The Key West and Coral Shores boys swimming teams jump off the blocks. DOUG FINGER/Keys Weekly

Keys swimmers met up at Founders Park in Islamorada on Sept. 14 and both teams experienced success. Key West’s boys had a decisive 195-74 win and Coral Shores’ girls edged out the Conchs, 144-135.

Key West took first place on the boys’ side of the meet, sweeping the 200 free, 50 free, 100 free and 100 fly events. Coral Shores won four events, but Key West’s depth proved too much to overcome in the points column. The Conchs started off the meet with a win in the 200 yard medley relay, with their squad of John Searcy, Ryan Martinez, Jonathan Gvili and Lucas Montiel de la Nuez taking first in 1:57.12.  

Marco Montiel de la Nuez won the 200 free in 2:16.39 followed by Jeffrey Hoyt and Roman Saballos, all of Key West. Coral Shores took their first win in the 200 IM when Curran O’Donnell (2:17.67) outpaced Ryan Martinez and Charlie Doerfel of Key West. The Conchs took the first four places in the 50 free with AJ Smith (23.80) finishing just ahead of Lucas Montiel de la Nuez, Brody McCandless and Westley Ellerbee. Searcy (1:02.80), Martinez and Doerfel swept the 100 fly event, then fellow Conchs AJ Smith (53.33), Aidan Pate, Westley Ellerbee and Roman Saballos took spots one through four in the 100 free.  

Patrick O’Donnell went the distance for Coral Shores in the 500 free event. His 5:15.09 finish was over a minute ahead of Marco Montiel de la Nuez, Jeffrey Hoyt, Anthony Korzen and Nathan Frank of Key West. Lucas Montiel de la Nuez, Gvili, McCandless and Smith teamed up to win the 200 free relay and Smith, Marco Montiel de la Nuez, Searcy and Pate won the 400 free relay.  

O’Donnell of Coral Shores added another individual win in the 100 back event, followed by Searcy of Key West and Evan Osipov of Coral Shores. In the 100 breaststroke event, Coral Shores’ Curran O’Donnell took first, with Gvili and Lucas Montiel de la Nuez in second and third.

Key West’s girls started the meet with a win in the 200 yard medley relay. Katelyn Noss, Lauren Walterson, Daniela Mikes and Serena Sander teamed up in the event, winning in 2:14.35, and Key West’s second team of Savannah Murray, Samantha O’Brien, Taylor Gibson, and Emma Scepkova took second. Coral Shores’ top team took third.

After the first event of the afternoon, the wins in the girls races all belonged to Coral Shores. 

Corley Smith won the 200 free (2:00.26) with Fucaraccio in second and Grace Lechnar of Key West in third. Abbie Sargent won the 200 IM (2:15.51) with Chrislyn Lowell in second and Key West’s Taylor Gibson in third. Riley Cooper (27.21) and Olivia Sargent of Coral Shores were first and second in the 50 free with Isabelle Johnson taking third for the Conchs. Cooper won the 100 fly (1:11.26) as well, while Conchs Lauren Walterson and Grace Lechnar took second and third. In the 100 free, Olivia Sargent won in 1:02.28 and Isabella Johnson and Katelyn Noss of Key West were second and third.

Corley (5:16.33) and Layne (5:32.87) Smith took first and second in the 500 free, with Serena Sander of Key West third. Layne Smith won the 100 backstroke (1:08.77) followed by Katelyn Noss and Allegra Fucaraccio.  

Abbie Sargent won the 100 breaststroke event in 1:07.84, followed by Conchs Taylor Gibson, Daniela Mikesz, Samantha O’Brien and Isabela Barr.  

Corley Smith, Lowell, Olivia Sargent, and Fucaraccio won the  200 free relay for Coral Shores, and the Sargent and Smith sisters would pair up again to win the 400 free relay.

Key West fit in a second meet three days later, traveling to a tri-meet in Wellington against both Wellington and South Dade High School. 

In both the boys and girls matchups, the Conchs beat South Dade but lost to Wellington.  Notable performances from the boys came in the 50 free, with AJ Smith winning the event in 23.08 and Lucas Montiel de la Nuez taking second in 24.82. Smith also had a second place in the 100 free finishing in 53.89 while Lucas Montiel de la Nuez took second in the 100 breaststroke (1:12.46). John Searcy was second in the 100 butterfly in 59.59.

The Lady Conchs did not have any individual winners, but several swimmers took second in their events, including Gracie Lechnar (200 free, 2:29.78), Isabella Johnson (50 free, 28.60) and Daniela Mikesz (100 breaststroke, 1:25.69). 

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Tracy McDonald fled to the Keys from the frozen mountains of Pennsylvania hours after graduating from college and never looked back. She is a second generation coach and educator, and has taught in the public school system for over 25 years. She and her husband met at a beginning teacher meeting in 1997 and have three children born and raised in Monroe County. In her free time, McDonald loves flea markets, historical fiction and long runs in the heat.