Jamaicans Jesse Marsh (Saint Andrews) and Nicholas Vale (Pine Crest) were among the medal winners at the Florida 1 A Championships on Friday Nov 11. The meet which took place at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart Florida saw the Jamaican contingent earning Silver and Bronze.
Marsh would be the first to win a medal. The Saint Andrews team of Nicholas Sharp backstroke (23.67), Bahamian Izaak Bastian breaststroke (25.40), Marsh butterfly (22.41) and Andrej Sokolovski freestyle (21.73) won Silver in the 200 yard medley relay in a time of 1:33.21. This bettered the school record of 1:34.21 that the team set in 2015. Marsh’s butterfly leg improved from 2015 when he had split 23.66. Of all the Florida Championships that were contested the Scots had 3rd fastest time. In the 400 yard freestyle relay his Scots team finished 6th with a time of 3:12.38. Jesse led off the team in a time of 48.40. In the 100 yard butterfly he finished 2nd in the B final in a time of 50.95 (split time 24.20) .That was an improvement from 2015 when he was 6th in the B final in a time of 52.38.In the 100 yard backstroke Marsh was 17th in a time of 54.45 (split time 26.23) bettering his 2015 time and position 24th in 56.41.
When asked about his performance Marsh had the following thoughts
“ I think it was a very good state championships for me, I was really happy with our relay team breaking the school record we got last year and getting all American. In the 100 fly I had a pretty good race breaking 51 for the first time but was unlucky in missing the school record of 50.8. Also leading off my relay with a 47.7 in the morning was really a great swim and I think this state championships have been a great stepping stone for the rest of my season.”
Teammate and countryman Nicholas Vale would earn his medal in the 400 yard freestyle relay. Vale split 46.74 on his third leg to move the Pine Crest team from 4th to 2nd . The team would fight on to win the Bronze. His teammates Christian Soderberg 47.70, Elvis Kotikovski 47.81 and Nicolas Ferrara 45.79 for a total time of 3:08.04 .It ranks the team as the 8th fastest in Florida.
In the 200 yard freestyle relay his Pine Crest team finished 5th in a time of 1:26.04. Vale’s contribution was a 3rd leg split of 21.16. In the 200 yard individual medley he was 6th in the B final in a time of 1:56.54 (split time 54.31). Nicholas had the following thoughts about his swims
“It was a great state meet overall for me. I made finals for the first time ever at a state championship in the 200 IM. I had a couple great relay swims as well in finals including a 22.6 fly split on the medley relay, 21.1 on the 200 free relay, and 46.74 on the 400 free relay. Going into the 4×100 our goal was to place in the top 3 and we were fortunately able to achieve that. We were very happy with the outcome of the relay and I was very pleased with my 46.74 split as it was a terrific swim for me. All these great swims have given me the confidence I need going into Carifta next year”.
Pine Crest finished 3rd in the boys standings with 202 points. Saint Andrews was 4th with 177 points.