Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Sports

2A-6 swimming: Land O'Lakes girls extend title streak

CLEARWATER — Unlike last year when mother and son jumped into the Long Center pool to celebrate a district sweep for the Land O'Lakes girls and boys swim teams, Robin and Cameron Hilgenberg's dunkings carried a different meaning Saturday.

The Land O' Lakes girls won their fifth straight district title and sixth overall, with 558 points to Lecanto's 438, while the Gators boys were the runnerup to Lecanto, 352-318.

Because Cameron is a senior and the last of Robin's three sons to swim for her, the dip was more about sentiment than anything.

"I've coached my three boys for the 21 years and in high school for the last 12," Robin Hilgenberg said. "I'm really proud of what the boys and I have done."

Lecanto, whose boys have been district champions three times and runnerup three others over the past seven seasons, also celebrated with a traditional dunking of their coach.

"Every year we battle it out with Land O'Lakes for the top," coach Matt Bouthillier said before giving Hilgenberg a congratulatory hug and saying, "You guys are amazing."

Land O' Lakes won the most events with seven firsts for the girls and five for the boys. Only the Wesley Chapel girls (Abbey Duncan, 200-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly) and Pasco boys (Kenneth Graham, 100 free; William Wilson, 500 free) had as many as two victories.

Jocylyn Williams had a hand in four of those seven Gators girls victories, taking the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke, and joining the winning 200 medley and 400 free relays.

"I'm excited that they're moving forward and having their best swims," Hilgenberg said.

The Lecanto boys relied more on depth than individual wins to beat Land O' Lakes. The Panthers had a handful of top-five finishes, with diver Gavin Russ claiming their lone win.

"We're not a bunch of superstars," Bouthillier said. "They just chalked up the points all through the meet."

Meanwhile, Land O'Lakes' Cameron Hilgenberg (50 free, 100 breast) and Jordan Wheeler (200 individual medley, 100 fly) each won two events, and both were part of the winning 200 medley relay.

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