CLEARWATER — The titles just keep on coming for Land O’Lakes, which Thursday defended its Class 2A, District 5 boys and girls crowns at the Long Center.
The Gators, who swept the North Suncoast Relays and Sunshine Athletic Conference meets, have won eight of the past nine boys district championships and five girls district titles.
“They’re all great. It’s just been an incredible run for me,” said Barbara Hayes, who is in her 13th and final season coaching the Land O’Lakes boys.
Added Gators girls coach Robin Hilgenberg: “You think it’s not as exciting when you continue to win, but these boys and girls are top-notch kids. That’s what makes it so exciting.”
Land O’Lakes finished well ahead of runnerup and host Mitchell, which hosted the meet, by a 501-346 margin. Third-place Sunlake totaled 328.
In the boys competition, the Gators scored 380 points and were followed by Lecanto (309) and Sunlake (277).
The Land O’Lakes girls had a meet-high seven victories while the Mitchell boys led with five.
Devin McCaffrey, who recently committed to LSU and won state titles in the 100-yard breaststroke and 100 butterfly last year, paced the Mustangs with wins in the 100 fly and 100 breast as well as being part of the winning 200 free and 200 medley relay teams.
Although no meet records were broken, four Land O’Lakes marks fell. Cameron Hilgenberg, the coach’s son, set school records in the 50 free and 100 breast.
Meanwhile, the girls 200 free and 400 free relay teams broke school marks. Connor McKay, Mackenzie Koth and Krystin Demsher were part of those foursomes with Andrea Mapugay joining the 200 group and Jocelyn Williams anchoring the 400.