Marco girls among top seeds in district soccer playoffs; Burt qualifies for Olympic trials

Andrew Sodergren
Naples Daily News

Although the regular season still has a few games remaining, the seeding for the upcoming district playoffs have been set.

On the girls side, Marco Island Academy earned a No. 1 seed for the first time in program history. The Manta Rays are atop the Class 2A-District 12 standings and will receive a first-round bye along with First  Baptist Academy. That tournament begins Monday, Feb. 3, at the site of the higher seed.

File 2019: The Marco Island Academy girls soccer team holds up the trophy after winning the Paradise Coast Athletic Conference championship.

In Class 5A-District 12, Naples receives a first-round bye along with top seed Estero. The Golden Eagles (10-2-1) are ranked 70th overall in the state, the only Collier County team to land in the top 100. The 5A-12 tournament begins Tuesday, Feb. 4.

Palmetto Ridge is seeded third in Class 6A-District 8, with that tournament kicking off Friday, Jan. 31 at the site of the higher seed. Gulf Coast is seeded fourth in Class 7A-District 12, and that tournament begins Monday at Miami-Western.

The Naples boys enter the playoffs as the No. 3 team overall across all classifications, and the Golden Eagles (16-1-1) are also the top seed in the upcoming Class 5A-District 12 tournament in Estero. Lely (17-2-1) is ranked 18th overall according to the MaxPreps rankings, and the Trojans are seeded second in 5A-12. Naples travels to Lely on Friday night for the rivals’ second meeting of the season. The Golden Eagles won 2-1 in the first meeting Dec. 6. Naples and Lely will have first-round byes in the district tournament, which starts Tuesday, Feb. 4.

Community School holds the top seed in Class 2A-District 12, followed by St. John Neumann. That tournament begins Monday, Feb. 3.

Palmetto Ridge is the fifth seed in Class 6A-District 8, with that tournament beginning Tuesday, Feb. 3. Gulf Coast is the third seed in Class 7A-District 13, and that tournament begins Monday at Miami-Western.

St. John Neumann's Maddy Burt

Maddy Burt qualifies for Olympic trials

St. John Neumann senior Maddy Burt added to an already impressive resume last weekend, qualifying for the United States Olympic Trials at a pro series event in Knoxville, Tenn.

More:Marco resident Maddy Burt brings home state swimming title for St. John Neumann

Swimming in the 200-yard butterfly, Burt finished 11th out of 48 swimmers with a time of 2:14.45 – just eclipsing the qualifying time of 2:14.59. Burt had previously attempted to qualify for the trials twice last year, each time just missing the cut.

More:Meet the Naples Daily News 2019 Girls Swimming All-Area Team

“When I’m swimming, I usually feel my tempo and have an idea where I am but you’re never exactly sure,” she said. “I was hoping I got (the time) but I wasn’t expecting it.”

St. John Neumann's Maddy Burt

Burt, who committed to the University of Arizona last year, was elated when she had qualified.

“I’ve been working so hard these past six months,” she said. “Just trying to focus on getting in better shape, working on my endurance and my speed. All that hard work definitely paid off.”

Burt won her first state championship in November, claiming gold in the 100 butterfly. She finished second in each of the previous two years in that event, also taking fifth as a freshman. She also has a pair of medals in the 50 free, giving her six overall in four seasons.

The Olympic Trials will be held June 19-28 in Omaha, Nebraska.