Anzures, Balkcom, Chin and Powell Race at FHSAA State Championships

Sharyn Mason

The Florida High School Athletic Association state championship meets wrapped up this past weekend at the FAST Training Center in Ocala, and like the 1A and 2A meets, Coral Springs Swim Club was also represented at the 3A and 4A events. The FHSAA Class 4A meet was held on Friday, November 10th, and three CSSC team members were in competition, all swimming for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Valeria Anzures, Reese Balkcom and Carly Chin swam on relays for MSD, with Balkcom also competing individually.

Reese Balkcom qualified for states in both of her individual events, doing so by grabbing two second place finishes at the Region 4 meet the prior week. She earned a personal best time during her 200 yard freestyle swim at Regionals, and was just off a best time in the 500 yard freestyle.  Swimming both events at states, Balkcom did not qualify for the finals session, however, she improved her 200 yard freestyle even more during prelims.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas girls team qualified two relay teams to compete at 4A states.  They did so by putting together a District championship swim in the 200 yard medley relay, along with a second place result at regionals. At States, Valeria Anzures and Carly Chin joined two other MSD teammates and swam to a 14th place result, with Anzures swimming the breaststroke leg, and Chin finishing up the race with the freestyle.  In the 400 yard freestyle relay, a fourth place result at Regionals translated to a 17th place result at states, with Balkcom swimming the third leg, and Chin once again grabbing the anchor position.

Carolyn Powell was the lone CSSC representative at the FHSAA Class 3A State Championships, and although she was the only competitor, she represented CSSC and her school, St. Thomas Aquinas High School, extremely well during high school swim season.  Powell was District champ in the 100 yard backstroke, just barely out touching a St. Thomas teammate by 0.01 seconds.  She was also the third place finisher in the 100 yard butterfly and a member of two winning relay teams for St. Thomas, namely the 200 and 400 freestyle relays, with those same relay teams also winning at Regionals.  Powell took second at the Regional level in the 100 yard backstroke and third in the 100 yard butterfly, qualifying her for states in both of her individual events and both relays.

Individually, Carolyn swam a solid preliminary race in the 100 yard butterfly, qualifying her for the “A” final, where she finished eighth. In the 100 yard backstroke, Powell had another solid swim, placing tenth after the prelims session.  An outstanding swim in the “B” final vaulted her to a winning time and the “B” final championship. The St. Thomas 200 yard freestyle relay, with Powell as the anchor, finished a very impressive fifth overall at states, and the 400 yard freestyle relay touched in the eighth position, with Powell swimming the second leg. The St. Thomas Aquinas High School girls team finished an outstanding fourth place overall at states, with part of the success attributed to a very strong meet by Powell. Congratulations to all of the senior swimmers of Coral Springs Swim Club on outstanding high school seasons!


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