Posted: 6:04 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014

All-Area Boys Swimming: Gage Kohner, Boca Raton

By Steve Dorsey

Special to The Palm Beach Post

It was almost like a scene out of Hollywood, and Gage Kohner could not have scripted it any better.

As he stepped off the awards podium at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Center in Stuart, a throng of family and friends were standing nearby, eagerly awaiting their chance to have pictures taken with the latest sprint star to come out of the Boca Raton boys swimming program. A smiling Kohner graciously obliged. After all, this was his moment to bask in the spotlight.

A few minutes earlier, Kohner had emerged from the pool after winning his second gold medal at the Class 4A state championships.

“To end my high school swimming career like this, it doesn’t get any better,” Kohner said.

As a junior, Kohner had helped Boca Raton capture the first state title in the history of the boys program. As a senior, he penciled his name into the Bobcats’ record book by winning both of the freestyle sprints, matching the accomplishment of former teammate Jason McCormick last year.

Kohner won the state title in the 50-yard freestyle in 20.54 seconds and added the 100-yard freestyle title to his résumé after clocking a school-record 44.62 in the morning prelims. His times earned him automatic All-America status.

“Those are real tough events to win because there’s no room for error,” Boca Raton coach Eric Hill said.

Kohner also won both of those races at the Palm Beach County Championships and swam a leg on both of Boca Raton’s freestyle relays, including the 200-yard relay that earned the silver medal at the state meet.

Kohner, who three days before the state meet accepted a scholarship offer from Northwestern, also anchored Boca Raton’s 400-yard freestyle relay that placed fourth at the state meet.

“His goal this year was to win two individual state titles and get a college scholarship,” Hill said of Kohner.

Mission accomplished.


Simon Adriano

Dwyer, junior


Claimed bronze medal at Class 4A state meet with 449.05 points, most of any area diver.

William Pisani

Suncoast, junior

200 freestyle, 100 backstroke

County champion in both events, placed sixth in 200 freestyle and earned bronze in backstroke at Class 2A state meet.

Manny Avila

Grandview Prep, senior

200 IM

Clocked area-fastest 1:56.55 to place 11th at Class 1A state meet; was county runner-up.

Nicholas Conrad

St. Andrew’s, junior

50 freestyle

Placed sixth at fast Class 1A state championships with a time of 21.61 seconds; was third at regional.

Jacob Pavlock

Suncoast, senior

100 butterfly

Regional runner-up; placed fifth at Class 2A state championships with time of 51.72 seconds.

Brody Heck

Boca Raton, sophomore

100 freestyle

Earned bronze medal and All-America consideration at 4A state meet, clocking 45.63 in prelims.

Cody Cline

Wellington, sophomore

500 freestyle

County champion took sixth place at 4A state meet with time of 4:35.28, fastest among area qualifiers.

Shawn Zylberberg

Spanish River, senior

100 breaststroke

Placed seventh at Class 4A state championships with time of 58.94 seconds, fastest among area qualifiers.

St. Andrew’s

200 medley relay

Team of Luke Hayhoe, Zach Moses, Santeri Pigg and Nicholas Conrad won county title and placed fourth at Class 1A state meet with time of 1:36.41.

Boca Raton

200 freestyle relay

Gage Kohner, Richie Merrill, Adam King, Brody Heck teamed up for county championship and won silver medal at 4A state meet with All-America consideration time of 1:25.38.

Boca Raton

400 freestyle relay

Brody Heck, Richie Merrill, Alejandro Vassallo and Gage Kohner clocked All-America consideration time of 3:08.82 to place fourth at 4A state finals.

Eric Hill

Boca Raton

Coach of the Year

Bobcats were regional champs, county runners-up and placed third at Class 4A state championships.


Diving: Nolan Mallett, Dreyfoos, Jr.

200 freestyle: Cody Cline, Wellington, Soph.

200 IM: Tomas Kloosterman, Grandview Prep, Sr.

50 freestyle: Sidrell Williams, St. Andrew’s, Soph.

100 butterfly: Richie Merrill, Boca Raton, Sr.

100 freestyle: Luke Hayhoe, St. Andrew’s, Sr.

500 freestyle: Alex Cronin, Jupiter, Soph.

100 backstroke: Alejandro Vassallo, Boca Raton, Sr.

100 breaststroke: Ricardo Martinez, St. Andrew’s, Soph.

200 medley relay: Suncoast

200 freestyle relay: Suncoast

400 freestyle relay: St. Andrew’s


Raouf Abd El (Oxbridge Academy), Andrew Concepcion (Boca Raton), William Layne (Wellington), Andreas Rintel (Oxbridge Academy), Esteban Sarmiento (Jupiter).


Cameron Anderson (Martin County, Fr., 100 breaststroke); Gared Cosgrave (Lincoln Park, 8th, 500 freestyle); Demetrius Demet (Lincoln Park, Sr., diving); Jonathan Geraghty (Lincoln Park, 6th, diving); Danny Hartley (Jensen Beach, Sr., 50 freestyle, 100 butterfly); Al Madden (Jensen Beach, Soph., 100 backstroke); Willy Malone (Jensen Beach, Jr., 100 freestyle).


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