High school swimming: West Port wins boys and girls MCIAC titles for first time since 2018

West Port won the boys and girls overall team titles at Saturday's MCIAC swimming championships in Ocala, sweeping the honors for the first time since 2018.

The boys, with a score of 548, topped Vanguard, which scored 292, good for second but almost half of West Port’s total. West Port girls won 526 to 485 over second-place Vanguard.

Forest, Belleview, and Dunnellon boys and girls teams took third, fourth, and fifth place in the Marion County meet at FAST (Florida Aquatics Swimming and Training). North Marion’s girls and Lake Weir’s boys earned sixth place.

More results: Marion County high school sports highlights and schedule this week

Last season: Forest senior Riley Sampson is Star-Banner all-county swimmer of the year

Last season: West Port junior Lea Opdyke is Star-Banner all-county swimmer of the year

Marion County swim teams may have fewer participants than in years past, but this year’s group will do down in history. Eight MCIAC records were broken Saturday morning.

West Port's Caleb Rohacs finishes the 100-yard fly during the MCIAC swimming championships in Ocala, on Sept. 24, 2022.
West Port's Caleb Rohacs finishes the 100-yard fly during the MCIAC swimming championships in Ocala, on Sept. 24, 2022.

West Port’s dominance in the pool isn’t new; its boys and girls teams have taken first or second for the past decade. The Wolf Pack boys took down relay records they’ve held for years. The boys 200-yard medley set in 2013 was crushed by almost eight seconds. Last year’s record-setting 200-yard freestyle was improved by more than 2.5 seconds. This year’s group shed more than 10 seconds off 2015’s 400-yard freestyle relay.

“It was anticipated that some of those records would be challenged today,” said West Port head swim coach Greg Humphries.

West Port was the host school for the event and will also be for districts. The Wolf Pack protected home well, with the girls breaking records, too. This year’s group would eclipse 2020’s record-setting 200-yard freestyle by more than a second.

“I was proud of all the swims. As far as the boys, some of our expected top-level swimmers performed to our expectations. Some exceeded those,” said Humphries.

Wolf Pack swimmers took first place in 13 out of 18 individual events. Sabian Branch took first in the boys’ 200-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle. Jeffrey Wolfe was first in the boys’ 200-yard individual medley and broke an MCIAC record in the 100-yard backstroke. Justin Sosa was .19 seconds off the boys’ 50-yard freestyle MCIAC record. Isabelle Rhodes won the girls’ 1-meter dive. Caleb Rohacs won the 100-yard freestyle and butterfly. Layla Watson won the 100-yard backstroke as a freshman. Madeleine Shawhan won the girls’ 100-yard breaststroke. Micah Rohacs took first in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Senior Lea Opdyke, the Star-Banner swimmer of the year last season, left with MCIAC records in 50 and 100-yard freestyles. Opdyke improved last year’s second place MCIAC 100-yard freestyle time by 2.91 seconds. She was the anchor on West Port’s near record-setting 400-yard freestyle, making a monster push to edge out Vanguard, who had the lead majority of the race.

“She’s trained hard, utilized the weight room facilities here," Humphries said of Opdyke working out at FAST. "That hard work pays off.”

He believes Opdyke could be one of the first West Port girls to swim fast enough to earn a scholarship to swim at the collegiate level. 

Vanguard girls challenged West Port all morning. The Knights took the 200-yard medley relay over the Wolf Pack to start the event. Nicole Shanks, a member of the 200 medley relay team, won the 200-individual medley for the Knights.

Nicole Shanks of Vanguard after winning the 200 IM during the MCIAC swimming championships at FAST.
Nicole Shanks of Vanguard after winning the 200 IM during the MCIAC swimming championships at FAST.

Forest’s Ashley Sampson had a good day competing in long distance events. She claimed first in the 200-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle. Sampson was just over a second from tying University of Florida swimmer and junior Olympian Elise Bauer’s 2018 record.

Belleview's Macy Fraunfelter and Derek Balliet also were standouts in the pool. Both made podium finishes in each race they joined. Fraunfelter placed second in the 50 and 100 yard freestyles along with third-place finishes as part of the 200 freestyle and 200 medley relays. Balliet took third place in the 50 yard freestyle, second place as part of the 200 freestyle relay, and third 200 medley relay.

Let’s get into each team’s performance and how they made their mark on Saturday morning. 

Swimming and diving results from MCIAC championships

Team Scores 

Girls: 1. West Port 526; 2. Vanguard 485; 3. Belleview 291; 4. Forest 69; 5. Dunnellon 33; 6. North Marion 14.

Boys: 1. West Port 548; 2. Vanguard 292; 3. Belleview 291; 4. Forest 148; 5. Dunnellon 135; 6. Lake Weir 3.

