Six Swimmers Finish the Season with Success at 2A State Championship Meet
Erin Herbert

After a season of both team and individual successes, six Cardinal Gibbons swimming and diving team members competed at the FHSAA Class 2A State Championship Meet at Sailfish Splash Waterpark and Aquatics Center in Stuart on Saturday, Nov. 14. 

Those who competed included:
Gina Ruffino, senior - 200-yard Medley Relay, 200-yard Freestyle Relay
Sara LaPlant, senior - Relay alternate 
Melody Yates, junior - 200-yard Medley Relay, 200-yard Freestyle Relay, 100-yard Backstroke
Kaitlyn Armbruster, sophomore - 200-yard Medley Relay, 200-yard Freestyle Relay
Jaclyn Nelson, freshman - 200-yard Medley Relay,  200-yard Freestyle Relay, 50-yard Freestyle, 100-yard Backstroke
Marcus Szabo, freshman - 100-yard Backstroke, 100-yard Butterfly

The relay team of Nelson, Yates, Armbruster and Ruffino saw much success throughout the meet, finishing ninth in the state in the 200-yard medley relay and 11th in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Both relays earned the Chiefs a combined total of 30 points. 

Nelson, a freshman, led the girls’ team in individual points, thanks to an 11th place finish in the 100-yard backstroke with a finals time of 1:01.07. She also posted a 24th place finish in the 50-yard freestyle to close out the meet. 

Yates competed alongside Nelson in the 100-yard backstroke prelims but fell short of a finals qualifying time, earning 21st place overall. The girls’ team secured a 15th place overall finish in the state, besting 22 other high school teams. 

Szabo, the lone male qualifier for Cardinal Gibbons, competed in the 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard backstroke, earning 12th and 21st place finishes, respectively. Though he competed alone for the boys’ team, Szabo came out ahead of six other teams while finishing 42nd out of the 48 teams in attendance.