Columbus 252, 4. Reagan 192, 5. Ransom Everglades 183, T-6. Palmetto 153, T-6. Ferguson 153, 8. Keys Gate 130, 9. Saint Brendan 98, 10. Coral Reef 95.
Boys' Individual Winners — 200 medley: DA 1:36.76; 200 free: Miguel Madeira (RR) 1:45.19; 200 IM: Alberto Gomez (DA) 1:56.48; 50 free: Zuhayr Pigot (STB) 21.25; 100 fly: Zuhayr Pigot (STB) 49.43; 100 free: Adriano Martinez (DA) 48.35; 500 free: Alex Arrieta (DA) 4:36.12; 200 relay: DA 1:31.75; 100 back: Adriano Martinez (DA) 53.52; 100 breast: Bernardo Lima (BEL) 1:00.08; 400 relay: DA 3:14.64.