The Tampa Prep sophomore was the best of a sterling county class this season.
By TERRY JONES
Published November 28, 2004
BRANDON - Chelsea Nauta repeated as the Class A state champion in the 100-yard freestyle event this season. She even improved at the big meet by adding a state title in the 200 freestyle for a double gold performance.
Last year, she placed second in the 200 free.
She set her best times of the season in both gold medal performances.
Not only were her results at state better than any other swimmer in Florida, but her season-long performance was the best in Hillsborough County. She won the 100 free in 50.25 seconds and the 200 freestyle in 1:48.16.
The Tampa Prep sophomore also swam the anchor leg on the 200 and 400 free relay teams. The Terrapins placed fourth in the 200.
Nauta's success at the state meet and throughout the season make her the Times swimmer of the year for Hillsborough County. She also earned the honor last season as a freshman.
"I couldn't ask for a better season," Nauta said. "My sister (Brittany) transferred to Tampa Prep to finish her senior year and we are best friends, besides teammates and sisters. Then the team did so well this year. We went undefeated in the regular season. I hear this was the best team ever for Tampa Prep. It sure was fun for me."
As a junior last year in Pinellas County, Brittany won a state title in the 50 free. Her performance drew the eye of numerous college coaches, though she placed fourth at the state meet in her event this year.
"Just this week, Brittany signed to swim for the University of Tennessee next year," Nauta said. I sure will miss her next season, but I am glad we had this season together."
The younger Nauta has achieved some national honors as well. Recently, she was selected as a member of the USA Junior National Team and has spent time in Colorado training with the team as one of two Florida swimmers on the 20-member team.
During the first week of January she is scheduled to travel to Hawaii to compete with team USA in the Pan-Pac Games. Peter Banks, back with the Brandon Blue Wave Swim Team, will help coach the American team.
COACH OF THE YEAR: For several years, Mara Schultz has been working hard at building and developing a strong, balanced team at Academy of the Holy Names. Her success in making AHN one of the top teams in the state earned her the Times honor.
She has put the same skills into her team that she dedicated to her own swimming success as a state champion at Plant and team captain at Florida State.