Marco Island will be well represented at the Class 1A state swimming meet, to be held Friday and Saturday in Stuart.
St. John Neumann sophomore Maddy Burt, a Marco Island resident, qualified in the 100-yard butterfly and 50-yard freestyle. She’s seeded sixth in the butterfly and 11th in the freestyle. The talented sophomore hopes to better her performance as a freshman last year, when she finished fifth in the 100 butterfly and ninth in the 50 freestyle.
“I hope to place both in the top eight and hopefully do better than what I did last year,” she said. “Last year’s experience should definitely help me. I learned how quickly the meet moves along and I’ll know how to get places much faster this year. I’ll definitely know what to expect, which should help me.”
Marco Island senior Lisa Cottage-Ramnick returns to state after making history last year as the first Manta Rays swimmer to qualify for the state meet. She’s again competing in the 100-yard butterfly after just making the regional cutoff for the event. She’ll be seeded 24th heading into this year’s event.
Unlike last year, she’ll have a teammate making the trip to Stuart with her. Fellow senior Susan Faremouth was one of four local swimmers to qualify in the 500 freestyle, joining St. John Neumann’s Chloe Pankipa and the Community School duo of Karen Liu and Emma Feehery in the event. Faremouth enters as the 18th seed. Feehery is the returning state champion in the event, but she’s actually seeded behind teammate Liu, who is seeded second while Feehery is fourth.
“Susan did really well in her event,” Manta Rays coach Kamal Farhat said. “We were expecting her to swim around 5:20 and she came in at 5:13, which was very good. We wanted to take more than one girl this year, so we met that goal.”
Marco Island had a pair of relay teams fall short in the regional, or else the Manta Rays could have sent four to state.
Lely is well represented in the Class 2A event, with junior Audrey Delcompare representing the Trojans’ best chance for a state championship. Audrey is seeded third in the 200 invididual medley and fourth in the 100 breaststroke, while sister Grace Ann is seeded 12th in the 100 butterfly and 19th in the 200 IM. Lely also qualified a pair of relay teams for state – the 200 medley and 400 free relays. Madison Bonfitto and Tatiana Meyers join the Delcompare sisters in those two events.
Burt swims for the club team Swim Florida, which is also coached by Farhat.
“He’s been my coach for 10 years,” Burt said. “He’s helped me so much and is always pushing me and telling me what I can accomplish if I put the work in.”
Burt says she’d like to eventually earn a Division I swimming scholarship, and perhaps even compete in the Olympics.
“I love swimming,” she said. “I enjoy being able to have something to do every day, something productive.”