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3A-5 swimming: PHU teams complete sweep

ST. PETERSBURG — Last year Countryside celebrated a tie with Palm Harbor University at the Class 3A, District 5 boys meet. This year it wasn't even close.

The Hurricanes regained their dominance, defeating the Cougars by 135 points Friday. Meanwhile, the Palm Harbor U. girls made it a sweep, winning their title by 61 over Countryside.

"We always go in trying to win," two-time individual champion Wes Stearns said. "I don't think about Countryside when we swim. We do our thing and usually it works out."

"When we get to the state series, which this is the first part of, we have larger goals two weeks from now that we're trying to achieve," coach Lisa Bitting said. "This is the first step. A team championship is an icing on the cake."

Stearns won the 200-yard freestyle and won the 500 freestyle. When David Morgan took second in the 500 and Justin Chambers took third, it was a 1-2-3 Hurricanes sweep in that event for the second straight year.

"On the last turn I saw Justin and David and I thought 'Perfect!' " Stearns said. "I was afraid one of the Sickles kids was going to sneak in, but I saw Justin and I knew David was right behind."

The 500 wasn't the only 1-2-3 event for the Hurricanes. The same three also swept the top three spots in the 200 freestyle.

On the girls side, Palm Harbor U. won the 2007 title with only one individual win. This year it happened again, the same person in the same event. Katherine Coleman was first in the 100 fly and was third in the 200 freestyle.

Rachel Burns and Melanie Margalis were two-time individual winners for the Countryside girls. Boys and girls combined, Countryside won five of six relays.

3A-5 swimming: PHU teams complete sweep 11/01/08 [Last modified: Sunday, November 2, 2008 3:07pm]
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