Historic Races for the Swimming & Diving Teams and the Cross Country Teams


Courtesy of fl.milesplit.com

Girls’ Cross Country Team smiling big at NXR in Oregon.

As you’ve probably heard, the Pine Crest Boys and Girls Swimming and Diving teams have won their first championship in decades. The girls won for the first time in 29 years, and the boys for the first time in 32 years. Not only did the girls win, but they won by the largest margin in 2A history. The boys as well scored the most points since 2002 in 2A. 


Senior Shiraz Shiff says, “I am very proud to have contributed to the first state Swimming and Diving win in 30 years. It means a lot to me because this is the last high school meet I will ever compete in, so this experience was very special.” Joshua Hanks ‘21 says, “Winning states was truly amazing, it was like a dream come true.” The teams defied all odds and destroyed the competition last weekend. 


In addition to the swimming and diving team, the Pine Crest Girls Cross Country dominated the course on November 9th, winning yet another State Championship. This was their 3rd FHSAA State Championship title in 4 years. The team set a Florida record with an 18:26.87 team average, making them the fastest group of girls in Florida History! They were led by Tsion 

Yared ‘20, who has won the individual title in three of the past four years. Finishing in 3rd was Emily Faulhaber ‘20, securing a spot in the top 7 for the 3rd year in a row.


Emily Faulhaber says, “We trained really hard throughout the summer and school year and it really paid off in the meets, culminating at states.” Maya Beleznay ‘20 finished 4th, gaining her 3rd state medal, as well as Mahdere Yared ‘21 who finished 11th.


Maya Beleznay says, “It was incredible to have such a talented, close-knit team this year, and all of these girls have such bright futures. This win gave us lots of confidence going into the regional meet.” Sierra Stocker ‘21, Amanda Schwartz ‘20, and Lorrie Axelrod ‘20 stepped up to secure the State Title, finishing 19th, 61st, and 62nd respectively. 


After their States victory, they competed at the Nike Southeast Regionals in North Carolina, to qualify to race at the Nike Cross Country National Meet in Portland, Oregon. They went into the race seeded second in the region, the highest they’ve ever been before. At the meet, the girls rose to the occasion. They placed 2nd at the regional meet, making them the first team in Pine Crest history and the fourth team in Florida history to ever qualify for the Nike Cross Nationals Meet. 


The team raced at NXN in Oregon on Saturday, December 7, representing Pine Crest and the state of Florida! After a hard-fought race in rainy and 40° F weather, the team achieved 15th place in the United States! We are so proud of the girls cross country team and the amazing races they’ve had this season.