Deerfield Beach’s Megan Moroney is looking forward to the next chapter of her career.
The 17-year-old senior at St. Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, who was recently named the Florida High School Dairy Association’s Female Swimmer of the Year, captured 13 state high school championships during the past four seasons.
“This is such a great honor,” said Moroney, who won seven individual titles including four consecutive in the 100-yd. butterfly and three championships in the 200-yd. freestyle. She was also on three relays. “It’s definitely a great note to end my high school swimming on.”
Moroney, the top-ranked recruit in Florida and 16th overall nationally, is headed to the University of Virginia after signing her national letter of intent in the fall.
“I loved everything about it,” Moroney said. “The campus, the coaches, the team, the academics …. it was exactly everything I could want in a school.”
She also considered Stanford and Duke. She said knowing where she was going helped take some of the pressure off her for her senior year.
“It was a tough decision,” said Moroney, whose winning time in the 200-yd. freestyle (1:45.89) was the fastest time in the state in all four classifications. “Every school I was looking at was a really great school. I knew Virginia gave me the best combination of everything. I felt that would be where I would be.
“One thing I liked about Virginia was they had a lot of help with the academics,” Moroney said. “They have tutors on hand whenever you need one. People are always checking on you to make sure your grades are good. They won’t let you do poorly.”
Moroney has also already qualified for the 2016 Olympic trials in the 100, 200 and 400 freestyles. She was one of the youngest swimmers in the 100-meter backstroke at the 2012 Olympic trials in Omaha, NE.
“It was kind of hard to expect a best time at such a huge event with so much pressure,” said Moroney, who started attending St. Andrew’s in the sixth grade. She swam on the club team in the fourth grade after beginning her swim career for the Boca Barracudas Y team in the recreational league. “That was probably the scariest moment of my life and, looking out at an arena pool, it was cool, but it was totally scary. I was a lot younger, so I really wasn’t surprised that I didn’t do as well.”
St. Andrew’s School swim coach Sid Cassidy called Moroney Palm Beach County’s most dominant swimmer ever.
“In addition to everything she accomplished in the pool, she has remained true to herself,” said Cassidy, who began coaching Moroney as a sixth grader. “She leads a well-balanced family life and is a top student at St. Andrew’s School.”
“She was rightly recruited by every one of this nation’s top collegiate swimming programs and has selected the University of Virginia as her next stop on her journey,” Cassidy added. “No doubt the coaching staff in Charlottesville has to be smiling over the acquisition of this Golden Girl from Palm Beach County. We may never see another one quite like her.”
Stone named All-State
Zion Lutheran School senior Keith Stone was recently named to the Florida Association of Basketball Coaches and Source Hoops Class 2A All-State team.
The 6-ft., 8-in., 240-lb. forward, who recently signed his national letter of intent with the University of Florida, averaged 24 points, 10 rebounds and four assists for the Lions. Stone committed to play for the Gators two days after his official visit last October.
“It is close to home,” Stone said of his college choice. “My whole family loves them. Coach Billy (Donovan) is a Hall of Fame coach. He runs NBA style plays and that works for me.”
The four-year starter helped the Lions (20-8) advance to the Class 2A regional semifinals where it fell to Grandview Prep, 88-80.
Stone said he improved in his ball handling and stretching the defense in the last couple of years at the school and the four-star prospect was rated as the No. 97 player in the nation and 11th in the state of Florida, according to 247 Sports.
“No. 1, he’s very selfless, so nothing’s ever been about himself,” Zion Lutheran coach John Guion said. “He’s a great passer and a great shooter. He has a solid post game, and he’s got a great perimeter game as well. His game will translate well to the next level.”