Viera High swim teams hope for big postseason run


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This year’s Viera High swim team captains are Grant Spence, left, Justin Scholl, Jocelyn Lott, Samantha Parris, Emilio Worden and Zach McDermott. Photo by Carl Kotala

The Viera High boys and girls swimming teams are already having a strong season … and it could get even better.

“In the past two years, we’ve had a little over 20 people qualify from districts to regionals, and I think we’ll have more this year,” coach Morgan Woodard said.

The district tournament was held Oct. 28 at North County Aquatic Center in Sebastian, with the regionals taking place Nov. 4 and 5 at the Rowdy Gaines Pool in Winter Haven.

Viera’s postseason got off to a good start earlier in the month when sophomore divers Sarah Rousseau and Ryan Just both won the Cape Coast Conference championship. Rousseau set a school record in that meet with 466.5 points. Dylan Parris, another sophomore, finished third.

Peter Haddad also had a big day, winning the 100 backstroke (58.69) and finishing second in the 100 freestyle (50.67). 

Overall, the girls finished second in the CCC, while the boys were fourth.

At the district meet, Viera’s girls were going for a third consecutive championship, which would be a perfect way to cap a season in which they defeated Cocoa Beach for the first time in the school’s 10-year history.

“That was shocking,” senior co-captain Jocelyn Lott said. “I thought it would be close, but I didn’t think we’d end up with the win. So when we got it, it was really cool. Everyone got really excited.”

Lott, who won a district championship in the 100 butterfly last year, is hoping to get back to the regionals again this year and possibly even get to state in the 200 freestyle relay.

“My relay is always really close in going to states, but we always just miss it,” she said. “Hopefully, we go this year.”

Lott is a co-captain this year along with Samantha Parris, Grant Spence, Emilio Worden, Justin Scholl and Zach McDermott.

Other top athletes include JT Barlett, Maria Torrez, Jordan Fleisher, Andie Wolfman, Karly Keysor and Abbey Ernst. 

Woodard coaches the team along with her mother, Debbie Tweedie, Sandy Spence and diving coach Randy Just.

Haddad, who broke the school record in the 100 freestyle (49.86) earlier this year, is a strong candidate to reach the state meet along with Rousseau and Just.

Others, like Spence — who set the school record in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.53) last year — also have a legitimate shot with a big day.

“I’m going to try for breaststroke, but we’ll see,” Spence said. “I’ll have to drop five or six seconds and then I’ll make it, and I’ll break the [school] record again.”

Spence has already been a part of a record-breaking team this season. Viera’s 400 free relay team of Spence, McDermott, Brennan Chase and Haddad broke the school record (3:36) by three seconds at the Cape Coast Conference meet. That group also has its sights set on making the state meet.