In theory, the 2022 Florida High School Athletic Association Class 3A girls swimming state meet was technically anyone's to win.
In reality, though, it wasn't once defending champion Riverview High showed up at the pool.
The Rams won seven gold medals on their way to a second-straight team title, besting second-place Oviedo High by 155 points. The Rams' 200 yard medley relay team of juniors Gracie Weyant, Addison Sauickie and Bailey O'Regan and freshman Taylor Schwenk won gold and set a state record (1:42.04) by 0.30 seconds. Weyant later won the 200-yard individual medley (1:58.66) and the 100 yard breaststroke (1:01.68); Sauickie won the 200-yard freestyle (1:45.38) and the 100-yard freestyle (49.03 seconds); and O'Regan won the 500-yard freestyle (4:49.28).
The team's 400-yard freestyle relay team of Weyant, Sauickie, O'Regan and junior Brianna Deierlein also won gold (3:22.22).
Sauickie said she was most happy about her leg of the 400 relay, which was a moment for her to reassess after falling just short of her personal goal of 48 seconds in the 100 freestyle. Weyant, the sister of former Rams state champion and Olympic silver medalist Emma Weyant, said her 200 IM was her proudest moment of the day; it was an event Weyant felt like she had been improving since the summer, so seeing that feeling validated by results was a cool moment.
O'Regan was in her first season with the Rams after moving to Sarasota from Ontario, Canada. O'Regan said the biggest difference she noticed between the two places is the team aspect of the sport. O'Regan said her previous school didn't even have a swim team; she only swam for her club. Here, she does both, and O'Regan said she was pulled into the team aspects of high school swimming right away, falling for the way teammates cheered on each other win or lose. O'Regan said the other members of the Rams made it clear that the expectation was to win another state title, so it was easy for her to enter the meet with 100% focus — though she was unsure of how she personally would do.
"In Canada, they don't have the 500-yard race because they use a short-course meters format," O'Regan said. "I didn't know what time I was supposed to go or how I would place. I just wanted to get my hand on the wall first to get some points for the team. It ended up paying off. It was fun."