Trinidad and Tobago’s Gabriela Donahue was a member of an impressive Henry B Plant high school 4 x 100 yard freestyle relay that won the event at the FHSAA (Florida High School Athletic Association) 4A championships. The venue was the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart Florida.
On Friday Nov 5 the Panthers team had posted a morning heats time of 3:25.51. In the final the team of Catarina Sterlacci (52.11), Sidney Whitfield (51.83), Donahue (52.06) and Morgan Tankersley (47.80) set a winning time of 3:23.80. That performance was a school record and just missed the Saint Andrew’s state record of 3:23.40.
Donahue would be on the podium again in the 200 yard medley relay. The Panthers team of Gabriela backstroke (26.34), Caroline Ross breaststroke (30.22), Sterlacci butterfly (24.96) and Tankersley (22.14) won the Silver in a school record of 1:43.66.
Her teammate Tankersley would set a school and state record in the 500 yard freestyle. She posted a time of 4:37.60 to take down the Florida State record of legendary Jamaican distance freestyler Janelle Atkinson.
On Nov 18, 1999 Janelle had set a mark of 4:37.91 just missing the overall high school record of American distance queen Janet Evans of 4:37.30. Atkinson would later be named Female Prep Swimmer of the Year for 1999 by the influential Swimming World magazine.
Gabriela would place 2nd in the consolation final of the 100 yard backstroke in a time of 58.46.She would place 22nd in the 200 yard individual medley in a time of 2:12.62.
Also competing at the meet was Jamaica’s Gabrianna Banks. Banks, who represented Cypress Bay, took top hours in the consolation final of the 50 yard freestyle touching the wall in a time of 24.03.Her team took 6th in the consolation final of the 200 yard freestyle relay in a time of 1:41.11.
Henry B Plant was 2nd in the female category with 2nd with 204 points and Cypress Bay placed 30th with 15 points.