Creekside girls win state swimming; FPC’s Cronk defends titles

Members of the Creekside girls swimming team pose on the podium after winning the Class 4A swimming and diving championship on Saturday night in Stuart. (Photo provided by Creekside swim team) (Creekside Swimming, News4Jax)

The Creekside girls swimming team is back on track and Flagler Palm Coast’s Micayla Cronk is still untouchable.

The Knights won the Class 4A team state title on Saturday night in Stuart, their fourth consecutive year that they’ve finished as champ or runner-up. The Knights won back-to-back titles in 2017-18. They were state runners-up in 2019, the only blemish that prevented a four-peat.

This time, they used depth and high finishes to beat Oviedo (271-246).

Flagler Palm Coast’s Cronk, the reigning News4Jax swimmer of the year, defended her crowns in the 200 free and the 100 free. She won the 200 in 1:46.23 and the 100 in 48.78, both times garnering automatic All-American honors.

On the boys side, Creekside (192.5) finished as state runner-up to Oviedo (216) and led a strong showing from St. Johns County programs in the pool. Bartram Trail (188) and Nease (169) were third and fourth. The Knights had a state champ in the 200 free relay event and the Bears had gold in the 200 medley relay.

Overall, the day belonged to the Creekside girls and FPC’s Cronk, a University of Florida commit.

The Creekside girls 200 medley relay team of Grace Gavin, Madison Koutavas, Jennifer Bird and Emma Chestang won their event with a 1:43.93 to earn automatic All-American honors. Anna Gavin, Anna Moore, Grace Gavin and Brooke Arnold were fourth in the 200 free relay with a 1:35.35 for automatic All-American recognition.

Arnold was fourth individually in the 200 free (1:49.40). Bird and Gavin went 3-4, respectively, in the 100 back and Koutavas and Moore went 3-4 in the 100 breast.

Nease’s Olivia Peoples had a stellar state meet, garnering dual automatic All-American accolades in the 100 fly and 100 breast and taking state runner-up honors in both. Peoples, who set the state record in the 100 fly last year, was state runner-up in 53.41 Saturday. She had a 1:02.40 in the 100 breast.

Bartram’s Haley Harris was third in the girls 200 IM (2:03.52) and earned All-American consideration. Teammate Lauren Miller was third in diving (442.25).

The Bartram boys 200 medley relay team of Mason Campbell, Nicholas Tayag, Raymond Prosinski and Macguire McDuff won the event in 1:33.25 for automatic All-American honors. The Bears' 400 free relay team was state runner-up.

The Creekside boys squad of Miller, Gapinski, Aidan Henry and Jacob Douberly won the 200 free relay (1:24.10) in automatic All-American time. Nease was third (1:28.01).

Nease’s Jonathan Kim was a dual state runner-up, once in the 200 IM (1:51.29) and the second in the 100 breast (56.58).

Sandalwood’s Larry Salls had an automatic All-American time of 19.94 to finish runner-up in the local-heavy 50 free field. Bartram’s McDuff (20.14), Atlantic Coast’s Rian Covington (20.68) and Creekside’s Dominic Miller (20.74) followed in 3-5.

Mandarin’s Gage Hulbert (49.32) and Creekside’s Miller (49.56) finished 3-4 in the 100 fly. In the 100 free, McDuff was state runner-up (44.32) with an automatic All-American time. Salls was fourth in 44.79 for All-American honors and Creekside’s David Gapinski was fifth. Bartram’s Mason Campbell was third in the 100 back (50.93)

Nease’s Patric Adams (391.50) finished fifth in diving. Atlantic Coast’s Jack Hall was fifth in the 500 free in 4:34.33.

It was a good two days in Stuart for area teams.

On Friday, Fleming Island’s girls finished as state runner-up in Class 3A.

The 200 medley relay team of Sarah Grimm, Emma Grimm, Abree Clark and Christine Johnson won the event in 1:46.97. The Fleming 200 free relay team was state runner-up, with Maryn McDade joining the Grimms and Johnson on the team. McDade also had a third in the 50 free (23.84) and a third in the 100 free (52.50). Emma Grimm was third in the 100 breast (1:05.97) and fourth in the 50 free in 24.09. Teammate Julia Cheffler was fourth in the 100 breast (1:06.28).

The Golden Eagles had 208 points as a team, not far behind champ Chiles (242). The Fleming Island boys were seventh.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.