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Regional swimming: Olivia McMurray shines as Fort Myers girls win title, Barron boys third

The News-Press and Naples Daily News staff
The Fort Myers girls swimming team, coached by Tom Keer, won the Class 3A-Region 3 meet at North Shore Aquatics Center in St. Petersburg on Friday.

Heading into Friday morning’s Class 3A-Region 3 swim meet at North Shore Aquatics Center in St. Petersburg, Fort Myers coach Tom Keer thought his girls could make some noise.

Just how much noise the Green Wave made surprised him.

Six-time state champion Olivia McMurray led the way with a pair of individual wins and a relay victory, but the Green Wave got solid performances from everyone on the squad, according to Keer.

Olivia McMurray, Fort Myers, swimming, All-Area Fall 2019

“Regional champs was a shock,” Keer said. “I knew we had a chance to finish in the top three but the girls really stepped up. Seven swimmers and two divers, and every one of them did incredible.”

More:State Class 3A swimming, diving: McMurray of Fort Myers wins two golds, Barron Collier teams 1st and 2nd

More:NDN Athlete of the Week sponsored by Babcock Ranch: Elizabeth Chevaldova, Naples swimming

McMurray won the 200-yard individual medley and the 500 freestyle, her signature events. She also teamed with Sydni Starling, Clarice Spencer and Josie Hiers to win the 400 free relay. Hiers added a win in the 100 free and a third-place finish in the 100 back. Spencer finished second in the 100 breast and fourth in the 100 butterfly, while Georgia Phillips took third in the 100 breast. Phillips, Spencer, Hiers and Lily Perkins joined forces to finish second in the 200 medley relay.

Each individual and relay winner earned automatic bids to next week’s state meet in Stuart. But with how well the non-winners placed, there’s a good chance Fort Myers will be sending everyone through.

“We’re waiting now to see who makes it, but I’m very excited about that state meet,” Keer said. “I’m hoping they continue with the focus and determination they showed today.”

The Fort Myers girls weren’t the only local team to shine Friday, as the defending state champion Barron Collier boys finished third. Mason Laur led the way by winning the 100 fly and 200 IM, while Andrew Garner placed first in the 100 breast and second in the 100 free.

Barron Collier's Mason Laur swims in the boys 100-yard butterfly Heat-2 Finals, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, during the District 3A-9 Swim meet at Eagle Lakes Community Park in East Naples.

William Eriksson added a fourth-place finish in the 100 back.

The Barron girls took seventh as a team, with Emery Muller's third-place finishes in the 100 and 200 freestyle events leading the way. Other top performances for the Barron girls came from Catie Laur (5th in 200 IM, 5th in 100 fly), Maquinn Havig (sixth in 100 free, sixth in 100 back) and Riley Noe (7th in 500 free, 8th in 100 back).

Palmetto Ridge junior Colton Rasmussen was the area’s other double winner as he grabbed the 100 and 200 freestyle events.  

South Fort Myers diver Brandon Shepherd wrapped up his third consecutive regional title Thursday.

Naples’ Sabyne Brisson was the other area winner, taking first in the girls 100 breast with a school-record time of 1:05.31. The Golden Eagles had three other school records fall Friday. Havana Layton set new marks in the 200 and 500 freestyle events, while the 200 free relay team of Brisson, Layton, Elizabeth Chevaldova and Camille Sonalia also established a school record. Chevaldova also finished third in the 50 free.

"We had fast swims overall and we're looking forward to bigger time drops at the state meet," Naples coach Monet Layton said.