Gulf Breeze is sending yet another swimmer to the Division I swimming ranks.
Versatile standout Stephen Speck committed to Florida State last week, selecting the Seminoles over interest from Alabama, Arizona and Utah. Speck is currently the No. 26 swimmer in Florida’s 2020 recruiting class on College Swimming.
Recruiting picked up for Speck in the months following the end of his high school career, though his finale was a victim of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“I mainly shined after my high school season ended and I was with my club team,” Speck said. “That was what got FSU interested in me. Unfortunately, Junior Nationals got canceled so there’s a good bit of unfinished business with that.”
Strong in several strokes, Speck is a frequent contender in the individual medley. He won four district titles in the 2019 high school season, moving on to finish as region runner-up and third at state in the 200 IM.
His April commitment means Speck will be working to earn a scholarship with the program, though his sights are set much higher for his collegiate career.
“I think it would be cool to win an NCAA championship in my event during my senior season,” Speck said. “It’s something to work toward.”
He’ll join a rising Florida State swimming program that has made strides under head coach Neal Studd, improving from a No. 28 finish three years ago to a No. 14 finish upon the suspension of the 2020 season.
COVID-19 has forced a change to Speck’s usual training routine. With most aquatic centers and the beach closed, Speck has transitioned to running and rowing machines.
As one Gulf Breeze product begins his college swimming career another has ended hers. Former state champion Tori Bindi concluded her career with the Florida Gators earlier this spring.
Eric J. Wallace can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 850-525-5087.