Goldman and Lilley lead St. Thomas boys to fifth at 3A state swimming and diving championships
November 14, 2012St. Thomas Aquinas High School
ORLANDO — St. Thomas Aquinas seniors Brandon Goldman and Alex Lilley each made it to the podium in their best event Friday night, collecting a second-place medal in All-American consideration time.
Their team couldn't match its second-place finish from last year, however.
St. Thomas' boys finished fifth in the FHSAA Class 3A state swimming and diving championships at the Central Florida YMCA Aquatic Center, with 145.5 points. Boca Raton won its first boys title in school history with 285 points, followed by Palm Harbor (247), Sarasota Riverview (153) and Miami Palmetto (153).
"We could have swam better in some places than we did, but overall we did a very good job and I'm very happy for Alex and Brandon to finish the way they did," Raiders coach Marty Grady said. "I still thought we had a very good season. We graduated three people that scored 90 points a year ago. To rebuild and get in the top five a year later is very good."
Aquinas' girls finished 14th with 61 points, falling short of Coach Jimmy Parmenter's goal of a top-10 finish. Broward County was shut out of a state title in any of the 24 events, though several swimmers and divers earned a spot on the podium with a top-three finish.
Goldman was second in the boys' 200 individual medley (1:52.78), touching the wall about 2 1/2 seconds faster than last year, when he placed seventh. Lilley was second in the boys' 100 butterfly (50.35) for the second consecutive year.
"I'm pretty excited that I got second," Goldman said. "I think I could have gone a little bit faster, but I'm definitely happy with my best time and second place. I was just trying to stay as close to [winner Sam Smiddy from Miami Palmetto] as long as I could. I knew if I could be anywhere near him, it'd be pretty good."
Said Lilley, who credited seven different coaches: "I hadn't believed in myself since the beginning of the season, but that changed this morning. I didn't have good technique and somehow I still swam fast [in prelims], so I just believed in myself."
Taravella's Keegan Boisson Yates finished right behind Lilley in the 100 fly (50.45) and tied Goldman for fifth in the 100 backstroke (51.21). Both of those times were All-American consideration and Yates' best ever.
"I couldn't ask for more," said Yates, who singled out his mother for her support. "This is the best meet I've ever had."
Taravella teammate Alex (Ilya) Evdokimov was third in the boys' 100 breastroke (57.47) after finishing 16th last year, when he said he was suffering from pneumonia.
"I wasn't expecting to get as high of a place here at states as I did," Evdokimov said. "It makes me feel good about next year and more confident in my training, and makes me want to work even harder at possibly winning states next year."
In girls' diving, Western's Alexa Elkins finished third with 426.10 points.
Cypress Bay's Emma Lincoln finished third in the girls' 100 freestyle (51.68), as she missed All-American consideration by just one-hundredth of a second. It was still her personal best and an improvement on last year's fifth-place finish.
"I was disappointed I didn't get into the [200 free] finals, so I really wanted to come back in the 100," Lincoln said. "It was such motivation to get that medal because I wanted it so bad. I didn't get it in the 200, so I had to do it in this on