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TAMPA — The Western Conference swim meet at Bobby Hicks Pool had its share of surprises Wednesday as well as some givens.
One given was the Plant girls easily outdistancing the field. The Panthers scored 511 to Sickles’ second-place 329.5. Another was Robinson senior John Nolte crushing the field in the 50-yard freestyle (21.73) and 100 free (48.23). Nolte, a three-time state qualifier, was also dominant anchoring the first-place finish in the 200 and 400 free relays.
“When we have John in there, we always have a chance,” Robinson coach George DiFederico said. “Even if we’re a little bit behind on that last leg I know we’ve got it.”
The big surprise was the Steinbrenner boys, who won the team title with 378. Second-place Plant (358) was hurt by disqualifications in both boys relays. The Robinson boys finished fourth with 269.
The Warriors got great efforts from juniors Austin Childers and Christian Hazlett, who finished first and second in the 100 butterfly. Freshman Tristan Hazlett won the boys 500 free in 5:03.97, a personal record. Warrior freshman Ashley Kubel won the 100 free (56.52) and 200 free (203.35) for the girls, who finished third (304).
“They got really good really fast,” Plant coach Gil Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez and his Panthers eased to a huge victory on the girls side. Sophomore Alexandria Donahue cruised to victory in the 100 breaststroke and according to Gonzalez “has a realistic shot at winning states.”
Boys: Steinbrenner 378, Plant 358, Sickles 333, Robinson 269, Alonso 214, Gaither 175, Leto 84, Blake 38
Girls: Plant 511, Sickles 329.5, Steinbrenner 304, Gaither 224, Alonso 221, Robinson 203.5, Leto 46, Blake 34
Girls: Plant 98, Steinbrenner 71, Sickles 69, Alonso 46, Robinson 40
Gaither 36, Blake 5
Boys: Plant 83, Steinbrenner 80, Sickles 64, Robinson 50, Gaither 49, Alonso 39, Leto 30