In dual swim meets, having the numbers on your side can be the difference.
Having the larger team definitely helped St. Augustine, which defeated Menendez on Wednesday at the Solomon Calhoun Community Center pool to win the Battle of the Buoy for the first time in three years.
“We have a very large but inexperienced group of swimmers who have improved all season long,” St. Augustine coach Frank Holleman said.
The Yellow Jackets won by a combined score of 303-240. The Menendez girls won 166-115, but the St. Augustine boys wrapped up the bouy by winning, 188-74.
The Yellow Jackets celebrated at the end of the meet by raising up the buoy, which is decorated with the Yellow Jackets’ teams colors of maroon and gold on one side and the Falcons’ blue and gold on the other.
“I can’t be prouder of my team,” Falcons coach Madison Timmons said. “This is definitely the best group of swimmers I’ve had. They gave it their all today.”
Jason Weed and German exchange student Simon Gopffarth each won two individual events and were part of two winning relays for the St. Augustine boys. Weed won the boys 200-meter individual medley in 2:32.38 and the 500 freestyle in 4:43.44. Gopffarth won the 100 butterfly in 1:06.19 and the 100 backstroke in 1:11.50.
Weed, Goppfarth, Dylan Clark and Jake Welu won both the 200 medley relay (2:03.56) and 400 freestyle relay (4:10.65).
The Falcons did not have any swimmers entered in the boys medley relay or the boys IM.
“We had the numbers on them,” said Weed, who didn’t want to dwell on the victory. “They’ve beaten us the last two years, so it feels good, but I know all of them and they’re all great guys.”
Menendez’s Brandon Dixon-McKay won two individual boys events — the 200 free (2:14.59) and the 100 free (1:00.32) and one relay — the 200 freestyle with Bryce Abell, Joseph Barnby and Logan Zdun in 1:59.65.
Allie Larrimore and Ella Chang each won two individual events and two relays for the Menendez girls. Larrimore won the 200 freestyle (2:21.78) and 100 butterfly (1:10.41), while Chang won the 50 free (29.09) and the 100 free (1:05.28). Larrimore, Alyssa McAnallen, Lindsey Lawlor and Chang won the 200 free relay in 2:01.03. And Larrimore, McAnallen, Jasmyn Newsom and Chang won the 400 free relay (4:30.00).
Other St. Augustine girls winners included Grace Weed in the 100 breastroke (1:26.53) and the Yellow Jackets’ 200 medley relay (Chloe Spears, Grace Weed, Olivia Snare and Sloane Rockefeller, 2:22.84).
Other Menendez girls winners were McAnallen in the 200 IM (2:44.18), Lawlor in the 500 free (5:04.16) and Newsom in the 100 back (1:22.56).
St. Augustine’s Sky Dauth won the boys 50 free (29.00) and Joel Pidock won the boys 100 breastroke (1:20.28) for the Yellow Jackets.
Menendez will compete in the District 3-2A meet on Monday (diving) and Tuesday at Cecil Aquatics Center in Jacksonville. St. Augustine will compete in the District 3-3A meet on Oct. 24 at the Cecil Aquatics Center.