All-News4JAX girls swimming: Another Fresh performance for Bolles

The All-News4JAX fall sports teams will be released Dec. 27 through Jan. 5. (News4JAX)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Manita Sathianchokwisan is always on the move.

It’s the only way to get better, even if that means moving half the world away.

And the Bolles senior and All-News4JAX girls swimmer of the year has done that in each of her three seasons with the program.

It just took a lot to get here for the girl who goes by the name ‘Fresh.’

It’s not exactly an easy or well-traveled path from Sisaket, Thailand to Jacksonville. But it’s one that she’d make again if she had to.

Now, the goals are to win a championship at the college level (Sathianchokwisan has signed with Texas A&M) and eventually represent Thailand in the Olympics.

Sathianchokwisan started swimming when she was 4 and competed in her first meet a year after that. But the two biggest moments of her swimming career both came with big moves.

The first came for Sathianchokwisan was 10. Her family moved from her hometown of Sisaket, Thailand to Bangkok. That small town-to-big city-move put Sathianchokwisan on a much larger platform to compete in. The move paid off. Sathianchokwisan made the junior national team for Thailand when she was 12 and competed in the country’s Asian Games not long after that.

To take the next step in her career required another significant move, leaving family and friends back in Bangkok and moving to Jacksonville to board and swim at Bolles.

“Back home, we kind of don’t have a high school season, they just have a club team,” she said. “So, when I came here, it’s a lot different from back home. Like the team’s a lot bigger and everything. Like this year, the team got a lot bigger than usual. And I feel like it’s making me like learn more about the people here, too. And Coach Peter [Verhoef] also helped me get better on swimming, too.”

Sathianchokwisan arrived at Bolles in 2019 and honed in on two individual events, the 50 and 100 free. She was state runner-up in those events in both the 2019 and ‘20 seasons. As a senior, Sathianchokwisan finally won her first individual gold, posting a 49.10 to win the 100 free. She took second again in the 50 free. Sathianchokwisan also anchored the state champ 200 free relay team and the second-place 400 free relay team.

The next step — making the transition to college and then, the Olympics.

“So, for college I’m seeing myself like winning the NCAA championship,” she said. “And as far like Thailand’s team, going to Olympic games and winning a medal, that’s my next goal.”

All-News4JAX girls swimming team

First team

Athlete, School, Class

Rylie Darkatsh, Stanton, So.

Two-time state champion is out to exceptional start in her career. Scored 428.75 at the Class 2A state meet, a big jump over her point total in 2020 (378.70).

Grace Gavin, Creekside, Sr.

State champ in the 100 back but turned in her top time (54.82) in the prelims. That time earned All-American consideration. Fourth place in 200 IM but swam best time (2:05.53) in the state prelims. Swam lead leg on both the fifth-place 200 medley relay team (1:46.28) and the 200 free relay team (1:36.08). The latter time, which came in the prelims, earned All-American consideration.

Reilly McCabe, Bartram Trail, Sr.

Sixth in the 100 free (51.85). Seventh in 50 free in 23.59, narrowly missing All-American consideration time. Anchor leg on eighth-place 200 free relay team.

Maryn McDade, Fleming Island, So.

State champ in the 50 free, with All-American consideration and her best time in the prelims (23.37). State runner-up in the 100 free in 51.47. Swam second leg on eighth-place 400 free relay team.

Megan McGrath, Bolles, Sr.

Two-time All-News4JAX selection. Navy signee was state champ in the 200 free with automatic All-American time of 1:48.60. Third in 100 fly (55.02), earning All-American consideration. Swam second leg of state champ 200 free relay team, which earned automatic All-American time of 1:32.68. Swam lead leg of state runner-up 400 free relay team with another automatic All-American time (3:23.51).

Anna Moore, Creekside, Sr.

Had a 1:03.62 to earn All-American consideration in 100 breast. Finished fourth in Class 4A state meet. Swam second leg of 200 free relay team, which finished fifth. Fourth in 100 free, although best time (51.17) came in prelims. Also swam anchor leg on fifth-place 200 medley relay team.

Manita Sathianchokwisan, Bolles, Sr.

All-News4JAX swimmer of the year. Three-time All-News4JAX selection. State champ in the 100 free in 49.10. State runner-up in the 50 free (22.38). Anchored the state champ 200 free relay team (1:32.68) and the state runner-up 400 free relay team (3:23.51). All those times earned automatic All-American honors.

Mary Agnes Smith, Ponte Vedra

Swam second leg of state runner-up 400 free relay team (3:35.66) and third leg of state champ 200 medley relay team (1:46.05). Fifth place in the 200 free (1:54.69) and fifth in the 100 fly (56.69)

Jessica Strong, Bolles, Sr.

State champ in the 100 breast in 1:02.57 and swam second leg of the state champ 200 medley relay team (1:43.95). Both times were automatic All-American qualifiers. Second team All-News4JAX last year.

Gwyneth Sturm, Stanton, Sr.

Finished fifth place in Class 2A state meet in 5:08.29.

Ann Wohlgemuth, Ponte Vedra

State runner-up in the 100 back (53.85), which qualified for automatic All-American honors. Also took fourth in the 100 fly (56.41). Swam lead leg of the state champ 200 medley relay team (1:46.05) and the second leg of the 200 free relay team (1:36.27), both earning All-American consideration. Helped lead Sharks to Class 3A team state title.

Second team

Athlete, School, Class

Jayla Covington, Atlantic Coast, Fr.

Holly Cox, Ponte Vedra, Sr.

Avery Dixon, Creekside, Sr.

Christine Johnson, Fleming Island, Sr.

Olivia Copland, Ponte Vedra, Jr.

Lila Higgo, Bolles, Fr.

Isabella Marim, Stanton, Jr.

Olivia Moore, Nease, Fr.

Julia Murphy, Bolles, So.

Brinkley Watson, Paxon, Jr.

Penelope Zarczynski, Ponte Vedra, Fr.

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.