Girls Individual Results

50-freestyle: 1. Lea Opdyke, WPHS 25.61; 2. Macy Fraunfelter, Belleview 29.00; 3. Alexandra Urzua-Geraud, VHS 30.88

100-freestyle: 1. Lea Opdyke, WPHS 55.33; 2. Macy Fraunfelter, BHS 58.24; 3. Allison Soloman, WPHS 1:13:88

200-freestyle: 1. Ashley Sampson, FHS 1:58.86; 2. Campbell Stever, VHS 2:03.15; 3. Molly Allen, WPHS 2:10.25

500-freestyle: 1. Ashley Sampson, FHS 5:12.18, 2. Campbell Stever, VHS 5:18.57; 3. Nicole Shanks, FHS 5:28.77

100-backstroke: 1. Layla Watson, WPHS 1:09.10; 2. Kendall O’Conner, VHS 1:10.64; 3. Isabelle Rhodes, WPHS 1:11.98

100-breaststroke: 1. Madeleine Shawhan, WPHS 1:20.67; 2. Kathryn Wolfe, WPHS 1:21.59; 3. Alexandra Urzua-Geraud, VHS 1:28.24

100-butterfly: 1. Molly Allen, FHS 1:06.99; 2. Bethany Allen, WPHS 1:08.59; 3. Kyla Clark, BHS 1:38.08

200-IM: 1. Nicole Shanks, VHS 2:23.51; 2. Kendall O’Conner, VHS 2:36.88; 3. Madeleine Shawhan, WPHS 2:38.34

200-freestyle relay: 1. WPHS 1:51.04(Molly Allen, Opdyke, Wolfe, Shawhan); 2. VHS 2:13.12 (Alexandra Urzua-Geraud, Khindistt Acuna, Karli Cupit, Leah Joree); 3. BHS 2:21.35 (Leilani Jones, Addison Kurzhais, Zoya Baty, Fraunfelter)

400-freestyle relay: 1. WPHS 3:56.10 (Molly Allen, Opdyke, Bethany Allen, Watson); 2. VHS 4:04.33 (Stever, Shanks, O’conner, Vega); 3. BHS 5:44.56 (Annabelle Lopiano, Kamryn Clark, Kyla Clark, Flavia Nieves)

200-medley relay: 1. VHS 2:07.90 (Kendall O’Conner, Nicole Shanks, Campbell Stever, Daniela Vega); 2. WPHS 2:09.95 (Bethany Allen, Layla Watson, Wolfe, Shawhan); 3. BHS 2:37.61 (Zoya Baty, Addison Kurzhals, Fraunfelter, Leilani Jones)

1 meter diving: Isabelle Rhodes, WPHS 147.60; Kathryn Wolfe, WPHS 136.95; Layla Watson, WPHS 120.75

West Port’s Jeffrey Wolfe does the breaststroke during the 200 IM during the MCIAC swimming championships in Ocala, on Sept. 24, 2022.
West Port’s Jeffrey Wolfe does the breaststroke during the 200 IM during the MCIAC swimming championships in Ocala, on Sept. 24, 2022.

Boys Individual Results

50-freestyle: 1. Justin Sosa, WPHS 24.42; 2. Ethan Taylor, WPHS 25.18; 3. Derek Balliet, BHS 25.50

100-freestyle: 1. Caleb Rohacs, WPHS 50.69; 2. Justin Sosa, WPHS 53.34; 3. Dillon Barton, VHS 57.85

200-freestyle: 1. Sabian Branch, WPHS 1:46.09; 2. Ben Camp, FHS 1:52.02; 3. Dillon Barton, VHS 2:15.71

500-freestyle: 1. Sabian Branch, WPHS 4:48.42; 2. Bryce LaBonte, FHS 4:56.65; 3. Seth Hyde, WPHS 5:04.73

100-backstroke: 1. Jeffrey Wolfe, WPHS 54.64; 2. Bryce LaBonte, VHS 59.92; 3. Juan Carlos Foster, WPHS 1:03.49

100-breaststroke: 1. Micah Rohacs, WPHS 1:05.56; 2. Ethan Taylor, WPHS 1:13.52; 3. Aiden Chang, WPHS 1:25.07

100-butterfly: 1. Caleb Rohacs, WPHS 52:00; 2. Ben Camp, FHS 52:45; 3. Skyler Allen, WPHS 1:01.38

200-IM: 1. Jeffrey Wolfe, WPHS 2:09.91; 2. Seth Hyde, WPHS 2:15.12; 3. Logan Martin, WPHS 2:17.15

200-freestyle relay: 1. WPHS 1:35.59 (Ethan Taylor, Micah Rohacs, Sosa, Branch); 2. BHS 1:45.67 (Garrett Payne, Caleb Bowling, Attenhofer, Balliet); 3. DHS 2:02.97 (Adam Fontaine, Eliyah Bennoon, Illia Vernon, Dawson Cook)

400-freestyle relay: 1. WPHS 3:20.40 (Branch, Hyde, Caleb Rohacs, Jeffrey Wolfe); 2. VHS 3:51.67 (LaBonte, Barton, Samuel Tull, Victor Morono); 3. BHS 4:40.29 (Jeremiah Taddeo, Caleb Bowling, Kristopher Clark, Bennett Gallaher)

200-medley relay: 1. WPHS 1:42.53 (Jeffrey Wolfe, Micah Rohacs, Caleb Rohacs, Sosa); 2. VHS 1:55.98 (Bryce LaBonte, Samuel Tull, Martin Angeles, Jameson Goodwin); 3. BHS 2:04.18 (Caedmon Attenhofer, Jeremiah Taddeo, Garrett Payne, Derek Balliet)

1 meter diving: Chase Collins, WPHS 174.30;

This article originally appeared on Ocala Star-Banner: High school swimming: West Port tops Vanguard for MCIAC team titles