It took 75 years for a Northeast Florida public school to get back on top of the state girls swimming podium.
So this time, they made it a one-two.
Creekside’s girls team earned the overall team title and Bartram Trail’s girls took second place in Saturday’s Class 4A swimming championships at Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Center in Stuart.
A year after Bartram Trail became the first Northeast Florida public school to win a girls team swimming championship since Fletcher in 1941, their neighbors and rivals doubled the fun for St. Johns County.
Relays made the difference for the Knights.
Creekside won the medley relay and placed second in the other two, earning 112 points from just those three events to finish with 237 overall. That placed them comfortably ahead of the 160 of Bartram Trail, and both smoothly outdistanced third-place Tallahassee Chiles with 141.
The Knights’ night began with victory in the medley relay, where Abigail Ellis, Taylor Thomson, Aubrey Miller and Anna Gapinski combined to touch first in 1:46.58.
Only Land O’Lakes Sunlake, who edged the Creekside girls by 0.15 seconds in the 200 free relay, and the Bears, who pulled out the 400 free relay by 0.14 seconds, denied the Knights a clean sweep of the relays.
Creekside supplemented those points with high finishes - Miller took fourth in the 100 fly and Lia Campbell placed third in the 50 free - plus unmatched depth, placing their second and third swimmers into the points in multiple races.
And when the Knights didn’t make the podium, the neighboring Bears very often did.
Although Bartram Trail didn’t repeat its 2016 girls championship, the Bears tasted victory in the 400 free relay, where Summer Stanfield, Lexi Smith, Lilly McCabe and Nicole Sowell combined to win in 3:30.09, within the threshold for All-American consideration.
Bartram Trail’s Nathan Howze finished first in boys diving, becoming the second Bear to win that event following Stephen Andrews in 2006.
The Bears’ Jack VanDeusen placed second in the boys 200 IM and second in the 500 free, and joined Jacob Camp, Mason Ray and Christopher Sylvester to finish second in the 400 free relay.
Stanfield finished second in the girls 200 IM in 2:02.52 and third in the 100 back.
Nease also joined the winning parade. Freshman Olivia Peoples made her introduction to the state meet by winning the 100 breaststroke in an impressive 1:03.90 and taking fourth place in the 200 IM, and Ria Malhotra came in second in the 50 free.
Atlantic Coast’s Jackson Skigen also finished third in the boys 100 breast.
Bartram Trail finished third in the boys team standings with 153 points, making the podium in both the boys and girls event. Tallahassee Chiles won the overall boys championship.