Ciesla, Pine Crest Girls Hope For Swimming Title
By Sharon Robb
While Jacksonville Bolles raises the bar for every high school swimming program around the state, Pine Crest continues to raise the bar in Broward County.
The perennial powerhouse and Class 1A state runner-up to Bolles, remains the girls’ team to beat for the 2015 season.
With a strong swimming and diving program, the Panthers are expected to finish in the Top 3 of Class 1A, the most competitive classification in the state.
Last season Pine Crest was second at the state meet with 231 points. Defending champion Bolles won its 24th consecutive girls title with 425.
The Panthers have some of the most talented swimmers in the state. Junior Marta Ciesla, 16, is a recent 2016 U.S. Olympic trials qualifier. She is two-time defending state champion in the 100-meter freestyle and one-time defending state champion in the 50-meter freestyle and poised for another great high school season.
“Swimming for Pine Crest is amazing, I love the team atmosphere,” Ciesla said. “The team is just phenomenal and I love being with them. They are my second family. I train with them, I go to school with them. I spend more time with them than my own family.”
Ciesla will be joined by teammates Brooke Bernstein, another sprint speedster; Jamie Flores and American Heritage transfer Marissa Brannan in addition to a strong core of divers.
Ciesla’s confidence and enthusiasm for the upcoming high school season is infectious.
“The high school season is so much better because it’s short course,” said the 6-foot-1 Ciesla. “I do put a lot of pressure on myself for my team. I want them to do well.”
DEFENDING STATE CHAMPIONS:
Class 4A: (Girls) Tarpon Springs East Lake; (Boys) Sarasota Riverview
Class 3A: (Girls) Tallahassee Chiles; (Boys) St. John’s Creekside
Class 2A: (Girls) Gulliver Prep; (Boys) Plantation American Heritage
Class 1A: (Girls): Jacksonville Bolles; (Boys) Jacksonville Bolles
Florida Swim Network