Calling it the best day in the storied history of the school’s swimming & diving program, Jesuit High School president Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J. on Wednesday (Nov. 18) honored Jesuit’s gold medal-winning swimmers from the Class 2A State Meet at Convocation in St. Anthony’s Chapel.
On Nov. 7 at the State Meet in Stuart, Jesuit won state titles in three events and placed second in the team standings, barely missing out on the first swimming team state championship in school history.
After winning its 19th straight District title and seventh straight Region crown this fall, the Tigers finished just a few points behind Plantation American Heritage at State, equaling Jesuit's runner-up finish at State last year and matching the best result by a Hillsborough County school in 70 years.
Fr. Hermes called the state champions up to the altar, where head coach Bill Shaffer presented them with their gold medals. Then Shaffer addressed the student body, speaking emotionally about the team and its accomplishments, dedication, and brotherhood.
The state champion swimmers:
- Tommy Shaffer ’16 – 100 freestyle
- Byrne Litschgi ’16, Chris Jennings ’18, Matthew Dieffenthaller ’19, and Shaffer – 200 medley relay (school-record time)
- Will Sands ’17, Sam Sands ’18 , Shaffer, and Litschgi – 200 freestyle (All-American consideration time)
Fr. Hermes also announced all of the Jesuit swimmers who placed at State: Litschgi earned two silver medals, in the 100 backstroke (All-American consideration time) and 200 individual medley; the 400 freestyle relay also placed second and earned silver medals, with Will and Sam Sands, Dieffenthaller, and Stephen Dawes ’17; Shaffer was fourth in the 50 freestyle; Sam Sands was fifth in the 100 freestyle and seventh in the 200 freestyle; Diego Perez ’18 was seventh in diving; Jennings was seventh in the 100 breaststroke; Will Sands was 11th in the 50 freestyle and 16th in the 100 freestyle; John Jansen ’18 was 15th in the 200 IM; Dawes was 15th in the 50 freestyle; and Tyler Carreja ’19 was 16th in the 100 backstroke.
View a photo slideshow below from Wednesday’s Convocation:
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