SUN HIGH SCHOOL SWIMMERS OF THE YEAR

Leading their teams into the pool just part of job


Eastside junior Cory Smith encourages teammates to swim with him year-round, while Buchholz sophomore Zeina Shanata is ready to take on leadership roles in the wake of senior departures.

MICHAEL C. WEIMAR/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Saturday, January 10, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 10, 2004 at 12:34 a.m.

Facts

About the team

  • The Gainesville Sun All-Area swim teams are selected by Matt Cannizzaro with input from area coaches who returned their all-area nomination forms.
  • To reach Matt Cannizzaro, call (352) 374-5052 or e-mail him at sunpreps@hotmail.com

  • For Eastside's Cory Smith and Buchholz's Zeina Shanata, striving for swimming excellence means putting in the time in the pool and pushing their teammates to follow suit.
    Smith and Shanata are The Sun's Swimmers of the Year.
    Though Smith, a junior at Eastside, may seem quiet in person, his abilities in the pool speak volumes about his work ethic, goal-setting and determination.
    Smith's effort is year-round, as he endures nine practices each week with his YMCA club team and urges his Eastside teammates to do the same in preparation for the fall high school season.
    "We're losing some key relay guys," Smith said. "And I've been trying to get more of our people to swim year-round so they will be ready to step up."
    Smith's dedication and improvement over the past few seasons have not gone unnoticed by area coaches.
    "He's probably one of the hardest-training kids I've been around," said Buchholz coach Bryan Welter, who coached Smith at the YMCA during Smith's freshman year. "He may not be the biggest or the strongest guy out there, but he has definitely made up for that with consistent hard work."
    This year, Smith earned individual district titles in the 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard individual medley, and finished third and fourth respectively at the Class 2A state meet.
    Smith also helped the Rams earn top-five district finishes in the 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relays, but he has bigger goals for next season.
    "I went far beyond my expectations this year," Smith said. "One of my goals was to place in the top three at state and I did that, but I do want to win one of the events next year. I just need to keep training like I do, and growing a little might even help."
    Meanwhile, Shanata was coming off a 2002 season where she, as a quiet freshman behind the leadership of an experienced group of seniors, earned an individual state title, two relay titles and helped her team to the overall team championship.
    Shanata's success catapulted her into taking on more of a leadership role in her sophomore campaign.
    "She really did a great job," Buchholz coach Bryan Welter said. "It was really tough to live up to the expectations after the state championship, but she is a tough competitor no matter what the situation is."
    Although this year's District 1-3A title and fifth-place state finish may not seem impressive compared to last season's success, a handful of young Bobcats stepped up in place of the graduated seniors to speed up the rebuilding process.
    "As teammates, we all look up to each other, but after last year, I know a little extra was expected of me," Shanata said. "I know that if I swim a personal-best time or win a race it helps the team, but now I like to do more to motivate the rest of the team, and when I'm not swimming I like to help them and cheer them on."
    This season, Shanata owned the area's fastest times in the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyle events. She was the state runner-up in the 200 free, third in the 100 free and helped the Bobcats' 200-yard medley relay team to a third-place state finish. But Shanata still expects more out of herself and her team, and she plans to get more involved in team functions for next season.
    "I know she thought she could do more this season, and she's going to be hungry coming back next year," Welter said.

