High School Sports

Pine Crest girls finish second at state swimming and diving finals

A quarter-century of dominance almost came to a screeching halt.

The Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest girls finished as the Class 1A state runner-up, finishing second to perennial prep superpower Jacksonville Bolles — by just 10 points — on Friday at the state swimming and diving finals at Sailfish Splashpark Aquatics Center in Stuart.

Bolles (270) won the girls’ state championship for the 26th time in a row, last losing the title in 1990 to Pine Crest.

Pine Crest (260) picked up first-place wins in the 200-freestyle relay and the 100 free and 100 breaststroke.

“It was a total team effort,” Pine Crest coach Jay Fitzgerald said. “All the swimmers did well, and all the relays did well. Our divers also did really well.”

The Pine Crest girls had beaten Bolles in a dual meet and an invitational meet earlier in the season.

“We beat them in the dual meet for the first time in 25 years, so we thought we had a real shot,” Fitzgerald said. “But there is a reason why they have been champions for [26] years in a row.

The Pine Crest girls’ 200-free relay team of Andrea Santander, Alexandra Meszaros, Jamie Flores and Marta Ciesla achieved All-American status with a 1:35.13 effort.

Ciesla won the 100 free (49.67) and finished second in the 50 free (22.61). She hit automatic All-American status in both races.

“The 100 was a pretty tough race right after the 50. I was tired and worn down,” Ciesla said. “It was a good race, though, and I’m glad I pushed through.”

Pine Crest sophomore Hannah Virgin won the 100 breast and achieved consideration for All-American status with a 1:04.06. It was her first state finals gold medal.

“I really tried to work on my pullouts and to get a nice-long pull, and made sure I didn’t spin on the first 25. I got a good rhythm and after that I just sprinted,” Virgin said.

Ramson Everglades senior Kyla Valls became an automatic All-American when she won the girls’ 200 free for the second consecutive year, this time with a 1:45.96.

“That was my best time and I think I just tried to push it a little more the second time around,” Valls said.

Westminster Academy junior Jessica Nava won the 100 butterfly for the second year in a row and broke her own state record — this time with a 53.45 — to also capture All-American status.

“I knew it was going to be a tough race going into it,” Nava said. “I was just thinking win first, because I had the state record before and I feel like time is important, but winning is most important.”

Nava also won a second gold medal in the 100 back (54.55), another All-American qualifying time.

“I guess I knew it was going to be another close race going into it. I knew if I hit good underwater breakouts, I’d be all right,” said Nava, who is entertaining 20 Division I offers.

NSU University School freshman Maia Goldstein — a four-time state qualifier and 2015 state champion — finished second in diving with 457.30 points. Tampa Berkeley Prep sophomore Nicole Stambo won the title with a 507.95.

Bolles (384) won their 29th consecutive boys’ state championship, its last loss was to Pine Crest in 1987.

Berkeley Prep (209) was second and Pine Crest (202) third.

Pine Crest seventh-grader Kevin Mendez won the boys’ diving title, racking up 494.50 points. He finished third in the state a year ago.

“I was seeded second and I had no idea what would happen,” said Mendez, who pointed to his front two-and-half pike as his best dive of the day. “The past two meets I hadn’t done that dive well, and [Friday] it was the best I have ever done.”

Pine Crest diving coach Janet Gabriel said she wouldn’t be surprised if Mendez tied or broke the state record of four diving gold medals — held by three people — during the course of his career.

“Kevin is extremely talented. He is the current 1-meter 12- to 13-year old USA diving national champion, and he has been a six-time national champion with USA diving. He is dedicated, and he’s hungry,” Gabriel said.

NSU University School junior Patrick Groters won the 100 back and became an automatic All-American with a 49.19 swim.

“I knew it was going to be a challenge at first, but as soon as I started, I focused on every little detail and I knew it was going to happen,” said Groters, who the 200 IM gold medal last year.


Hialeah shortstop Adrian Gomez and third baseman Branden Perdomo each signed with Hillsborough Community College.


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▪ St. Brendan 2, Clermont East Ridge 0: Alexa Dussaq goal , Jessica Botero goal , Christal Padron shutout . St. Brendan 5-1

▪ Late Thursday — LaSalle 5, Somerset 2: Karina Santin 2 goals. Anabel Toledo goal, assist. Stephanie Cuan goal, assist. Kiki Maribona goal. Nikki Maribona assist. LS 2-0-1.

▪ Late Thursday — Calvary Christian Academy 8, St. Andrews 1: Beatriz Blanco (CCA) goal. Rachel Wendt (CCA) 14 saves. CCA 1-3.

▪ Late Thursday — Westminster Academy 2, Archbishoo McCarthy 2: Randi Moore goal. Alexis Kwasnik goal.

▪ Late Thursday — Coral Gables 5, South Miami 0: Amy Ransom goal, 3 assists. Ceci Rodriguez goal, assist. Summer Campagna 2 goals. Natalie Viglucci goal. CG 2-1.

▪ Late Thursday — Archbishop McCarthy 2, Westminster Academy 2: Devyn Encalada goal, assist. Lauren McDonald goal, assist. AM 3-0-2.

▪ Late Thursday — University School 7, Pope 2: Jessica Roman goal. Dani Hahn goal Melissa Rabinowitz 5 goals. US 4-1.

▪ Late Thursday — Archimedean 5, Archibishop Curley 0: Tatiana Mancera 2 goals. Emely Acobo goal, assist. Allison Guevara-Franco goal. Jaylene Trujillo goal. Isabella Garcia assist. AC 4-0,

▪ Late Thursday — Melbourne 2, Cardinal Gibbons 0. CG 4-1.


▪ American Heritage Plantation 5, Vero Beach 0: Shanyder Borgelin goal. Landon Lupo goal. Gerard Cabrera goal. Joseph Vinson goal. Jonathan Gomes shutout. AHP 1-0.

▪ University School 6, Chaminade 2: Cory Adika 2 goals, assist. Jesse Miot goal. David Mizrahi goal. Liam Borbely goal. Alec Goldberg goal. US 2-0-1.

▪ Coral Reef 3, Palmetto 2: Austen Maysonet goal, assist. Jonathan Smith goal. Rafael Miranda goal. Elias Alverez assist.

▪ St. Thomas Aquinas 2, Cardinal Gibbons 0.

▪ Late Thursday — Miami Country Day 2, Hillel 1: Erik Pantin goal. Nicolas Arriola assist. Pablo Gutierrez goal. Dre Medici assist. Daniel Berkman (HIL) goal. MCDS 1-0-1. HIL 1-1-0.

▪ Late Thursday — Doral 5, TERRA 1: Juan Castano 3 goals. Nico Ramirez goal. Luis Perey goal. DA 2-0-0.

▪ Late Thursday — Pine Crest 2, Cardinal Newman 2: Brett Kolik goal. Markus Haig goal.