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NEW TAMPA — Land O’Lakes nearly pulled off a second straight sweep of a postseason meet Thursday at the New Tampa YMCA.
The Gators, who last week swept the Sunshine Athletic Conference championships, won the girls title and the boys were runnersup in the Class 2A, District 5 meet. Lecanto won the boys crown.
“Absolutely I’m okay with it,” said Land O’Lakes boys coach Barbara Hayes, who has six district titles in 11 seasons. “We have nothing to hang our head about.”
For the Land O’Lakes girls and Lecanto boys, both coaches spoke highly of team depth, a factor that came into play for the Gators more than usual since they were without two injured standouts — Alex Pierovich (back) and Kristen Demsher (thumb).
“It was just hard to win it, because we’re missing two valuable swimmers,” Gators coach Robin Hilgenberg said. “I kept telling (her swimmers that) this is not about one or two swimmers. Every point counts.”
While Lecanto did not have to deal with any major injuries, coach Matt Bouthillier was proud of his charges.
“The big key for us is our depth,” he said. “We have a lot of fast swimmers.”
Lecanto also took third in the girls division, finishing with 332 points behind Land O’Lakes’ 356 and Sunlake’s 347. Sunlake rounded out the top three in the boys division. The Panthers won with 311 points, followed by the Gators’ 262 total and the Seahawks’ 248 score.
Jake Tamposi led Lecanto as one of four dual winners in individual events. The freshman won the 500-yard freestyle in four minutes, 53.49 seconds and the 100 breaststroke in 1:02.52.
Other dual winners: Ridgewood’s Joseph Geschke (200 free, 1:48.02; 100 backstroke, 55.00); Gulf’s Hunter Swartsel (50 free, 22.53; 100 free, 49.31); and Mitchell’s Mazie Siddens (200 individual medley, 2:14.62; 100 butterfly 1:00.65).
Mitchell, which hosted the meet, was the lone school to win two relay races. The Mitchell boys captured the 200 medley relay (Gavin Hunt, Ian Ondrejka, Devin McCaffrey, Anthony Chang in 1:46.13) and 200 free relay (Hunt, Ondrejka, Chang, McCaffrey in 1:33.56).