Tankersley & Donahue Represent GTSA & Florida at Age Group Zones


            This past week the Florida Zone Team traveled to San Antonio, TX to compete in the Southern Zone Age Group Championships.  For those of you who do not know, Florida’s Zone Team consists of 8 guys and 8 girls in each age group.  Those 48 swimmers compete in a 4½ day meet against all-star teams from Texas to West Virginia.  This year, GTSA’s Morgan Tankersley, Gabby Donahue, and Coach Ryan Gober were selected to represent Florida.

            This meet not only has an extremely high talent level, but only 8 swimmers qualify for finals in each age group.  This made the accomplishments of the two girls representing GTSA that much more impressive.  The two of them combined to finish top 8 in 7 of the 12 events in which they participated.  Both girls also participated on multiple relays, 3 of which finished in the top 3.

            Morgan finished Top 8 on 4 different occasions.  The first came in the 800 Freestyle where she touched the wall 3rd, similarly she also finished 3rd in the 200 Backstroke.  Morgan’s final individual swim was arguably her best when she finished the 400 Freestyle in 2nd place with a time of 4:23.3.  That time was good enough to qualify her for the 2014 USA Swimming Winter Junior Nationals.

            Gabby also had a very successful week.  She began the week with an 8th place finish in the 50 Breaststroke, and backed that up with a 2nd place finish in the 100 Backstroke.  The most exciting part of the meet for Gabby was the 50 Backstroke.  She touched the wall in an exceptional time of 30.63.  Not only was that good enough to win the championship, it was also a new Southern Zone Record and Florida State Record.  The old state record was 31.30.  Gabby’s time was also the 12th fastest time in US history for 11-12 girls and the 2nd fastest time this year.

            As we have come to expect, these girls not only represented our club amazingly well in the pool, but also out of the pool.  I think if you ask both of them they would say that the Zone meet is an awesome experience and something all of our swimmers should strive to be a part of!  Make sure to congratulate the girls when you see them next!