LARGO — Of the Shorecrest girls’ seven straight district swimming titles, the one earned Saturday evening at the Southwest Recreation Center may be among their most memorable.
Behind an infusion of youth and an outstanding night from junior Hope Andrews, the Chargers handily beat Northside Christian 475-302 for the Class A, District 8 crown once again.
“This was big for the girls,” Shorecrest coach Patty Nardozzi said. “It’s really been a team effort this year. Hope Andrews led the charge, being key in the relays. The younger girls have really done a great job, and it’s their confidence believing in what they can do.”
Andrews had a busy night. She was part of the winning 200-yard medley (2 minutes, 3.50 seconds) and 400-yard freestyle (3:54.25) relays. She also won individual honors in the 500-yard freestyle (5:18.80) and 200-yard freestyle (1:57.52). The Chargers also got victories from Paige Tripp in the 100 free (56.33) and Meredith Little in the 100 backstroke (1:06.93). The Chargers’ Hannah Stein scored 457.90 points to win the 1-meter diving competition.
“We really wanted to keep our district title streak going,” Andrews said. “We have a lot of young swimmers pulling through, and it’s good to know they’re trying really hard.”
Bradenton St. Stephen’s Ellen Berdusco was a multiple-event winner, taking the 100 fly (1:00.54) and 200 individual medley (2:13.57).
On the boys side, Sarasota Cardinal Mooney edged Shorecrest 419-408 for its second district title. Cardinal Mooney’s Matthew O’Donnell won the 200 IM (2:07.13), 500 free (4:57.01) and swam a leg on the winning 400 free relay (3:32.42).
“We really didn’t know if we could do this,” Cardinal Mooney coach Alice Smithers said. “We had a lot of strong guys graduate last year, but we had some new ones step up.”
For Shorecrest, Matt Izzo won the 50 free (22.60) and the 100 free (51.78) while Jack Stein scored 461.85 points to win the diving competition.