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North Suncoast state swimming preview

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Wed. November 10, 2010 | Bryan Burns

North Suncoast state swimming preview

WESLEY CHAPEL — Wiregrass Ranch’s Rebecca Pindral doesn’t really like to talk about it.

It wasn’t even as big a deal as others have made it out to be, she claims.

Still, it’s hard not to imagine how Pindral could have performed at the state swim finals a year ago had she not broken her nose right before the start of the district tournament.

“I was in and out of the water for two weeks (because of the injury), and then districts. It wasn’t a good time to break my nose,” she admits.

Before the postseason, Pindral fractured both her nasal bones, the result of a classroom psychology project gone awry.

At districts, sporting two black eyes, she had to use an in-water start because diving was too excruciating.

By regionals, though, her nose felt better, other than that first dive back in the water.

“It hurt, but I was okay,” she said.

After swimming 1:08.12 at states in the 100-yard breaststroke and placing 11th as a sophomore, Pindral slipped by nearly two seconds a year later at the state meet, finishing in 1:09.93, although she did place three spots higher to take eighth.

“I had set goals before the season and I didn’t accomplish any of them,” Pindral said. “I wanted to swim 1:07 again. I wanted to be a top finisher at state. Things just got in the way. I didn’t put swimming high on the pedestal like I should have. And then I got hurt.

“It was a very off year last year.”

Pindral will look for redemption at Friday’s Class 2A meet in Orlando. The energetic senior had the fourth-best qualifying time in the 100 breast, tops among individual qualifiers from the North Suncoast (the Mitchell 200 free relay team of Gavin Hunt, Ian Ondrejka, Anthony Chang and Devin McCaffrey is also seeded fourth).

Pindral is the 17th seed in the 200 IM, where she is hoping for a time of about 2:12 and a finish in the top 16.

But the 100 breast is her bread and butter event. It’s the one where she feels she can bring a swimming title back to Pasco County.

She swam her fastest 100 breast time — 1:06.77 — in prelims at regionals. And even though she fell back almost a second at 1:07.43 in the regional final to place second, she feels she’s ready to hit 1:06 again, maybe even 1:05 at states.

“I think to finally break that 1:07 in prelims, which I haven’t done in almost two years, that’s really helped. That felt really good,” she said. “I think I can get there again. … I really, really, really am hoping for a 1:05 time. That’s my goal; 1:06 I’d be happy with.”
Pindral, the St. Petersburg Times’ North Suncoast girls swimmer of the year as a junior, will have experience on her side as well having qualified three straight years for states.

“You go in sophomore year and you just feel young and you almost want to be cocky about it, but you’re not,” she said. “And then I went in my junior year, and I was all busted up and that was a horrible feeling because I knew I wasn’t going to do as well as I wanted to.”

Now in the best shape of her life, swimming the fastest times of her life, Pindral’s ready to put last year behind her.

“Friday’s going to be a really big day,” she said. “Senior year at states. I’m excited. I’m really, really excited.”

Class A
Where: Central Florida YMCA Aquatic Center, Orlando
When: Today – prelims, 9 a.m.; finals, 5:30 p.m.
State qualifiers (seed in parentheses): Girls 1-meter diving: Maddie Siebold (Bishop McLaughlin), 345.68 (22nd)

Class 2A
Where: Central Florida YMCA Aquatic Center, Orlando
When: Friday – prelims, 9 a.m.; finals, 5:30 p.m.
State qualifiers (seed in parentheses): Boys 200 medley relay: Mitchell (Gavin Hunt, Ian Ondrejka, Devin McCaffrey, Anthony Chang), 1:43.26 (seventh); girls 200 free: Nicholette Clark, Zephyrhills, 2:00.18 (20th); Carigan Albert, Sunlake, 2:02.08 (24th); boys 200 free: Joseph Geschke, Ridgewood, 1:48.52 (15th); girls 200 IM: Mazie Siddens, Mitchell, 2:14.17 (15th); Rebecca Pindral, Wiregrass Ranch, 2:15.30 (17th); Jocelyn Williams, Land O’Lakes, 2:17.76 (22nd); boys 50 free: Hunter Swartsel, Gulf, 22.49 (12th); Gavin Hunt, Mitchell, 22.54 (14th); boys 1-meter diving: Alex Hill, Wesley Chapel, 357.90 (12th); girls 100 fly: Mazie Siddens, Mitchell, 1:00.53 (15th); boys 100 fly: Devin McCaffrey, Mitchell, 52.34 (seventh); girls 100 free: Lindsay Gorgen, Zephyrhills, 56.67 (20th); boys 100 free: Nick Keach, Sunlake, 49.12 (14th); Hunter Swartsel, Gulf, 49.58 (18th); Austin Van Vliet, Sunlake, 50.19 (22th); boys 200 free relay: Mitchell (Gavin Hunt, Ian Ondrejka, Anthony Chang, Devin McCaffrey), 1:31.62 (fourth); Sunlake (Nick Keach, Devin Anderson, Kyle Shaffer, Austin Van Vliet), 1:32.73 (12th); girls 100 back: Kaylin Sylvester, Sunlake, 1:04.60 (23rd); boys 100 back: Joseph Geschke, Ridgewood, 56.27 (15th); girls 100 breast: Rebecca Pindral, Wiregrass Ranch, 1:07.43 (fourth); Jocelyn Williams, Land O’Lakes, 1:12.33 (22nd); boys 100 breast: Devin McCaffrey, Mitchell, 1:02.53) (ninth); boys 400 free relay: Sunlake (Nick Keach, Devin Anderson, Kyle Shaffer, Austin Van Vliet), 3:25.24 (12th)

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