- September 28, 2021
Several months ago, MaxPreps.com---America’s largest news source for high school sports---posted an article that highlighted 30 of what it considered to be the greatest high school athletes of the last decade. Some of those included now-professional stars like NFL’s Kyler Murray, PGA champion Jordan Spieth and WNBA champion Brianna Stewart. While all 30 accomplished incredible feats during their high school careers, none graced the high school podium as a state champion more than Flagler Palm Coast’s Micayla Cronk, who has won seven Florida High School Athletic Association swimming championships.
Cronk capped off her high school swimming career by winning a fourth straight 100-meter freestyle title and a third straight 200-meter freestyle title (she didn’t attempt this race as a freshman) at the Class 4A Swimming State Championships Saturday, Nov. 7, in Stuart.
“It was an amazing experience,” Cronk said, “but most of all, fun. This entire year has been hectic and unexpected. With such an unpredictable year, I didn’t expect to win any race, so to win both the 100 and 200 freestyles was the greatest feeling. It’s always the best feeling when you can reach one of your goals. So, walking away with two more medals to add to the collection is always nice.”
Cronk, a University of Florida commit, finished the 200-meter race in 1:46:23, but she nearly broke her 100-meter record from
last year (48:20) with a 48:78, which even surprised herself.
“This year, training has been very different,” she said. “At the height of the coronavirus, all pools were shut down, and there
was no place to swim. I was forced to do exercises at home until we could get back in, which would be months later.”
When it comes to Micayla’s devotion to swimming and her work ethic, no one quite understands these like her mother, Jennifer, who daily drives her 3 hours a roundtrip to practice in Oviedo. Jennifer has seen her daughter blossom from a 7-year-old beginner in the Florida Age Group to a high school 7-time champion, a college commit and even an Olympic Trial participant.
“Micayla has a very bright future,” Jennifer said. “Micayla’s drive in the pool carries over in all aspects of her life. She has a tenacity that allows her to strive for greatness in everything she pursues. She’s got her sights set on the Olympics one day and will be swimming at Olympic Trials in June. We are extremely proud of this beautiful young lady that is our daughter.”
Just a day after she returned home from states, Cronk hit the interstate again and headed to practice. When asked about a lack of a break, she said, “Next, I’ve got the US Open this coming weekend, and in December I have Junior Nationals. Next spring, I will be at the Olympic Trials. States may have been the end of my high school swimming career, but the rest of this year is just beginning.”