Riverview girls capture third place in Class 4A

STUART

The Riverview Rams boys' swimming team wasn't able to take the fifth. But Ram Emma Weyant succeeded in grabbing a couple of firsts.

Minus the depth of last year's squad, the Ram boys didn't collect their fifth straight state title on Saturday at the Class 4A Swimming and Diving Championship at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center.

But two individual firsts by the Ram junior, plus a second and fourth on two Riverview relay teams, helped the girls squad to a third-place finish with 230 points, 20 behind first-place Buchholz, which won its fourth straight title. Sarasota girls finished eighth with 103 points.

As for the Ram boys, who totaled 278.5 points at last year's event, they finished in seventh place with 110 points. Oviedo won the boys team title with 231.5 points.

Weyant took first in the 200 IM, rallying on the last leg to overtake Cooper City's Kathleen Golding and winning in 1:58.07, just one second off the state record. Weyant then placed first in the 500 free in 4:44.32, an event that featured six of the eight swimmers either from Riverview High or Sarasota High.

Riverview's 200 medley relay team of Weyant, Luci Lozano, Grace Hu and Naomi Chance finished fourth in a time of 1:47.28. Weyant also swam on the Rams' 400 free relay team that placed second in 3:26.81.

"Really happy about it," she said, "and our team did better (this year)."

"She's a fantastic swimmer and she's growing into a good leader for these guys as well," said Rams assistant coach Simon Morley. "It's a pleasure to work with her. She works hard and she sets a great example for everyone else and those guys follow her example. She brings up the program."

The Ram boys got a fourth-place finish from Alexander Gardner in the 200 free (1:40.68) and a fourth in the 100 free (46.39). Alexander Gusev and Jason Brzozowski collected a fifth and eighth, respectively, in the 500 free. But Morley conceded 2018 was a rebuilding year for the Ram boys.

"Absolutely," he said. "There's a lot of talent coming through and there are some guys who are leaving this year, but it's definitely a program that's on the up. It is a rebuilding year."

The girls 500 had a Sarasota flavor. Behind Weyant was teammate Christina Cianciolo in second (4:50.21), Ram Kirsten Hobson in fourth (4:54.49), Sailor Alicia Davie in fifth (4:55.10), Sailor Sumner Chmielewski in sixth (4:57.85) and Ram Savannah Barr in seventh (4:57.92).

In the girls 200 free, Barr and Cianciolo finished third and fourth, respectively, in times of 1:48.83 and 1:49.87. Sarasota's Isabel Traba finished sixth in the 200 IM and fifth in the 100 fly.

And Lakewood Ranch's Sebastian Aguirre placed second in the 100 fly in a time of 50.27. He also finished eighth in the 100 backstroke. At last year's event, Aguirre placed fifth in the 100 fly.

"Training super hard," he said. "Been putting in a lot of work to finish as high as I can my senior year. I knew I was going to do well. I didn't know how well I was going to do. Everything I did today I'll take it, I'll reflect on it, and then I'll just get back into training."