High School Swimming

Hilton Head High girls take aim at third straight state title in swimming

ccox@islandpacket.comOctober 5, 2012 

Amelia Rzeczycki roils the water of the Island Recreation Center pool on Thursday as she and the rest of the Hllton Head Island High School girls swim team practice for Saturday's state swim meet, where the Seahawks will try to capture their third straight title.


The names on the Hilton Head Island High swim team roster are different. The results, however, are still the same.

Out are two key players that propelled the Seahawks to back-to-back state titles the last two seasons. In are a new crop of seasoned veterans ready to help the Hilton Head High girls keep their place atop South Carolina swimming.

"I think they're really, really hungry for it," second-year coach Mike Lane said. "I think they have a real sense of the reality of the situation. If we do get it, it's probably going to be the hardest title of the three to get."

The undefeated Seahawks (9-0) will go for that third straight title Saturday afternoon in the state meet at 4 p.m. at the Carolina Natatorium in Columbia.

They will do so without a pair of swimmers who catapulted Hilton Head High to each of its last two titles, as stalwarts Josie Cuda and Reed Penale have since departed for college.

Cuda -- who now swims at Florida State University -- was the S.C. Swim Player of the Year in each of the last two seasons, thanks in part to her consecutive state crowns in the 200 freestyle. She also owns school record times in both the 100 free (53.41 in 2011) and 100 fly (58.26 in 2009).

Joining her in the Seahawks' dominance was Penale, who scored in the top 20 in all of her events, Lane said. Both girls competed in relays for Hilton Head High, leaving Lane with some tough decisions to make in regards to this year's quartets.

He said he plans on deciding who will take part in the relays after seeing who swims the best early on.

"That's a lot of points that we're not getting," Lane said. "We're going to have to make up for it."

Stepping in for the Seahawks to help fill that void is senior Camille Felix, who was named co-MVP of last year's state meet alongside Cuda. Felix is a state champion in the 500 free and has earned a second-place finish in the 200 free.

Joining her in Columbia are fellow seniors Cassie Ley, who competes in the free and breaststroke, and Mary Bolgan, who also takes part in the free.

"We definitely are lighter," Lane said. "We lost key girls last year and we have a smaller team this year. But I think we're in a position to make a run at it and try to earn it again. It's going to take multiple efforts."


Saturday, USC Natatorium, Columbia

Class 4-A, 11 a.m.; Class 3-A 4:15 p.m.

Admission $6, free for 5 and younger


Area athletes qualified for Saturday's state swimming meet at the University of South Carolina Natatorium in Columbia:

Class 4-A


Coach: Eric Kemeny


Sebastian Bedon, 200 IM, 100 fly

Patrick Calvo, 200 free, 500 free

John Evans, 200 IM, 100 breast

Andrw Faciszewski, 200 free, 500 free

David Funk, 200 IM, 500 free

Sam Meighan, 200 IM, 100 breast

Jake Minasi, 50 free, 100 back

Drew O'Brien 50 free, 100 free

Nicholas Suaza 100 fly, 500 free

Miles White, 100 back

200 medley relay team (Jake Minasi, John Evans, Sebastian Bedon, Andrew Faciszewski)

200 free relay team (John Evans, David Funk, Miles White, Drew O'Brien)

400 free relay (Jake Minasi, Drew O'Brien, Sebastian Bedon, Andrew Faciszewski)


Danielle Faciszewski, 200 free, 500 free

Charlie Hancock, 200 free, 100 back

Emma Niccolini, 100 fly

Ashleigh Pangilinan, 200 IM, 100 free

Brittany Pangilinan, 100 fly

Alexandria Shaw, 200 free

Madison Wall, 50 free, 100 free

200 free relay team (Ashleigh Pangiliman, Danielle Faciszewski, Charlie Hancock, Madison Wall)

400 free relay team (Danielle Faciszewski, Charlie Hancock, Ashleigh Pangiliman, Madison Wall)

Class 3-A

Hilton Head Island

Coach: MIke Lane


Bryan Biggans, 200 freestyle relay

Tristan Cummings, 200 freestyle, 100 backstroke, relays

James Hammond, 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, relays

Will Mcloud, 200 freestyle relay

Ryann Naddy, 200 IM, 100 breaststroke, relays

Clayton North, 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, relays

Alex Reamy, 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, relays


Mary Bolgan, 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle

Camille Felix, 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, relays

Lilla Felix, 200 IM, 100 backstroke, relays

Madison Field, 200 IM, 100 butterfly, relays

Victoria Gill, 200 IM, 100 breaststroke

Lilly Kerr, 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle

Karah Kurtz, 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke

Cassie Ley, 200 IM, 100 freestyle, relays

Rachel Mangin, 50 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, relays

Sarah Reamy, 500 freestyle

Makenna Reader, 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle

Amelia Rzeczycki, 200 IM, 100 butterfly, relays

Caroline Vaniska, 500 freestyle

Battery Creek

Coach: Mary Eklund


Jake Waldron, 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle

200 freestyle relay team (Jake Waldron, John Hardin, Stephen Kadas, John Lee, Ryan Ackerman-a, Ryan Bestul-a, Daniel Lee-a)

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