By Julie Sowell

The Bartram Trail High School girls’ swim and dive team is undefeated this season. The swimmers won all their dual meets, the Conference Championship, District Championship, Regional Championship — and to cap off their stellar year, they beat out 51 other teams to win the 2016 3A FHSAA State Swimming and Diving Championship in Stuart, Fla. on Nov. 4. They edged out last year’s winner, Gainesville High School by one-half of a point to win the title.

In winning the championship, the team became the first public school girls’ team in the northeast Florida area to win the title since Fletcher High School in 1941.

There are 63 swimmers and divers in total on the Bartram Trail swim and dive team; 33 went to the regional competition and 20, including 18 swimmers and two divers, went to state. Swimmers from all three relays plus six individual girl swimmers qualified.

Nicole Sowell, Lily McCabe, Summer Stanfield and Lexi Smith won bronze in the 200-yard medley relay. They also won silver in the 400-yard free relay, breaking their own school record and achieving an All American consideration time. The 200-yard freestyle relay with Amelia Tayag, Tatiana Brown (Emma Geiger swam in preliminaries), Emmy Iannone and Jennifer Brennock placed 12th.

Lily McCabe tied for gold in the 100-yard breaststroke and achieved an All American consideration time in addition to placing seventh in the 50-yard freestyle. This tie is what enabled the team to win the championship by half a point.

Summer Stanfield placed third in the 100 backstroke and second in the 200 individual medley. Nicole Sowell placed eighth in the 200-yard freestyle and 11th in the 100-yard freestyle. Lexi Smith placed sixth in the 200-yard freestyle and 10th in the 500-yard freestyle. Jennifer Brennock was 16th and Tatiana Brown was 17th in the 100-yard breaststroke. Diver Grace Davis placed 21st.

The Bartram Trail swim and dive team is coached by Robert Bruns, AP World History and AP Art History teacher at the school. Coaching since 1984, he has worked with developmental junior varsity swimmers, high school swimmers, U.S. swim teams, summer leagues and NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving in addition to coaching track and field. Still, he says his passion has always been swimming and diving.

Bruns said, “This has been a wonderful journey. Each swimmer and diver has worked hard to make it to state. Their performances were outstanding and I am proud of them. This is their personal history as well as the school’s history. I am fortunate to have been a part of the process.”

The Bartram Trail boys’ team also fared well at the state competition, placing 13th overall — a big jump from last year’s 24th place. They also broke several school records. Swimmers for all three relays plus five individual swimmers qualified on the boys’ side for the state competition.

The boys 200-yard medley relay with Mason Ray, Ryan Krejci, Adam Stumpf and Jack VanDeusen placed 15th. The 200-yard freestyle relay with Jake Camp, Jacob Singleton, Chris Sylvester and Brandon Burkett placed 15th. The 400-yard freestyle relay with Jake Camp, Jacob Singleton, Mason Ray and Jack VanDeusen placed 10th and broke the school record. Individually, diver Nathan Howze placed eighth. Jake Camp placed 12th in the 100-yard freestyle.

Jack VanDeusen placed 13th in the 100-yard freestyle and ninth in the 200 individual medley, where he broke his own school record. Ryan Krejci placed 16th in the 100 breaststroke. Adam Stumpf placed 11th in the 100- yard fly and broke the school record and was 16th in the 100-yard backstroke. Adrian Oake placed 19th in the 500-yard freestyle and broke the school record.

Photo courtesy Julie Sowell

The Bartram Trail High School state champion girls swim and dive team.

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