Last year’s GMAC girls’ swimming team title came down to a tie between Coral Gables and Coral Reef. There was an undisputed champion this time, and it was neither of the two.
The TERRA girls, behind victories in three relay events, won their first GMAC swimming championship, edging Coral Reef by 15 1/2 points on Thursday at Miami-Dade College’s North Campus.
Miami Beach won the boys’ title, stripping Columbus of the title.
“Our girls were very fired up for those relays,” TERRA coach Marly Zea said. “We knew we had a good chance with the relays, and that’s what the team is all about. You win those relays, that’s your team showing up.”
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Junior Julia Talamo, the one Wolves swimmer who has been to state, was instrumental in leading her team to a consistent, winning effort in the 200-yard medley, 200-yard freestyle and 400-yard freestyle relays.
“We made sure that our times were what they were supposed to be,” Talamo said. “Our splits in every relay are very important in order for us to win.”
Talamo’s younger sister, Julianna, a freshman, won individual titles in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events with times of 1:59.67 and 5:17.73, respectively.
The Miami Beach boys were victorious in the 200-yard medley and freestyle relays to key their victory. The Hi-Tides also had Julius Petzold win the 50-yard freestyle in 21.93 seconds.
Hialeah Gardens’ Jessica Rodriguez (200-yard individual medley and 100-yard breaststroke) and Palmetto’s Lilayali Garcia (100-yard freestyle and backstroke) each won two individual girls’ titles, and Columbus’ Brandon Vives took home a pair of victories in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard breaststroke.
The Explorers were initially announced as the boys’ runner-up, but Ferguson challenged a disqualification in the 400-yard freestyle relay that was inadvertently inserted into the scores, and the Falcons were deemed winners of that event and second-place winners overall.
The girls’ 50-yard freestyle winner was Hailey Jerew of Cutler Bay Academy, making her the school’s first individual GMAC champion in any sport with Cutler Bay in its second year in the Florida High School Athletic Association.
The 2015 event marked the first time the GMAC went to timed finals for individual winners similar to the way districts and regionals are run. It was previously formatted like states with preliminary heats followed by the finals.
Boys’ team results: 1. Miami Beach 248, 2. Ferguson 237, 3. Columbus 231, 4. Palmetto 186.5, 5. Southwest 163, 6. Hialeah Gardens 143, 7. TERRA 115, 8. Coral Reef 103, 9. South Dade 92.5, 10. Coral Gables 84.
Girls’ team results: 1. TERRA 306.5, 2. Coral Reef 291, 3. Palmetto 241, 4. MAST Academy 222.5, 5. Coral Gables 208, 6. Hialeah Gardens 124, 7. Krop 100, 8. Killian 93, 9. Southwest 79, 10. Ferguson 75.
Boys’ individual winners: 200 medley: MB 1:44.19; 200 free: Joseph Cardozo (FER) 1:46.99; 200 IM: Brandon Vives (COL) 1:57.94; Julius Petzold (MB) 21.93; 100 fly: Antonio Perez (HML) 52.56; 100 free: Che Davis (KRO) 48.05; 500 free: John Torres (BRA) 4:50.99; 200 relay: MB 1:32.45; 100 back: George Lubian (VAR) 55.05; 100 breast: Brandon Vives 1:01.30; 400 relay: FER 3:23.08.
Girls’ individual winners: 200 medley: TERRA 2:00.67; 200 free: Julianna Talamo (TER) 1:59.67; 200 IM: Jessica Rodriguez (HG) 2:12.66; 50 free: Hailey Jerew (CBA) 25.12; 100 fly: Cloe Bedard-Khalid (CR) 59.54; 100 free: Lilayali Garcia (PAL) 56.25; 500 free: Julianna Talamo (TER) 5:17.73; 200 relay: TER 1:47.54; 100 back: Lilayali Garcia (PAL) 1:03.88; 100 breast: Jessica Rodriguez (HG) 1:08.04; 400 relay: TER 3:50.34.