TAMPA — Rain began pelting the pool deck and umbrellas began to pop open.
People rushed beneath tents as the skies opened up. Heavy showers Tuesday caused a brief delay at the Class 2A, District 5 swim meet. The storm created plenty of havoc and once the races ended, no one truly knew which races had been won at the New Tampa YMCA.
The task of sorting through handwritten times on smudged sheets of wet paper was expected to go long into the night.
Land O'Lakes coach Robin Hilgenberg said she and co-head coach Barbara Hayes could only guess if the heavily favored Gators had won the girls and boys meets. They couldn't say for sure.
When the scores were later e-mailed, Land O'Lakes boys and girls had won district titles.
"I just experienced my first meet not knowing what happened," Hilgenberg said. "It's a blur. … I really don't know what happened."
Individual competitors in the championship finals had already earned region berths, regardless of the outcome.
Multiple winners Tuesday included Ridgewood junior Joe Geschke, who won the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:49.71. He also won the 500 free, the first race after the rain delay, with a 5:04.53.
Gulf sophomore Hunter Swartsel won the 100 free in 48.80, and the 100 backstroke.
Mitchell freshman Devin McCaffrey won the 100 butterfly and the 100 breaststroke.
For the girls, Land O'Lakes sophomore Alex Pierovich won district titles in the 200 IM and the 100 breast, and Zephyrhills junior Nicolette Clark won the 200 and 500 free.
Other individual boys winners included Mitchell junior Gavin Hunt, who finished first in the 50 free with a 22.49. Land O'Lakes senior Arthur Mapugay won the boys 200 IM.
Girls individual winners included Sunlake junior Megan Huynh, who won the 50 free with a 26.23, and Zephyrhills junior Lindsay Gorgen won the 100 free with a 56.51.
Sunlake junior Kaylin Sylvester won the 100 back with an unofficial 1:03.80, and Mitchell sophomore Mazie Siddens won the 100 fly.
Mitchell's boys won the 200 medley relay and the 200 free. Zephyrhills' girls won the girls 200 free relay.
Izzy Gould can be reached at email@example.com or (813) 421-3886.