GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Clay High sophomore swimmer Sara Stotler should have two gold medals in her hand as she executed top times for her two events; 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley, but …
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Clay High sophomore swimmer Sara Stotler should have two gold medals in her hand as she executed top times for her two events; 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley, but a disqualifying flag at the Class 2A championships prevented the double gold to happen.
For her efforts, and for 10 other Clay County swimmers chosen to the Clay Today SUPER 11 swim team, which includes Stotler, St. Johns Country Day School’s Nick Rogers and Fleming Island’s Andrew Heinton as top five finishers in their respective classes.
Stotler, who was region champion in the 200 IM with a 1:57.85 that was done while suffering through a cold and flu episode, overcame the defending 2A 100 butterfly champion at the state championships to bring home at least one gold medal for the Lady Blue Devils. Stotler was region 100 fly champion.
Stotler completed a stellar season as a freshman and doubled down with impressive times throughout her sophomore year to get district titles in the 200IM, 100 fly, two relay titles and a second in the 200 free.
Stotler sister, Anna, a senior, also makes the SUPER 11 with top five finishes in the 200 and 100 free in both district and regions. Anna Stotler was 14th in both events in Class 2A.
For St. Johns Country Day School senior Nick Rogers, trekking to the Class 1A championships came with knowing the Bolles School machinery was also going. Rogers finished second in the region 100 fly and the state 100 fly to Episcopal’s Sterling Crane, but did both with record-setting splits. Rogers also took seventh in Class 1A the 200 free.
Heinton, four times a part of three gold medal 200 free relays for Fleming Island, had to go it alone in 2018 with a fifth in the 50 free and a ninth in the 100 freestyle in Class 4A. Heinton’s times; 21.36 in the 50; 47.23 in the 100 were among the top times of all classes in those events.
For Orange Park, the dynamic duo of senior Jacob Coutant and junior Daniel Hinkle brought a speed and power element to the Raiders attack with Coutant a powerful butterfly specialist with speed in the 200 free while Hinkle was a top 500 free swimmer after battling with Coutant in the region 200 free. Coutant crushed the 200 free at districts and regions with two different strategies; one a come from behind, the region an all out blitze up front, while returning to win the 100 fly district title and take sixth at regions. Coutant finished eighth in the 200 free and ninth in the 100 fly in 2A.
Hinkle stayed as Coutant’s wingman in the 200s with a third at districts and a fourth at regions while cruising to a second in the district 500 free at 5:08 with a region title at 4:53.97; a drop of nearly 12 seconds, before finishing 15th at state at 4:55.13.
Sprinting for Orange Park, and one of the top improvers of the year, was 50 free specialist Keenan Restall who improved by nearly three seconds in his specialty as the season progressed with a surprise third at districts in 23.20 and a fifth at regions.
Sprinting for Clay, senior Zach Eubanks surprised some people with his second in the 50 free at districts (23.17) and second in the 100 free (50.11). Eubanks dropped his 50 to 22.88 to take seventh in the region.
One of Clay coach Carol Mcdougall’s fast young ones; sophomore Elysia Addison, showed up with a first at districts in the 100 breaststroke and a second in the 50 free. Addison showed good potential for next year with fifths at regions.
Fleming Island and Oakleaf both have their share of fast sophomores who will be on the radar next year with Emma Grimm, for the Golden Eagles, and, for the Knights, Ethan Schroeder.
Grimm showed good versatility with a first in 100 breast, second on 200 free relay and third in the 50 free for coach Jordan Bright’s young girls team.
Schroeder was fifth in the 100 free and sixth in the 50 at districts in very tough district with Creekside, Bartram Trail, Nease and Chiles.
1. Sara Stotler, Clay, Sophomore
State: 1st 100 fly 54.82, beat defending champion, DQ 200IM (2:06.43 winning time, Stotler 2:03.74 at region)
Region: 1st 200IM 2:03.74 with cold; 1st 100 butterfly 54.92
District: 1st 200IM 2:06.55, 1st 100 fly 55.69
2. Nick Rogers, SJCDS, Senior
State: 2nd 1A 100 fly 49.76 (Winning time 47.76); 7th 200 free 1:42.57
Region: 4th 200 free 1:44.15; 2nd 100 butterfly 50.63
District: 3rd 200 free 1:46.54; 2nd 100 butterfly 52.00
3. Jacob Coutant, Orange Park
State: 8th 200 free, 1:44.41; 9th 100 butterfly
Region: 1st 200 free 1:44.19; 6th 100 butterfly 52:09
District: 1st 200 free 1:47.62; 1st 100 butterfly 53.36
4. Andrew Heinton, Fleming Island, Senior
State: 5th 50 free 21.36; 9th 100 free 47.23
Region: 3rd 50 free 21.72; 4th 100 free 47.94
District: 2nd 100 free 48.98; 2nd 50 free 22.19
5. Dan Hinkle, Orange Park, Junior
State: 15th 500 free 4:55.13; 15th 200 free 1:48.19
Region: 1st 500 free 4:53.97; 4th 200 free 1:48.33
District: 3rd 200 free 1:53.42; 2nd 500 free 5:08.01
6. Keenan Restall, Orange Park, Senior
Region:12th 50 free 23.48
District: 3rd 50 free 23.20; 5th 200 medley relay (22.64 anchor free)
7. Elysia Addison, Clay, Sophomore
State: 15th 100 breaststroke 1;10.58
Region: 5th 50 free 26.15; 5th 100 breaststroke 1;08.88
District: 1st 100 breaststroke 1:10.75; 2nd 50 free 26.31
8. Anna Stotler Clay, Senior
State: 14th 100 free 55.54; 14th 200 free 2:00.90
Region: 4th 100 free 54.93; 4th 200 free 1:57.85
District: 2nd 200 free 1:58.45; 3rd 100 free 56.39
9. Emma Grimm, FIHS, sophomore
State: 5th 200 free relay (24.66 leg)
Region: 13th 50 free 25.01; 17th 100 breast 1:11.13
District: 3rd 50 free 25.34; 1st 100 breaststroke 1:12.01
10. Ethan Schroeder, Sophomore, Oakleaf
Region: 13th 50 free 23.00; 9th 100 free 50.24
District: 5th 100 free 51.09; 6th 50 free 23.18
11. Zach Eubank, Clay, Senior
State: 21st 100 free 49.73
Region: 4th 100 free 49.67; 7th 50 free 22.88
District: 2nd 100 free 50.11; 2nd 50 free 23.17