    THE GAINESVILLE SUN'S ALL-AREA SWIMMING TEAM

    BOYS FIRST TEAM
    50 Free
  • Russell Wilder, Gainesville, Sr., Dist. champ; State r/up
    200 Free
  • Andrew Cunningham, Gainesville, So., Dist. champ; 7th at state
    200 IM
  • Cory Smith, Eastside, Jr., Dist. champ; 4th at state
    Diving
  • B.J. Dose, Gainesville, Fr., Dist. champ; 23rd at state.
    100 Fly
  • Kyle Richardson, Buchholz, Jr., Dist. champ; 24th at state
    100 Free
  • Ron Ballatore, Buchholz, Sr., Dist. champ; 5th at state
    500 Free
  • Andrew Cunningham, Gainesville, So., Dist. r/up; 8th at state
    100 Back
  • Cory Smith, Eastside, Jr., Dist. champ; 3rd at state
    100 Breast
  • Max Mikel-Stites, Eastside, Sr., 3rd at district; 25th at state
    200 Medley Relay
  • Buchholz, District champs; Third at state. Team: Ron Ballatore, Kyle Johnson, Kurt Moreaur, Kyle Richardson.
    200 Free Relay
  • Gainesville, Third at district; 3rd at state. Team: Steven Bostick, Andrew Cunningham, Michael Tudeen, Russell Wilder.
    400 Free Relay
  • Gainesville, District champs; 4th at state. Team: Steven Bostick, Andrew Cunningham, Michael Tudeen, Russell Wilder.
    BOYS SECOND TEAM 50 Free
  • Kurt Morauer, Buchholz, Sr., Dist. r/up; 8th at 2A meet.
    200 Free
  • Kyle Johnson, Buchholz, Fr., Dist. r/up.
    200 IM
  • Ron Ballatore, Buchholz, Sr., Dist. r/up; 5th at state.
    Diving
  • Chris Wilson, Eastside, ??, Fourth at district meet.
    100 Fly
  • Max Mikel-Stites, Eastside, Sr., Dist. r/up; 15th at 2A meet.
    100 Free
  • Kurt Morauer, Buchholz, Sr., 3rd in dist.; 24th at 2A meet.
    500 Free
  • Michael Shimansky, Buchholz, Fr., Fourth at district.
    100 Back
  • Kyle Johnson, Buchholz, Fr., Dist. champ; 5th at state.
    100 Breast
  • Ray Wise, Eastside, Jr., 7th at district.
    200 Medley Relay
  • Eastside, 13th at state. Team: Cory Smith, Gabe Needell, Max Mikel-Stites, Ray Wise.
    200 Free Relay
  • Buchholz, Sixth at district. Team: Eric Stenberg, Scott McCoy, Phillip Wynkoop, Evan King.
    400 Free Relay
  • Buchholz, District r/up; 6th at state. Team: Ron Ballatore, Kyle Johnson, Kurt Moreaur, Kyle Richardson.
    HONORABLE MENTION
  • Buchholz - Phillip Wynkoop, 200 free, 500 free; Kyle Richardson, 100 back; Columbia - Aaron Jenkins, 100 fly; Brandon Wilson, 100 back; Eastside - Nick Reynaud, 100 breast; Cory Smith, 100 free; Gainesville - Steven Bostick, 200 IM, 100 fly; 100 breast; Michael Tudeen, 50 free; 100 free; Russell Wilder, 100 free; Palatka- James Hopkins, 100 back; Chris Schmidt, 100 back.
    GIRLS FIRST TEAM 50 Free
  • Rae Conroy, Gainesville, Fr., 3rd at district; 22nd at state.
    200 Free
  • Zeina Shanata, Buchholz, So., State r/up; 1:52.10 (AAC).
    200 IM
  • Jenne Ballatore, Buchholz, So., Dist. champ; 5th at 3A meet.
    Diving
  • Kara Cochran, Gainesville, Sr., District champ.
    100 Fly
  • Kaarin Taylor, Gainesville, Jr., 5th at dist.; 14th at state.
    100 Free
  • Zeina Shanata, Buchholz, So., Dist. champ; 3rd at state (AA-C).
    500 Free
  • Carlyn Sander, Buchholz, Jr., Dist. champ; 4th at state.
    100 Breast
  • Julie Carusone, Gainesville, Jr., Dist. champ; 5th at state.
    100 Back
  • Krystal Kazemba, Buchholz, Jr., Dist. champ; 17th at state.
    200 Medley Relay
  • Gainesville, District champs; 10th at state. Team: Brittny Moosmann, Julie Carusone, Kaarin Taylor, Rae Conroy.
    200 Free Relay
  • Buchholz, Dist. champs; State r/up (AA-C). Team: Amanda Jeffers, Jenne Ballatore, Rachel Barlow, Zeina Shanata.
    400 Free Relay
  • Buchholz, Dist. champs; 4th at state; (AA-C). Team: Jenne Ballatore, Carlyn Sander, Krystal Kazemba, Zeina Shanata.
    GIRLS SECOND TEAM
    50 Free
  • Rachel Barlow, Buchholz, Fr., Talented freshman; 5th at district.
    200 Free
  • Carlyn Sander, Buchholz, Jr., 4th in district; 5th at state.
    200 IM
  • Julie Carusone, Gainesville, Jr., Dist. champ; 7th at 2A meet.
    Diving
  • Erika Daniel, Gainesville, So., 3rd at district; 19th at 2A state meet.
    100 Fly
  • Amy Clough, Buchholz, Sr., 5th at district.
    100 Free
  • Amanda Jeffers, Buchholz, Jr., 5th at district.
    500 Free
  • Stacy Huber, Gainesville, Fr., Dist. r/up; 11th at state.
    100 Breast
  • Jenne Ballatore, Buchholz, So., Dist. r/up; 12th at state.
    100 Back
  • Cara Cruce, Palatka, Fr., 24th at state.
    200 Medley Relay
  • Buchholz, District r/up; 20th at state. Team: Nikki Fiedler, Carlyn Sander, Brianna Phillips, Krystal Kazemba.
    200 Free Relay
  • Gainesville, Dist. champs; 21st at state. Team: Rae Conroy, Brittny Moosmann, Amber Warnock, Stacy Huber.
    400 Free Relay
  • Gainesville, Dist. champs; 9th at state. Team: Jennifer Cunningham, Katie Debusk, Stacy Huber, Julie Carusone.
    HONORABLE MENTION
  • Buchholz - Jenne Ballatore, 50 free; 100 free; Rachel Barlow, 100 free; Amy Clough, 100 back; Nikki Fiedler 100 back; 50 free; Amanda Jeffers, 100 free, 200 free; 50 free; Krystal Kazemba, 200 IM; Brianna Phillips, 200 IM; 100 breast; Carlyn Sander, 100 free; Lindsey Sheppard, 100 free; Kelly Young, 100 fly; Eastside - Natalie Nix, diving; Katie Perri, 50 free; 100 free; 100 back; Allison Snyder, 200 IM; 100 breast; Tracey Van Duyne, 100 fly; Suzanne Watson 200 free; 500 free; Gainesville - Rae Conroy, 100 free; Jenny Cunningham, 200 free; 500 free; Katie Debusk, 200 free; 500 free; Stacy Huber, 200 free; 50 free; Kristen Jordan, 100 fly; 100 back; Brittny Moosmann, 200 IM; 100 breast; Amber Warnock 50 free; Samantha Willis, 100 fly; Palatka - Suzanne Haddock, 100 breast; 50 free; Suwannee - Hannah Fortner, 200 free; 100 free; Caroline Wood, 200 IM; 100 breast.
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