Championship Meet Wrap-Up

In the sport of swimming, every calendar year is broken into two seasons, one in which we train in short-course (25 yard) pools and one in long-course (50-meter) pools. Each season is composed of multiple in-season meets and ends with a series of championship meets at area, state, regional, national, and international levels. Championship meets require qualification times for every event. Our swimmers work very hard each season to train and achieve those qualification times so they can compete in the championships.

A quick review of GSC’s summer championship meets reveals the great accomplishments of our swimmers at all age and group levels.


Speedo Sectional Meet (July 6–9, Gainesville)

This meet was actually hosted by GSC at the O'Dome and we did a great job hosting and achieving noteworthy results in the pool. This was a high-level meet with over 90 teams participating. Gator Swim Club dominated the meet and won first place with more than double the points of the second-place team (GSC 3007 points to Bolles School 1453). Individual and relay events won by our swimmers are too numerous to list, and some of our professional swimmers (training with GSC and co-coached by Coach Robert) participated as well.


FLAGs—Florida Age Group Champs (July 12–15, Sarasota)

We had 28 participants at this meet, the most GSC has ever had. Fourteen swimmers made finals and scored points for GSC: Samantha Belmore, Peyton Brooks, Alex Bungert, Abraham Burangulov, Laci Herron, Chris Jeong, Sydney Kang, David Lee, Juliana Lopez, Abbie McGovern, Lillian Nesty, Dante Reccoppa, Gwen Shahboz, and Eva Whitehead. We had 4 individual Florida champions: Abraham Burangulov in the 50 and 100 breast, Sydney Kang in the 50 free, Juliana Lopez in the 200 breast, and Abbie McGovern in the 50 back. In addition, top-8 placements were achieved by Samantha Belmore, Alex Bungert, Gwen Shahboz, and Eva Whitehead. Our girls’ 10-and-under 200 medley relay placed 2nd, girls’ 13–14 200 and 400 medley relays placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively, and most of our other relays were in the top 12. Overall, combined scores for GSC brought us to 4th place with 1006 points, one of the highest placements ever, with the boys placing 11th and girls 2nd overall. All in all an excellent meet for GSC!


Florida Senior Championships (July 19–22, St. Petersburg)

We had 29 participants for this meet. An interesting fact is that as a club we had at least twice this number of swimmers qualify for this meet but due to overlapping meets many chose instead to attend higher-level meets on subsequent weekends. Another interesting fact is that every swimmer who competed at this meet scored points. This is unusual enough that I believe other teams cannot claim a feat such as this. GSC members who attended and scored were Kirschtine Balbuena, Georgia Bates, Tori Bindi, Dylan Brisco, Gerrit Buch, Savannah Buch, Nick Caruso, Evan Conklin, Maddy Conway, Katie Cronin, Alec Dawson, Nick Eunice, Ivan Gutierrez, Bryan Han, Jayden Herron, Laci Herron, Jacob Hyde, Sydney Kang, Kyle Liu, Noah Manera, Trevor McGovern, Tony Menacho, Madison Moffitt, Julian Newman, Brandon Parramore, Dylan Parramore, Gabriella Reeves, and Lain Shahboz.

Individual Florida champions were Kirschtine Balbuena (100 back), Tori Bindi (100 and 200 free), Dylan Brisco (200 breast), Madison Conway (200 back), Lain Shahboz (15-16 200 Back), Alec Dawson (100 and 200 fly), and Sydney Kang (50 free and 200 IM). In addition, GSC won the women’s 200 and 400 free relays, and the men’s400 and 800 free and 400 medley relays.

Overall, GSC came in 3rdplace with 1717.5 points (just shy of 2nd place by 2.5 points!), with the men placing 2nd (800.5 points) and women placing 3rd (917 points). 


Area 1 & 4 Champs (July 28–29, Tallahassee)

GSC had 40 members participate in this championship meet, with 38 scoring points, across all age categories (8 and under, 10 and under, 11–12, 13–14, 15–18, and open). In addition to significant time drops across the board and too many top-20 finishes to list, GSC had the following first-place finishers:

Ceridwen Anghaie (10&U 50 fly, 100 fly, 200 free)
Zoe Blaskowski (15–18 50 free)
Nicholas Caruso (15–18 200 fly, 500 free)
Evan Conklin (15–18 200 IM, 100 back)
Mackenzie Conklin (open 500 free)
Lucas Cruz (13–14 200 IM, 100 breast, 200 breast)
Bryan Han (open 100 fly)
Jayden Herron (open 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 100 back, 200 back, 500 free)
Laci Herron (open 200 fly, 100 free)
Talia Herron (11–12 100 fly, 200 free)
Sebastian Jeong (10&U 100 IM, 50 breast, 100 breast, 50 free, 100 free, 50 fly)
George Li (8&U 50 back)
Abbie McGovern (11–12 50 free)
Emma McGovern (8&U 50 back)
Tara McGovern (13–14 50 free)
Ethan Nonato (8&U 25 breast)
Grace Panna (8&U 25 back, 25 fly)
Brendan Short (15–18 400 IM)

Phillips 66 National Championships (July 25–29, Irvine, CA)

GSC had 10 members at this top U.S. national meet. Eight of our swimmers made finals in multiple events, including three 17-year-olds (Talia Bates, Caitlin Brooks, and Julian Hill) who competed against athletes who were college-age and older. Caeleb Dressel, who trains with GSC’s professional group, qualified for the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Tokyo; Gregg Troy, who co-coaches the professional group with Coach Robert, was named as a coach for the American team competing at Pan Pacs. You can follow Pan Pac results at


Pan American Masters Championships (July 28–August 4, 2018, Orlando)

Members of the GSC masters program brought home 26 top-10 finishes at this meet, including 6 first-place finishes and a world record for Holly Green Blair (50 back). Bhakti Sharma took 2nd place in the open-water 5K.


Southern Zone Champs (July 31–August 4, Midland, TX)

Coach Erin was selected as head coach for the Florida Swimming team, comprised of the best swimmers from our LSC (local swim committee, one of two in Florida). Thirteen LSCs sent teams of their best swimmers to this meet. Florida Swimming won all three titles (combined, men’s, and women’s). Jayden Herron from GSC swam on the final relay, which clinched the title for the men’s team.


Speedo Junior National Championships (July 31–August 4, Irvine, CA)

Gator Swim Club had two members competing at this meet (Talia Bates and Julian Hill). Talia made finals in 4 events, coming in 4th in 100 fly. Julian made finals in 3 events, placing 2nd in the 200 free and 3rd in the 400 free. GSC came in 20th overall out of 160 teams that participated. Julian has a real chance to be selected to the U.S. Junior National Team, which takes the top six in each event (to be announced in September).


From our youngest members to our professionals, GSC swimmers worked hard all season to achieve these impressive results. Each new season presents opportunities for continued improvement and additional qualifying times, which is why coaches are so dedicated to encouraging consistent and challenging training, and why our swimmers attend practice after practice.

Many thanks to our parents, staff, and athletes for a great effort this summer. Congratulations to all, and go GSC!