SIDELINES: Seabreeze swim teams fifth at state meet; FPC's Puritis picked for all-star volleyball game; cross country teams advance

Alexis O’Keefe, Cole Conlan and Martin Montalvo each earned runner-up medals for the Sandcrabs at the Class 2A state swimming championships.

Lily Puritis (26) serves against Deltona on Aug. 23. File photo by Brent Woronoff
Lily Puritis (26) serves against Deltona on Aug. 23. File photo by Brent Woronoff
Photo by Brent Woronoff
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Several Seabreeze swimmers took home multiple medals at the Class 2A state swimming championships on Nov. 3 in Ocala as the Sandcrabs placed fifth in both the boys and girls competitions.

Seabreeze's Mackenzie and Alexis O'Keefe at the Class 2A state swimming championships in Ocala. Courtesy photo

Freshman Alexis O’Keefe and juniors Cole Conlan and Martin Montalvo each earned runner-up medals.

O’Keefe placed second in the girls 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:53.66, improving on her preliminary time by eight-tenths of a second. Conlan placed second in the boys 100 butterfly in 50.14 seconds. Montalvo placed second in the boys 100 backstroke with a time of 51.66 seconds. Conlan placed fourth in the 100 backstroke (51.85).

Conlan, Montalvo, Kai McMeeking and Tyler Smith placed fifth in the 200 medley relay (1:38.22) and sixth in the 200 freestyle relay (1:29.29).

O’Keefe also placed fifth in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:08.88. And she won a fourth-place medal with Addie Smurdon, Laurel Carson and Mackenzie O’Keefe in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:40.00. The Sandcrabs were disqualified in the girls 400 freestyle relay because of an early takeoff after they had qualified third in prelims.

Mackenzie O’Keefe placed fourth in the 100 butterfly (57.14) and eighth in the 200 freestyle (1:58.99). She qualified for the A final by less than two-tenths of a second with a time of 1:57.69.

Montalvo won the B final in the 200 individual medley to finish ninth overall. His time of 1:58.29 would have placed him seventh in the A final, but his prelim time of 1:59.13 ranked 13th.

Carson placed sixth in the 50 free in 24.76 seconds. Smurdon won the B final in 24.68 to finish ninth. Her time would have placed her sixth in the A final.

Father Lopez's Maya Khanna, Nelanee Fulton, Chloe Hoff and Zoee Fulton swam in two relay events at the Class 1A swim championships. Courtesy photo

Smurdon was also ninth in the 100 free in 53.48 seconds, a time that also would have placed her sixth in the A final, but she missed A final qualification by just 6 one-hundredths of a second in the prelim.

At the Class 1A state meet, Father Lopez’s Nelanee Fulton placed sixth in the girls 200 IM with a time of 2:07.66. The Green Wave girls also broke two school records at the meet. Zoee Fulton broke her own mark in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:06.45 to finish 12th. The 400 freestyle relay team of Nelanee and Zoee Fulton, Chloe Hoff and Maya Khanna broke their own record with a time of 3:46.94 for 19th place. They also finished 16th in the 200 medley relay.


The Flagler Palm Coast boys and girls cross country teams advanced out of the “district of death.” Both teams advanced to this weekend’s regional with sixth-place finishes in the District 1-4A meet Nov. 4 at Santa Fe College in Gainesville.

The Bulldogs are not the only local team moving on to cross country regionals. The Mainland girls team was sixth, and the Seabreeze boys and girls were both seventh, at the District 3-3A meet at Central Winds Park in Winter Springs.

The Matanzas girls team was third, while the boys were sixth at the District 2-3A meet at Ponte Vedra High School. The Pirates will host the Region 1-3A meet at Matanzas High on Saturday, Nov. 11. The girls race is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., with the boys following at 9:30.

FPC will also host a regional, but it won’t be local. The Bulldogs will host the Region 1-4A meet on Friday, Nov. 10, at the New World Sports Complex in Jacksonville.

Braedyn Wormeck placed eighth for the FPC boys at district with a time of 16:09. The Bulldogs had six runners finish between 41st and 56th place. Hayden Herndon was 41st with a time of 16:46.4. Justin Gilliam also ran a sub-17 minute race with a 16:56.4 for 43rd place. Kamron Davis (17:09.9, 48th), Evan Williams (17:15.7, 53rd) and Jack Gilvary (17:17.6, 56th) all had personal-record times. Jevin Luna (17:15.7) was 54th.

Arianna Slaughter led the FPC girls with a PR time of 19:37.1 for 16th place. Cassidy De Young (20:26.1) was 29th. Taylor Novak (20:51.4, 44th), Isabella Tarsitano (20:57.3, 46th) and Madison Lagarde (21:00.2, 49th) all had PR times.

At the District 2-3A meet, Matanzas senior Sierra Howard placed 15th with a time of 20:40. Nina Rodriguez (21:16) was 21st; Noemi Malinowksi was 24th with a PR of 21:35; Chloe Irving (21:39) was 27th; and Sara Van Buren (22:11, PR) was 35th.

Christian Norfolk and Blaine Vogel led the Matanzas boys. Norfolk (17:12) was 15th; Vogel (17:17) was 16th.

At the District 3-3A meet, Mainland’s boys did not have enough runners to field a team, but Seth Rose qualified for region as the top runner not on a qualifying team. Rose placed 15th with a PR time of 17:50.1. Seabreeze’s Tyler Lewis (17:49.4) was 14th, while Sandcrabs teammate Hunter Shuler (17:53.7) was 16th.

Mainland’s Kiera Williams (22:21.5) and Taliyah Nixon (22:25.7) were 15th and 16th in the girls race. Seabreeze’s Riley Hale (22:28.8) finished 19th.


Flagler Palm Coast senior Lily Puritis has been selected to play in the Florida Athletic Coaches Association Volleyball All-Star Game on Nov. 18 at Southeastern University in Lakeland.

Puritis had 576 kills and 103 aces in her four years at FPC. This season, she ranked first in District 1-7A with 266 kills, second with 62 aces and fifth with 269 digs.


Matanzas opened its girls weightlifting season on Nov. 1 with a victory in a three-way match at home. The Pirates won three weight classes and scored 44 points to defeat Pedro Menendez (37) and Ponte Vedra (29).

Rilee Whitmore, who was the Pirates’ lone state qualifier last year, won at 169 pounds with a 310-pound total, the highest among all lifters in the meet. Ryann Parkinson won at 101 pounds with a 140 total. Alicia Naticchione won at 199 pounds with a 240 total.

FPC finished second in a four-way meet in both the traditional and Olympic categories. St. Cloud won both categories, while Harmony was third and Liberty was fourth in both. FPC’s Chloe Long (183) and Zoe Gotera (unlimited) won both categories. Madeline Brinker (101) won in Olympic lifts and tied for first in traditional. Leila Turner (139) won in the Olympic competition.

Gotera lifted a 185-pound clean and jerk to help her to a 310-pound Olympic total, which also includes the snatch; and a 315-pound traditional total, which includes the bench press. Turner had a 290-pound Olympic total and finished third in traditional with a 275-pound total, which was just five pounds lighter than the first-place total.

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