JACKSONVILLE - Orange Park High's boys swim teams, led by Jose Medina and Ryan Pritchard, and Fleming Island High's girls swim team, led by a lightning-fast set of relays squads, chased, but could …
JACKSONVILLE - Orange Park High's boys swim teams, led by Jose Medina and Ryan Pritchard, and Fleming Island High's girls swim team, led by a lightning-fast set of relays squads, chased, but could not catch, Bartram Trail High School with both taking runnerups spots at the St. Johns River Athletic Conference Swimming and Diving Championships held Sept. 25-26 at the Cecil Field Aquatic Center.
"We're building a good thing here at Orange Park swimming," said Raider coach Susan Johnson. "We just had a first time win over Oakleaf before this meet and we finished ahead of Fleming Island here. Things are looking up."
Medina, a senior, chased 200 meter freestyle champion Ty LaRue of Bartram Trail with a 2:04.40 split to LaRue's winning time of 2:02.59.
Medina came back an hour later to take second to a second Bartram Trail swimmer, Macguire McDuff, in the 100 free 54.68-56.04 to again push the Raiders into position for a team podium finish. Pritchard's fourth place finish in the 200 individual medley also added key points.
In the 100 free, Middleburg High senior Jaden Murphree took fifth in 59.00.
With Bartram Trail dominating the first place ranks in most events, Fleming Island got a win in the 100 butterfly from Alex Bilyeu outtouched William Cioffi of Bartram Trail to win the event, 1:02.10-1:03.88. Fleming Island also took third with Dylan Ducut at 1:03.91.
Fleming Island's boys 200 free relay; Bilyeu, Austin Wheeler, Ducut and Justin Lebesch dominated with a 1:43.92 win over Bartram Trail, 1:48.64. Orange Park was third. Fleming Island had four straight state titles in the 200 free dating back to 2014 through 2018. Wheeler won the 100 breaststroke over two Orange Park swimmers; Ryan Pritchard and Jalen Randall.
Orange Park and Fleming Island finished at second and third in the 400 free relay behind Bartram Trail.
In the girls championship ranks, Fleming Island, with the twice 3A champion 200 medley relay team of Sarah Grimm, Emma Grimm, Abree Clark and Christine Johnson took first in that event over Bartram Trail, then took the 200 free relay with Maryn McDade replacing Abree Clark for a 50 free leg, before, finally, taking second in the 400 free relay with a new foursome; Reilly McCabe, Grace Rathjen, Amelia Kondal and Haley Harris.
Fleming Island's Emma Grimm won the 100 backstroke and the 100 breaststroke.
For the boys team points, Bartram Trail scored 557 with Orange Park 364 and Fleming Island 319. Middleburg finished sixth.
For the girls team points, Bartram Trail took the title with 609.5 points with Fleming Island a close second at 513 and St. Augustine a distant third at 213. Orange Park was sixth with Middleburg seventh.
Johnson mentioned a meet win over Oakleaf that was a first for the Raider program as Orange Park won a tri-meet with Middleburg and Oakleaf.
Medina won the 200 and 100 free, Bruce Arauz won the 100 backstroke and Jalen Randall won the 100 breaststroke.
For Oakleaf, Ethan Schroeder won the 50 free and 100 butterfly and Tristan Manley won the 500 free. Logan Myers won the 200 individual medley.
Oakleaf girls dominated with wins in nearly all individual events from Kylie Loving (100 breast, 100 fly), Grace Hejmanowski (100 back, 50 free), Olivia Votava (500 free,200IM), Haylie Pinola (100 free), Paxton Shuppert (200 free).
Team scores for the boys were Orange Park over Oakleaf 148-127, Orange Park over Middleburg 189-80 and Oakleaf over Middleburg 172-88.
For the girls, Oakleaf beat Orange Park 350-210, Orange Park beat Middleburg 379-132 and Oakleaf beat Middleburg 402-119.