On Saturday, the Panama City Swim Team hosted the end of season longcourse meet, which for some kids was the last chance to qualify for the Southeastern Championships, one of the highest honors a young swimmer can achieve.
PCST has helped kids make quite the splash in the pool, with several members winning state championships from Mosley this season, including Michael Duderstadt, who swam in the Olympic trials last summer and is headed to Auburn on a swimming scholarship.
Johnathan Kaplan is stepping down at the end of the summer as head coach of PCST, but says the team has gone above and beyond all his goals he set when he arrived in Panama City seven years ago.
"One of the goals for me when I came into this program was not just to create fast swimmers, but create an organization that can develop really great community individuals," said Kaplan Saturday. "As a result, we have some of the best students in the county and we have opportunities for kids to succeed at all levels ranging from the lessons program all the way up to Olympic trials and it makes me proud to know we've developed into that."
Kaplan said that he has 44 swimmers qualified for the Southeastern Championships, which is a new program record.