Viera swim teams repeat as district champs despite weather issues


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Once again, it's been a successful season for the Viera High boys and girls swimming teams, which each won the district championship last month. It was the fourth straight win for the Viera girls, while the boys won their second in a row.

photo courtesy of Debbie Tweedie

Bad weather — including Hurricane Matthew — may have wreaked havoc with their schedule this season, but that hasn’t stopped the Viera High boys and girls swimming and diving teams from having success. 

The girls won their fourth consecutive district title last month and the boys made it two in a row. 

“We had a good time,” Viera senior captain Brennan Chace said. “We celebrated. We pushed the coaches in the water. We all were jumping in, splashing and having a good time. It was fun having the team do that and being around it all.” 

Defending Class 3A state champion diver Sarah Rousseau won the district championship with the list of other individual winners including Delaney Naughton (500 freestyle), Abbey Ernst (100 backstroke) and Andie Wolfman (100 butterfly). 

The girls 200 medley relay team of Ernst, Wolfman, Maria Torrez and Karly Keysor also won the district crown, as did the boys 200 medley relay team of Bryce Hattrup, Anthony Cerrato, Blake Wagner and JT Bartlett. 

Although the girls 200 free relay just missed winning the district title, there was a celebration nonetheless as the team of Ernst, Jordan Fleisher, Keysor and Torrez broke the school record with a time of 1 minute, 45.9 seconds. It was record that had long been sought after. 

“We were five-hundreths of a second away from it my freshman year and this is the first relay that’s gotten close to it (since) and we finally did it,” Torrez said. “It was nice.” 

The Hawks’ success was especially impressive given that they went into their district meet virtually blind to what the competition had to offer. Viera had four meets wiped out during the season because of bad weather. That forced coaches Morgan Woodard, her mother Debbie Tweedie and the team’s assistants to hold early-morning workouts for swimmers to get in some individual pool time to stay sharp. 

“They’ve been so flexible and so positive,” Woodard said. “We actually have 18 freshmen this year. It’s our biggest group. A lot of them are club swimmers, some of them are completely brand new, so we’ve got all levels. 

“Our freshmen have been able to have really great leadership from our seniors. Our seniors are our second-biggest group. It’s just been great leadership so the freshmen know what the team’s supposed to be like so they can continue on the legacy.” 

The districts were followed by the Cape Coast Conference meet, where Rousseau and Ryan Just both won their respective diving events with the swimming events to follow. 

Next up was the regional meet on Oct. 28. Viera’s girls are the defending regional champions. 

“I think we have the depth to do that again,” Woodard said. “I’m not really going in focusing on winning. I’m just trying to get best times and advance to states if we can. It was really a pleasant surprise last year when it happened. I was totally shocked.” 

The Class 3A state meet is set for Nov. 4 at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart.