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PHU's boys dual meet swim streak ends

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Thu. September 4, 2014 | Bob Putnam | Email

Palm Harbor University's boys swim program has been undefeated in dual meets for nine straight seasons, a stretch in which the Hurricanes forged one of the bay area's greatest dynasties.

On Wednesday, that streak came to an end.

Countryside's boys beat PHU 101.5-68.5. The Cougars were dominant, winning all but one event. Cooper Hoffman (100 free, 200 free) and Noah Lense (100 fly, 200 IM) each took first in their individual events for Countryside.

"This is a rebuilding year," PHU coach Lisa Bitting said. "Countryside has a real solid team and did well. Still, I'm pleased with our progress. It's a learning experience, but we'll continue to get better."

Bitting knew the streak was in jeopardy after graduating nearly every contributor from last year's Class 4A state championship team. Of the Hurricanes three seniors, only one was on last year's team. Most of PHU's swimmers this year are underclassmen.

The Hurricanes can take solace in knowing every swimmer improved upon their times in Wednesday's dual meet.

"It's tough for them knowing that the streak is over," Bitting said. "They all had some awfully big shoes to fill. It's a young team and we'll continue to grow. They all have a chance to be very good in the next few years."

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