These are the top five sports moments from 2019.
Flagler Palm Coast swimmer Micayla Cronk continues to add to her already decorated trophy case. Cronk, who won a state championship in the 100-yard freestyle as a freshman in 2017 and state championships in the 100 and the 200-yard freestyles in 2018, won gold at the 2019 Class 4A FHSAA State Swim Meet on Nov. 15 yet again in the 100 and 200. She missed out on a state record in the 200 by .08 seconds, finishing with a time of 1 minute, 44.39 seconds. However, in the 100, she touched the wall in 48.20 seconds, eclipsing Abbey Weitzel’s state record of 48.69, which was set in 2016. Cronk is a 16-year-old junior, a five-time state champion and is arguably the most decorated athlete in Bulldogs history.
Matanzas' Will Lam captures state weightlifting title
2019 was all about redemption for Matanzas weightlifter Will Lam, after he scratched out in the district meet the season prior. Lam breezed through districts and regionals, earning a spot in the 2019 Class 2A FHSAA Boys Weightlifting State Championship in the 169-pound class on April 12 at Arnold High School in Panama City Beach. Lam was flawless on the bench press, easily hitting all of his lifts, including a max of 360 pounds. He finished with a max 295-pound clean-and-jerk, upping hit total to 655 pounds, which was 35 pounds clear of second place.
Buchanan sisters medal up at state weightlifting meet
Lexi Buchanan, who won gold in the unlimited weight class in 2018, fell short of her main goal in 2019 —but she came mighty close. Buchanan bench pressed 280 pounds and clean-and-jerked 205 pounds to earn a silver medal at the Class 2A FHSAA Girls Weightlifting State Championship on Feb. 8 at Arnold High School. Her sister, freshman Anniel Buchanan, benched 190 and clean-and-jerked 170 to finish third in the 199-pound weight class.
FPC track and field places second at states
The Bulldogs' boys track and field team placed second overall at the 2019 Class 4A State Championship. The Bulldogs were bolstered by several stellar performances: Jacob Miley narrowly missed out on a gold medal in the 800-meter run, completing the race in a personal best 1:51.03. He also helped FPC earn a bronze medal in the 4x800-meter relay and a silver medal in the 200-meter relay. Shot put thrower Nelson Paul also earned a silver medal, finishing 5 centimeters short of first place.
Pirates wrestling dominates in 2019
Matanzas' boys wrestling team had one of its most successful season's ever in 2019. The Pirates made area history by being the first Flagler County team to qualify for the state duals championship. The Pirates beat rival FPC for the first time in a decade, they won the district and finished second at regionals, and they qualified nine wrestlers for the state tournament, where they had three place (S.J. Culbreth, Quenteen Robinson and Lawrence Russo).