STUART, Fla.—GHS junior Michael Mullen had a banner night to lead the Gainesville Hurricanes to an eighth-place finish at the 3A State Swimming and Diving Championships at the Sailfish Aquatic Center Friday evening.
Mullen, a Florida commit, got off to a sizzling start winning the 200-yard individual medley in a time of 1:46.25. His time was under the All American-Automatic (AA-A) standard of 1:49.41 and fell short of the state record of 1:45.51.
Mullen took over the lead from the fast-starting Logan Robinson of Washington and sped away to win in dominant fashion, lowering his best by 4.43 seconds. In his wake was defending champion Andrew Taylor of Countryside, another Florida commit, who finished in 1:48.80.
Mullen came back to claim the 100-yard breaststroke in another AA-A standard time of 55.61. It was a bit slower than his preliminary time of 55.26, but enough to hold off second seeded Rich Nguyen of Nease, who finished in 55.83.
The ‘Canes also got big points from sophomore Will Sammy. He sped to a fourth-place finish and new personal best time of 46.30 in the 100-yard freestyle. He also grabbed a fifth-place finish of 52.14, another personal best, in the 100-yard backstroke.
It was the first time that Mullen and Sammy earned a top eight finish and medal at the state championships in their careers. Mullen claimed the eighth and ninth individual medal by a GHS athlete and 20th and 21st individual medal by a Gainesville school athlete.
The GHS 200-meter freestyle relay team of Michael Mullen, Will Sammy, Casey Whitaker and Jackson O’Neill earned another medal with their fifth-place finish in 1:28.05. The time was a school record.
In the girls’ competition, GHS sophomore Lilah Kage had the best finish on Friday. She placed 12th with a score of 329.90 in the 1-meter diving competition. Also scoring points for the ‘Canes was the 200-yard freestyle relay team of Stella Roberts, Morgan Follon-Hooghius, Ava Fuller and Michelle Han, who finished 14th in 1:42.72, and sophomore Ava Fuller, who finished 16th in 1:58.13.
Full results of Friday’s finals can be found on Meet Mobile app or the FHSAA.com website.
FHSAA 3A Swimming and Diving State Championships
Sailfish Aquatic Center
1. Neese, 290
8. GHS, 97
32. Forest, 14
Individual and relay results
200y Individual Medley:
1. Michael Mullen, GHS, Jr, 1:46.25 AA-A (improved 4.43 seconds)
2. Andrew Taylor, Countryside, Sr, 1:48.40 AA-A
22. Casey Whitaker, GHS, Fr, 2:05.03 preliminaries
1. Ryder Gentry, Jr, Chiles, 45.17, AA-A
4. Will Sammy, GHS, So, 46.30 (improved by 0.31 seconds)
1. Mitchell Ledford, Sebastian River, Sr, 48.54, AA-A
5. Will Sammy, GHS,So, 52.14 (improved by 0.54 seconds)
1. Michael Mullen, GHS, Jr, 55.61, AA-A
19. Ian Disoway, Columbia, Fr, 1:02.05
200y Freestyle Relay:
1. Jesuit, Tampa, 1:25.60
5. GHS (Michael Mullen, Will Sammy, Casey Whitaker, Jackson O’Neill), 1:28.05 new school record
1. Ponte Vedra, 340.5
16. Forest, 33
27. GHS, 12
1. Ava Brinkman, Fleming Island, So, 448.85
12. Lilah Kage, GHS, So, 329.90
200y Medley Relay:
19. GHS (Michelle Han, Stella Roberts, Morgan Follon-Hooghius, Kara Walters) 1:59.36
1. Summer Cardwell, Countryside, Sr, 1:46.65
16. Ava Fuller, So, GHS, 1:58.13
1. Summer Cardwell, Countryside, Sr, 53.72
24. Michelle Han, GHS, Sr, 1:03.41
200y Freestyle Relay
1. Ponte Vedra, 1:35.41
14. GHS (Stella Roberts, Morgan Follon-Hooghius, Ava Fuller, Michelle Han) 1:42.72
1. Ashley Sampson, Forest, 4:59.30
17. Ava Fuller, GHS, So, 5:15.04 preliminaries
Editor’s note: The story incorrectly stated that GHS had finished sixth when they had finished eighth.