STUART — With just one event remaining Saturday night, the Buchholz High girls swim team, Class 4A champions the previous three years, was looking to graduate as state champions and were ahead by less than a point.

No problem, the Bobcats would just win that event and win the meet.

And they did.

For the fourth straight year, Buchholz left Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center as state champions.

The entire meet, Bobcats coach Tina Bates and others were keeping a close eye on the team points. More so than any other season.

Because Buchholz wasn’t in the meet’s first event, the 200-yard medley relay, because of a disqualification at district. State champions in the event the previous three seasons and state record holders as well, it meant the Bobcats couldn’t depend on those potential 40 points.

A year ago, Buchholz swept the relays (worth 120 points) and set a state record in each of them.

“First year we didn’t know,” said senior Talia Bates, a University of Florida commit, who was a double individual champion for the third straight season. “The next two years it wasn’t too hard for us to accomplish it again.

“But this year, not having a third relay, really hurt us going in. We pulled it off, and it is so exciting. This has been the coolest day of my life. Just to pull it off at the very end was so awesome.”

Talia Bates won the 50 free (22.45) and the 100 fly (52.82), in which she topped her state record swim during the morning preliminaries.

Senior Katie Cronin, who took second in the 100 free (50.51) and third in the 50 free (23.16), was all smiles as she hugged the Class 4A state champion trophy.

“This was the most incredible day, hands down,” said Cronin, a University of Virginia commit. “We were tracking the points with every event.

“What tonight showed was the incredible talent that we have. The 4-free relay was our event, we knew what we had to do. I cried. I knew that secured us the state title. And I knew that was my last swim as a Bobcat.”

The final team standings in girls had Buchholz with 250 points, followed by Oviedo (239.5), Sarasota Riverview (230) and Tampa Plant (182).

Caitlin Brooks, another outstanding senior on the team, won the 100 back for the fourth straight season. The University of Kentucky commit swam 52.54, less than one-tenth from state record (52.46). She also took third in the 100 fly (53.64).

“It was really bittersweet,” Brooks said about the final event. “My last year. After that last relay, we all huddled together and started balling our eyes out.

“We knew we officially did it. I’m so happy.”

The Buchholz boys finished in fourth place with 150 points, led by Arizona State commit Julian Hill, who won both the 200 free (1:35.70) and the 500 free (4:22.35). Teammate Peyton Werner, also a senior, took second in both the 200 free (1:38.40) and 500 free (4:27.09).

Oviedo (231.5) captured the boys title, followed by Seminole (216) and Lake Brantley (211).

“It was a good night, a great night to end my Buchholz swimming career,” Hill said. “I was really happy with my swims.

“It’s good to have consistency and place in the top five. I’m so happy for the girls and what they have done. Even with the adversity that they faced at districts. It was great to see they could still win.”

Coach Tina Bates only took seven girls swimmers to state, but they proved that quality is more important than quantity.

“The reason the girls were able to win four titles in a row, there are four seniors that have been here since they were freshmen, and because they wanted to do it,” she said. “And they set that as a goal. They had to put the team’s in front of their own individual accomplishment and that’s why they won that.

“Freshman year, kind of came as a little bit of a surprise. We knew they were talented, but to be able to come and compete in 4A like they did was pretty amazing.”

On Friday, in the Class 3A state meet, Gainesville girls finished 10th while the boys placed in tie for 17th.

"We had a goal of top 10 for the women and top 20 for the men and we were about to accomplish those goals,” said longtime GHS coach Rob Ramirez. “The Lady Canes were lead by Makayla Kraus with two final swims and was on both relays. Kathrine Sammy and Julianna Lopez also had individual swims at finals.

"The men were lead by senior Jacob Kirkpatrick with his individual score in the 100 breaststroke and his swimming on all three relays including a top eight finish in the 400 Free relay.”

OTHER BUCHHOLZ SWIMMING AT 4A STATE

GIRLS

Julia Rodriguez, senior: 100 fly (6th, 55.04), 200 individual medley (9th, 2:05.90)

Leah Reisker, junior: 200 free (5th, 1:51.25), 100 free (9th, 51.70)

Georgia Bates, sophomore: 100 free (6th, 51.25), 100 back (14th, 57.99)

200 free relay: Georgia Bates, Caitlin Brooks, Katie Cronin, Talia Bates - 1:32.85, 1st

400 free relay: Katie Cronin, Julia Rodriguez, Leah Reisker, Talia Bates - 3:23.21, 1st

BOYS

Brandon Cheong, senior: 50 free (14th, 22.02), 100 breastroke (12th, 59.66)

200 medley relay: Alexander Bungert, Brandon Cheong, Peyton Werner, Julian Hill - 1:33.70, 2nd

400 free relay: Peyton Werner, Alexander Bungert, Brandon Cheong, Julian Hill - 1:34.47, 2nd

GAINESVILLE HIGH RESULTS FROM 3A STATE (FRIDAY)

GIRLSMakayla Kraus, junior: 100 fly (8th, 58.38), 50 free (10th, 24.41)

Katherine Sammy, freshman: 100 back (7th, 1:00.31)

Julianna Lopez, freshman: 100 breaststroke (9th, 1:06.39)

200 medley relay: Katherine Sammy, Savannah Buch, Makayla Kraus, Julianna Lopez - 1:48.89, 5th

200 free relay: Julianna Lopez, Makayla Kraus, Savannah Buch, Tesslyn Dahl - 1:39.47, 7th

BOYS

Jacob Kirkpatrick, senior: 100 breaststroke (15th, 1:01.00)

Bryan Han, junior: 50 free (22nd, 22.39), 100 fly (17th, 53.13)

200 medley relay: Dante Reccoppa, Jacob Kirkpatrick, Bryan Han, Aidan Buch - 1:39.30, 10th

200 free relay: Bryan Han, Thomas Lancer, Jackson Grieser, Dylan Parramore - 1:33.30, 15th

400 free relay: Dylan Parramore, Dante Reccoppa, Jacob Kirkpatrick, Aidan Buch - 3:21.21, 8th