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District swimming: Fast start off the block boosts King's boys

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Wed. October 30, 2013 | Kelly Parsons

TAMPA — King coach Don Rooks knew his boys swim team was in good shape at Wednesday’s Class 3A, District 7 Championship from the very first finish.

The Lions were seeded second in the first boys’ event of the day, the 200-yard medley relay. Freedom’s seed time of 1:42.28 was almost five seconds faster than King’s.

But starting off the Lions’ winning day right, the King relay shaved almost two seconds off its previous best to out-touch the Patriots and put big points on the board early.

“Winning that first relay was a surprise,” Rooks said. “That started off the meet. Everything fell into place after that.”

The King boys poured it on late, winning the final three events — the 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke and 400 freestyle relay —in order to take first overall with 458 points. Hillsborough followed in second (354), just 5.5 more than third-place Freedom.

On the girls’ side, Sickles came in first with 400 points, while Freedom finished in second (355) and Hillsborough third (317).
Freedom won six of 24 events, and senior Patriot Marc Berson was one of three swimmers who won two individual events (100 butterfly and 200 IM), joining Sickles’ Abigail Rose (50 and 100 free) and Plant City’s Bailey Bowden (200 and 500 free).

Both the girls’ and boys’ distance free events ended with eye-catching finishes Wednesday at the New Tampa YMCA. Bowden, who finished eighth in the 500 and 200 free last year at states, won the 500 Wednesday in 5:08.75 — more than 24 seconds faster than the second-place finisher.

Bowden, who committed to Vanderbilt on Thursday, hoped her strong swims fueled her Raider teammates.

“I think better performances lead to other better performances,” she said. “If I do my best, hopefully I’ll inspire them to do theirs.”

The boys’ 500 free was won by Fitzhugh Rawls, the only ninth-grader to win an event at the district championship. Rawls was the only boy to win an event for Hillsborough, which relied on its depth to edge Freedom.

“They really busted chops to get to second place,” Hillsborough coach Tom Paloumpis said.

Girls: Sickles 400, Freedom 355, Hillsborough 317, Gaither 187, King 180, Plant City 166, Tampa Bay Tech 119, Armwood 112, Brandon 102, Lennard 97, Chamberlain 63, Blake 60, Leto 32

Boys: King 458, Hillsborough 354, Freedom 348.5, Gaither 207, Sickles 204, Brandon 140.5, Plant City 106, Leto 76, Tampa Bay Tech 71, Armwood 66, Blake 64, Lennard 37, Chamberlain 24

Event 1 girls 200 medley relay Sickles 2:04.45

Event 2 boys 200 medley relay King 1:45.27

Event 3 girls 200 freestyle Bailey Bowden 1:57.38 (Plant City)

Event 4 boys 200 freestyle Brennan Noll 1:53.67 (Freedom)

Event 5 girls 200 IM Morgan Harkness 2:25.25 (Freedom)

Event 6 boys 200 IM Marc Berson 2:00.58 (Freedom)

Event 7 girls 50 free Abigail Rose 25.83 (Sickles)

Event 8 boys 50 free Adam Voor 23.05 (Brandon)

Event 9 girls 1 mtr diving Emily Johnson 369.25 (Sickles)

Event 10 boys 1 mtr diving Kyle Benko 340.85 (Sickles)

Event 11 girls 100 butterfly Kendal Allen 1:01.20 (Sickles)

Event 12 boys 100 butterfly Marc Berson 54.13 (Freedom)

Event 13 girls 100 free Abigail Rose 58.44 (Sickles)

Event 14 boys 100 free Sebastian Shindel 51.33 (Sickles)

Event 15 girls 500 free Bailey Bowden 5:08.75 (Plant City)

Event 16 boys 500 free Fitzhugh Rawls 5:04.05 (Hillsborough)

Event 17 girls 200 free relay Sickles 1:48.52

Event 18 boys 200 free relay Freedom 1:34.84

Event 19 girls 100 backstroke Heather DeReus 1:03.46 (Tampa Bay Tech)

Event 20 boys 100 backstroke Eugene Luo 59.06 (King)

Event 21 girls 100 breaststroke Nirja Patel 1:11.87 (Hillsborough)

Event 22 boys 100 breaststroke Jed Rodriguez 1:01.98 (King)

Event 23 girls 400 free relay Freedom 4:03.92

Event 24 boys 400 free relay King 3:32.40

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