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Juniors Trahern Gribble, Miguel Cancel and seniors Orest Danyliv and Pablo Luchau win gold in the 400-free relay. Photo by Angela Hatfield.

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Sophomore Daniela Luchau, senior Brooke Ellis, 8th-grader Chloe Hernandez, and sophomore Sarah Abril win gold in the 200-yard free relay. Photos by Angela Hatfield.

Both the boys’ and girls’ varsity swim teams have become staples of success for Raider Athletics, replicating success season after season.
This year was no different, as both the boys and girls brought home their respective Class 2A State titles. This came after dominating performances at districts and regionals. The regular season was stellar as well, losing only once to the Bolles School up in Jacksonville, the reigning national champions.
“Our season surpassed my expectations. At the end of our season was when we needed to perform to the best of our abilities, and that’s exactly what we did,” said senior captain Pablo Luchau.
Both the boys and girls mirrored each others’ success. The girls had a phenomenal season, living up to high expectations of capturing their third straight 2A State title. They dominated their competition at States, nearly doubling the score of runner-up Academy of Holy Names of Tampa, 322 to 159.
Going into the championship season, there was a lot of pressure for the girls’ team to repeat previous success. They responded to that pressure with resounding wins.
“This season was incredible and helped our team to bond even more than before,” said junior Marcella Rupert-Gomez, “we support eachother through tough practices and have created a network of support which has helped us to become champions,” said Rupert-Gomez.
Much of the team’s confidence has come from the top, starting with interim head coach Christopher George. George was an assistant coach last year and has the experience of being on several state title winning teams. He became the interim coach after last year’s head coach Jeff Poppell accepted a coaching position at the University of Florida.
“The team’s strength comes from our great leadership. We are a young and developing team, but have been motivated and dedicated in achieving our team goals, as well as each of our own individual goals,” said George.
The Class 2A State Championships were held at Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Center in Stuart, Florida on Saturday, Nov 12. Top performances of the night included junior Miguel Cancel’s gold medal finishes in both the 200-yard individual medley and the 500-yard freestyle, as well as junior Trahern Gribble’s win in the 100-yard butterfly, touching at just a hundredth of a second away from the school record. Sophomore Emily Cordovi also won two events, the 100-yard fly and backstroke. The girls took all three relay golds and the boys finished first in the 400-yard freestyle relay. This was the event that secured their nine point lead over runner-up Arnold High School.
This win was the third straight title for the girls while the boys captured their first in school history. The combined team also made their mark in the county as the first Miami-Dade high school swim team to win States for both the girls and boys.

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