P.K. Yonge junior Lillie Nesty won the 200-yard freestyle and earned two more podium finishes in helping the Blue Wave girls to eighth at the FHSAA 1A State Swimming and Diving Championships at the Sailfish Aquatic Center in Stuart on Friday.
Blue Wave senior Gwen Shahboz finished third in the 200 individual medley and earned two more podium finishes and senior Joseph Pyon finished seventh in the 100 butterfly.
The Blue Wave girls finished with 111 points and the boys finished 17th with 36 points.
The meet, delayed one week because of Hurricane Nicole, wreaked havoc with pre-meet preparations, but Nesty was able to overcome them to win her first title in her career in 1 minute, 46.65 seconds — an automatic All-American Time and a new school record.
“It’s not a decision I agreed with, but I wasn’t down here to see what the weather looked like,” said P.K. Yonge seventh-year coach Kara Dawson of the delay. “We recognized everyone was in the same boat and dealt with it. I’m really glad that Lillie was able to win today. She’s tried all these different events these past three years, so I’m glad to see her win her first one.”
Shahboz has been with the team since the sixth grade and made it to state each year since the seventh grade. In Friday morning’s preliminaries, she broke the school record and, in the finals, lowered it again to 2:2.07 to finish third in the 200 individual medley.
“It’s been fun to watch her get better every year,” said Dawson of Shahboz who will attend Tulane next year. “It’s been fun to watch her get faster every single year. She’s done it the right way and been a good leader along the way. We’re going to miss her.”
Last year, Pyon opted to concentrate on the relays as P.K. Yonge made the podium and set school records. Friday, he made the 100 butterfly finals finishing seventh in 50.31 for his first medal in an individual event.
“He’s been with us since the seventh grade and it was nice to see him finally get up there,” Dawson said.
Nesty also finished fourth in the 100 backstroke in 54.97 and Shahboz finished fifth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.43. The two also earned another medal as they teamed with sophomore Alessandra Quintana and junior Talia Herron to finish seventh in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:39.53. In the preliminaries, the foursome set the school record at 1:39.10.
“It was the first medal for Talia and Alessandra, so that was super exciting,” said Dawson. “And they are coming back, so hopefully, we’ll have some good results in the future. We are one of the very few public schools and on the day, they always show up and do really well.”