TAMPA — Everyone knew Plant sophomore Kyle Kimura was strong in the water.
Now he's showing the strength of his resolve.
Just about two weeks removed from the death of his mother, Kimura won the boys 200 individual medley and 100 fly at the Western Conference Championships at Bobby Hicks Pool on Saturday. His time of 53.96 seconds in the fly set a school record.
"Swimming lets all that anger out," he said.
Kimura, along with the Panthers' 400 free relay that also set a school record, helped lead Plant's boys team to first place in the American division, and its total of 572.50 points was the highest posted by a boys squad at the meet. The Plant girls, who fielded the winning 200 medley relay and 200 free relay, also won the American division with the highest overall score for a girls team with 627 points.
The Newsome girls and boys teams swept the Federal division with 477 and 457 points, respectively. Seniors Amy Taylor and Gavin Byrd won close races in the girls 500 free and boys 100 breaststroke.
Two freshmen from the Panthers' and Wolves' teams were the only female swimmers to win multiple individual events. Plant's Alexandria Donahue won the 50 free and 100 breast, and Newsome's Maddie Hess posted the top times in the 100 free and 100 back. Hess said she prefers the 100 back and hopes to place in the top three at the state meet in November.
"I'm a backstroker," she said. "It's easier, and I like breathing, and it gives me that chance."
The Wharton girls, with 424 points, and the King boys, with 382.50 points, split the National division. And other than Kimura, Robinson's John Nolte was the only other boys swimmer to take two individual titles, taking the 50 free and 100 free.