TAMPA — Last year, Berkeley Prep’s boys ended Jesuit’s 12-year winning streak in dual meets, escaping with a four-point victory.
The Buccaneers boys put together a more convincing performance Wednesday night and started a streak of their own with a second consecutive victory over the Tigers, winning 99-86 at AHN pool. Berkeley Prep’s girls fell to Academy of the Holy Names, as the Jaguars cruised 125-61.
Berkeley Prep coach Kevin Rosepapa said he knew the narrow, streak-snapping defeat last year would bring out the best in Jesuit this time around, so he began challenging his swimmers two weeks ago to be prepared for a hard-fought competition.
“They came with a lot of intensity, and I think we matched Jesuit’s intensity,” Rosepapa said. “We knew the biggest thing was intensity, from Jesuit losing last year, that they were going to show up.”
The Tigers kept it close despite two of their top swimmers, Chris Swanson and John Simon, struggling with sinus infections. Swanson still managed to win the 200-yard freestyle (1:47.95) and 100 free (49.98) while anchoring Jesuit’s victory in the 200 free relay, coming from behind after the final turn.
Simon also fought through illness, posting a first-place 59.22 in the 100 butterfly and swimming the 50 free in 23.33. That race, however, might have been the most important for the Bucs, as Alex Bandes (23.30), Zack Bandes (23.81) and Simon Moskovitz (24.26) took first, third and fourth, respectively.
“Our kids swam great. They raced great,” Jesuit coach Bill Shaffer said. “Everybody was either near their best times or got their best times. We just ran out of gas.”
Along with the Jaguars’ volleyball match against St. Petersburg Catholic in the neighboring gym, the meet was a part of the Spike/Splash for the Cause fundraiser dedicated to Mara Toole Schultz, the Holy Names physical education teacher and swimming coach who died of breast cancer in May at age 33.
Students created and displayed banners in Schultz’s memory along the fence, and profits from the entry fee, merchandise, raffle and food sales went to the Moffitt Cancer Center, as did any donations from fans.
“It hits home. It hits hard,” said Shaffer, who coached Schultz since she was 10 and worked alongside her for six years. “She was just a saint. It’s just an honor to follow her at Academy, do anything in her honor and help out her family.”