SARASOTA — With no other area small school program able to match its depth or experience, the Shorecrest girls have won nearly every big meet this year.
So the Chargers have constantly had to invent challenges to keep themselves interested in a season that has been filled with predictable wins. Ultimately, the only standard by which Shorecrest could judge itself was against its own expectations.
What the Chargers expected was their first region title. On Saturday, they achieved it, scoring 324 to win the team title over Northside Christian (265).
"I scored the meet beforehand and felt good about our chances," Shorecrest coach Patti Nardozzi said. "It was just a matter of getting the girls to believe they could do it."
The Chargers did well in the relays, with Rachel Shea, Paige Tripp, Jessica Piper and Hope Andrews winning the 200 medley in 1 minute, 54.61 seconds. Shorecrest's 400 free relay of Piper, Shea, Katy Alexander and Andrews also took first in 3:41.32.
Piper was the Chargers' only champion in multiple individual events, winning the 200 individual medley (2:09.43) and 100 back (58.92).
Northside Christian was led by Jacki St. Louis, who won the 100 free (52.42) and 100 breast (1:04.19). She also teamed with Amy Scott, Laurel Schmidt and Mackenzie Caldwell on the winning 200 free relay (1:41.41).
Berkeley Prep's boys won its first region title with 349 points.
Indian Rocks Christian's Nick Alonso was the only Pinellas County boys swimmer to win two events, taking first in the 200 IM (2:00.17) and the 100 breast (1:02.69). Shorecrest's Jack Stein was the diving champion with 442.80 points.
The Class A state meet is Saturday in Orlando. The top finisher in each individual event advances from the four regions to state, with the field reaching at least 24 based on the next-best region times. The top relays from each region advance, with the field reaching at least 16 from the next-best region times. The top two divers from each region advance with the field reaching at least 24 based on the next-best region scores.