Bishop Verot rising junior Santiago Corredor, a Class A state champion in the 500-meter freestyle, spends as many as four to six hours a day swimming at the Fort Myers Aquatic Center.
It’s a life the Colombian-born athlete, who learned to swim as early as 1 year old, has been accustomed to for years as he’s followed in the footsteps of his mother, Chiqui, who was a professional swimmer.
On Sunday, that work paid off yet again. Corredor finished first in the 400-meter freestyle at the Speedo Sectionals in Orlando, finishing in 3 minutes, 58 seconds.
“It was only a second off my best time,” Corredor said.
It was part of a six-event performance over the four-day sectionals at the YMCA of Central Florida. Corredor also competed in the 100, 200, 400 and 800 freestyles and the 200 and 400 individual medleys.
“He did well in all of them, but he was definitely geared up for that race in particular,” said Matt Kennedy, Corredor’s Swim Florida coach.
With the win, Corredor qualified for the Phillips 66 National Championships in Irvine, California. However, the Bishop Verot athlete will be opting out of the championships in favor of another venue.
In August, Corredor will travel to Singapore to compete in the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships.
Then, Corredor’s hopes will verge toward new ground just a few months later.
He will travel to Colombia to compete in what his mother calls “Colombia’s Olympic Trials” in November. Corredor has his sights on qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Kennedy believes Corredor is heading down the right path.
“For some swimmers when they get in a high stakes meet, it brings out the worst in them,” Kennedy said. “But for Santi, it brings out the best in him.”
Jerger wins gold in beach volleyball
Macy Jerger laughs about the story of how she met her beach volleyball partner, Ashley Allmer.
Now she has a gold medal following her performance Sunday in the 22nd AAU Junior National Beach Volleyball 18U Championships in Hermosa Beach, California.
But just months ago, the Fort Myers graduate had no idea who Allmer, a Sarasota High grad and LSU beach volleyball commit, even was.
“The end of our school year, she actually Instagram messaged me because she didn’t have my phone number,” the 6-foot-1 Jerger said. “She asked me whether I would want to play with her in a couple tournaments. I was like ‘Yeah, why not.’ I didn’t know her at the time. But we practiced and then played. We did awesome.”
They finished second at the Florida USAV Beach Series Classic in May, then followed with the junior national championship this past weekend.
The pair had to battle through their opening pool even to get into gold medal play. As many as 80 teams competed.
They were divvied into a secondary pool following their round play and won their way into the final brackets.
They followed with five straight victories, which included their fifth and final win on the Hermosa Beach main courts.
“We didn’t take a lot of breaks in between,” Jerger said. “We had this rhythm going. And we were playing really well that day. It was a lot of fun.”
It comes weeks before Jerger’s freshman season at Florida State University as a beach volleyball player.
She reports to the Seminoles on August 19 following a senior season where she led the Green Wave to a regional championship. She also led Fort Myers in hitting percentage (.333), kills (354) and digs (253).
Dunbar’s Charrie Dennard transfers to Alabama A&M
Former Dunbar standout Charrie Dennard transferred to Alabama A&M after after a successful two-year stint Webber International track and field team.
“Having the chance to compete at the D1 level is wonderful because I’m finally where I want to be,” Dennard said. “Working so hard to get there and finally being able to reach there is an incredible feeling.”
During her freshman season, Dennard, a former News-Press all-area selection, qualified for the NAIA indoor championships last season in the long jump and outdoor championships in the triple jump. She competed in the long and triple jump in indoor this season and qualified for the same events and was a part of a 4X100-meter relay team in outdoor.