GAINESVILLE (Dec. 13) – Seniors Paul DeGrado of The Bolles School (Jacksonville) and Talia Bates of Buchholz High School (Gainesville) have been named the 2018 Florida Dairy Farmers Mr. Swimming and Miss Swimming following a final round of voting by a statewide panel of prep swim coaches.
In addition, Charlie Rose of Oviedo High School and Tina Sue Bates of Buchholz High School have been named the state boys’ and girls’ swimming coaches-of-the-year.
DeGrado, the Class 1A Boys’ Swimmer of the Year, won state titles in the 200-yard individual medley (1:49.50) and the 100-yard breaststroke (54.74), setting a state record (54.21) in the preliminaries.
He was also a member of the 400 Free and 200 IM state championship relay teams. DeGrado has committed to the University of Texas. The other swimmers-of-the-year in each class included Julian Hill of Buchholz (4A), Arik Katz of Venice (3A) and Lucas Kravchenko of Merritt Island (2A).
Bates, who won Class 4A Girls’ Swimmer-of-the-Year honors, pulled off a three-peat by winning the 50 yard freestyle (22.45) and 100 yard butterfly (52.82) titles for the third straight year. Her 100 Fly time broke her own state record set at last year’s state meet. Bates has signed with the University of Florida.
The other class winners included Summer Stanfield of Bartram Trail (Class 3A), Ryley Ober of Bayshore (Class 2A) and Jennifer Secrest of Oxbridge Academy (Class 1A).
In his 25th year at Oviedo, Rose, who was earlier named the Class 4A Boys’ Coach-of-the-Year, led his school to its first state title. Rose won the overall coaching award over Class 3A COY Jana Minorini of Venice, Class 2A COY Bill Shaffer of Tampa Jesuit and Class 1A COY Jon Sakovich of The Bolles School.
Bates, the Class 4A Girls’ Coach-of-the-Year, won her second straight, and third overall, state coaching award (2015, 2017, 2018), by leading Buchholz to its fourth straight state title. The other class coaching award winners included Class 3A COY Tracy DaCosta of Creekside, Class 2A COY Chris George of Gulliver Prep and Class 1A COY Jon Sakovich of The Bolles School.
The Florida Dairy Farmers High School Sports Awards program exemplifies Florida Dairy Farmers’ commitment to the state’s youth. This is the 27th 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.