ORLANDO -- The Lakewood Ranch swim team got what it was after Thursday at the Class 2A state meet.
Senior distance star Danielle Valley defended her 500-yard freestyle state championship, and the Mustangs boys improved their team result from last season at the Central Florida YMCA Aquatic Center.
Valley, who made the finals of the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 800 freestyle this past summer, dropped almost 10 seconds from her time in the 500 freestyle preliminaries to knock off rival CeCe Williams of Tallahassee Chiles for the title.
Williams defeated Valley by almost five seconds in the prelims, but Valley's finals time of 4 minutes, 40.97 seconds was just three seconds off the state record and eight seconds better than Williams' time.
Valley fell to Williams in the 200 freestyle relay, though. Williams finished in 1:47.54, beating second-place Valley (1:48.97).
The Lakewood Ranch boys finished sixth with 88 points, up from a ninth-place finish last season.
Will Kazokas, who won the 100 freestyle state title last season, led the Mustangs, placing fourth in the 50 freestyle (21.20) and sixth in the 100 butterfly (51.66).
The 200 medley relay team of Kazokas, Eric Erlenmeyer, Jay Cho and Jonathan Chaires placed seventh, and the 400 freestyle relay of Kazokas, Kevin Berkenbusch, Danny Erlenmeyer and Luke Hanner was sixth. Hanner placed 14th in the 200 freestyle (1:45.92), and Cho placed 16th in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.23) for Lakewood Ranch
The Mustangs placed ninth in the girls team standings with 73.5 points. Freshman Madison Jean placed seventh in the 100 butterfly (57.60) after turning in the second-best time in the preliminaries. The 200 medley relay team of Jean, Sydney Panzarino, Shannon McCarthy and Isabelle Basden came in eighth.
McCarthy, a senior, tied for 14th in the 50 free (24.75).