GAINESVILLE (Dec. 4) – Senior Robert Finke of Countryside High School and junior Isabel Ivey of Buchholz High School have been named the 2017 Florida Dairy Farmers Mr. Swimming and Miss Swimming following a final round of voting by a statewide panel of prep swim coaches.
In addition, Bill Shaffer of Tampa Jesuit High School and Tina Sue Bates of Buchholz High School have been named the state boys’ and girls’ swimming coaches-of-the-year.
Finke, the Class 4A Boys’ Swimmer of the Year for the second straight year, repeated his 2016 state titles in the 200-yard individual medley (1:47.41) and the 500-yard freestyle (4:18.74), with All-America qualifying times in both events. The USA National swim team member has signed with the University of Florida.
The other swimmers-of-the-year in each class included Ait Fungairino of Belen Jesuit (3A), Miguel Cancel of Gulliver Prep (2A) and Ariel Spektor of The Bolles School (Jacksonville) (1A).
Ivey, who won Class 4A Girls’ Swimmer-of-the-Year honors this year after being named the Class 1A award winner last year, won state titles in the 200 freestyle and 100 breaststroke. She defeated 2016 Miss Swimming Morgan Tankersley with a time of 1:44.68 in the 200 free, added a state-record time of 1:00.99 in the 100 breaststroke and swam on the Buchholz state-record setting 200- and 400-yard freestyle relay teams.
The other class winners included Olivia McMurray of Fort Myers (Class 3A), Marcella Ruppert-Gomez of Gulliver Prep (Class 2A) and Jessica Nava of Westminster Academy (Class 1A).
In his 22nd year at Tampa Jesuit, Shaffer, who was earlier named the Class 2A Boys’ Coach-of-the-Year, led his school to its first state title by dethroning 2016 state champion Gulliver Prep, 271 to 244 points, giving Hillsborough County its first team state swimming title since 1946. Shaffer won the overall coaching award over Class 4A COY Brent Arckey of Sarasota Riverview, Class 3A COY Gerald Norris of Tallahassee Chiles and Class 1A COY Jon Sakovich of The Bolles School.
Bates, the Class 4A Girls’ Coach-of-the-Year, won her second overall state coaching award (2015) by leading Buchholz to its third-straight state title, scoring 360.5 points in a dominating performance that included state-record performances in all three relays as well as two individual events. The other class coaching award winners included Class 3A COY Tracy DaCosta of Creekside (St. Johns), Class 2A COY Chris George of Gulliver Prep and Class 1A COY Jon Sakovich of The Bolles School (Jacksonville).
The Florida Dairy Farmers High School Sports Awards program exemplifies Florida Dairy Farmers’ commitment to the state’s youth. This is the 26th year of these awards honoring the state’s top athletes and coaches in all 30 FHSAA sanctioned and recognized sports. The program also emphasizes to young people the importance of keeping dairy products a primary part of their diet in their overall nutrition plan.