Standards are meant to be set and records broken.
The Port Charlotte Pirates and Lemon Bay Manta Rays saw school records fall Saturday at the FHSAA Class 2 A State Swimming Championship at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart.
No less than six new school records were established by the Pirates. Oscar Marquardt, Daisy Marquardt, Kevin Janson-Dugan and the girls 400 yard relay team all established personal records.
“I’m just very proud of the kids,” said J.R. Whaley, Port Charlotte Pirates swimming coach. “We’re a very young team, the girls are freshmen and one sophomore. The boys are a sophomore and three juniors. None of them had been to this level before, so it was a big accomplishment to bring this large of a group.”
Several Pirate individual swimmers and relay teams demonstrated their determination. Daisy Marquardt finished 10th in the Girls 50 yard freestyle; Oscar Marquardt placed 11th in the 100 yard breaststroke; Evelyn Negrette 13th in the 100 yard butterfly and Oscar Marquardt 16th in the 200 yard individual medley. The girls placed 13th in the 200 yard medley relay; 11th in the 400 yard freestyle relay and 14th in the Boys 400 yard freestyle relay.
“Oscar lowered his records in the 200 im (2:01.36) and 100 breaststroke (1:00.53), Daisy lowered team records in the 50 free (24.90) and 100 breaststroke (1:09.29), Kevin (Janson-Dugan, who placed 22nd, 49.87) dropped his record in the 100 free and the girls 400 free relay dropped,”said Whaley.
Several Manta Rays also enjoyed outstanding days on Saturday, establishing a new level of excellence
Senior Gage Denson earned an eighth place medal in the one meter diving competition, his first time in the top 10, said Dawn Hall, Lemon Bay swimming coach.
Denson also helped the boys 200 free relay team earn their place on the podium, said Hall. It was the first time in Lemon Bay history that the boys relay team received a medal (Joey Sacco, Eddie David, Aiden Koss and Denson), establishing a new school record in the process for the distance, 1:29.67.
The boys also placed 13th in the 400 yard freestyle relay.
Freshman Charlie Plaisted was the other Manta Ray double qualifier.
“It was a great experience for him,” said Hall. “Eddie David and Joey Sacco did very well in the 200 free. Both did personal bests and we were thrilled with their swims!”
However, Plaisted wasn’t the only Manta Ray freshman to distinguish themselves on Saturday and like her teammate, Meghan Brown would also qualify for the consolation finals in both the 50 yard freestyle, placing 13th and finishing 11th in the 100 yard backstroke. Lily Collins placed 17th in the diving competition.
“Overall the team represented themselves very well,” said Hall. “The seniors ended their high school careers on a high note. The team is very young as a whole and we’re happy with their performances. We look forward to the coming seasons.”