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3A-5 swimming: Depth trumps top times for Palm Harbor University

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Sat. October 30, 2010 | Bob Putnam | Email

PALM HARBOR — Only two girls relay teams (200 and 400 free) from Palm Harbor University won titles Saturday. And the Hurricanes had no individual champions.

But as other teams have found out the past few years, Palm Harbor University doesn’t win district titles by getting to the top of the podium. The Hurricanes do it by finishing second. And third. And fourth. And fifth …

Palm Harbor University’s depth is the envy of area teams. Once again, the Hurricanes put those numbers to good use as the girls won their fourth straight district title, outscoring Plant 467-337 at the Greater Palm Harbor YMCA.

PHU’s boys were even better, winning their 10th straight title with 440 points, 103.5 ahead of Countryside.

“The big thing we were focusing on was getting as many swimmers to move on to next week’s region meet,” Hurricanes coach Lisa Bitting said. “We got everyone who I thought we could get through, which is what I’m pleased about.”

PHU’s girls had all four swimmers entered in the 50 free and 500 free place in the top eight.

“Those two events helped us make a big move in scoring points,” Bitting said. And we had a lot of divers who did well.”

Clearwater’s Megan Rossi was the only female to win multiple events, taking first in the 200 free (1:54.94) and 500 free (5:00.78).

In the boys meet, Palm Harbor University’s Ryan McRae won the 100 free (47.94) and 100 back (52.61). He also teamed with Zach Perrotti, David Morgan and Jason Williams on the winning 200 medley relay (1:39.84) and the second-place 200 free relay (1:29.77)

Other boys swimmers who won multiple events were Clearwater’s Nick Alexiou in the 200 free (1:40.83) and 500 free (4:36.14), and Countryside’s Matt Ellis in the 50 free (21.54) and 100 fly (51.88).

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