Varsity Athletics: Spring Success

Gulliver’s varsity athletic teams are having excellent seasons this spring and as the boys’ water polo team sets its sights on a state championship this weekend, the Raiders aren’t done yet.

The boys’ water polo team is 28-1 on the season and will have the chance to bring home Gulliver Athletics’ 60th state championship. The Raiders earned the district title with a win over Palmetto before defeating Hialeah in the regional final to advance to states. Gulliver will face Boca High in the state semifinal on Friday, May 10 at 8:30 p.m. at Boca High Community High School. The state final is slated for Saturday, May 11 at 4:00 p.m.

Gulliver’s 58th and 59th state titles came this spring courtesy of the boys’ and girls’ tennis teams. After clinching their 11th straight district titles, the boys’ (10-1) and girls’ (8-3) tennis teams each won the 2A state championship last week.

The boys’ lacrosse team (15-6) had a stellar spring campaign, as well, as the Raiders captured their fourth straight district title before falling to St. Thomas Aquinas in a regional final contest last Friday.

In individual accomplishments, Natalie Varela ’20 put on a record-breaking performance at the 2A state track and field championships. Natalie dominated the competition, capturing the 2A state championship in both the 800-meter and 1600-meter runs. She set a new school record in the 800m (2:09) and finished the 1600m in 4:57; both times are personal bests for the standout junior.

Westley Neal ’20 reached new heights in both track and field and weightlifting this spring. He recently broke a school record in the shot put with a throw of 52 feet at the 2A regional track and field meet, and had an outstanding showing at districts, setting a personal best of 49 feet, winning the shot put district title. Also a standout on the boys’ weightlifting team, he won his weight class at the regional competition by lifting 400 pounds on the pause bench press and qualifying for states, becoming the first male weightlifter in Gulliver history to advance to the state championships.