ST. PETERSBURG — The Shorecrest swimmers stood near the edge of the pool deck as the last boy came home in the 400-meter free relay, hoping that their urging, roaring and waving could somehow get him to the wall faster. When Joshua Chen did, there was wild applause.
Chen, along with John Farese, Mark Marshburn and Alex Grant, capped the Class 1A, District 8 meet by out-touching everyone in that relay Saturday at the North Shore Pool.
The Chargers finished first in the final event in 3 minutes, 25.20 seconds. It was not even close, and neither were the team scores.
Shorecrest dominated the meet, winning the boys and girls team titles by convincing margins. The Chargers girls won their ninth straight district title with 436 points, 188 ahead of Northside Christian. The boys won their first title under coach Patty Nardozzi, outscoring Sarasota Cardinal Mooney 454-198.
"We have a really strong boys that I knew had a good shot at winning," Nardozzi said. "But our girls really stepped it up, too, and kept our streak alive. Winning both titles has been a goal for the team and something that's been on our radar for a while."
The Chargers had boys champions in nearly every event. Chen took first in the 200 individual medley (2:04.23) and 100 breast (1:02.66). Grant won the 100 fly (55.77) and Farese won 100 back (53.71). In diving, Jack Stein was the champion with 547 points.
In addition to the 400 free relay, Farese, Chen, Marshburn and Grant teamed to win the 200 medley relay in 1:43.88.
On the girls side, the Chargers Emma Spilman won the 200 individual medley (2:08.05) and 100 fly (57.30). She also teamed with Meredith Little, Hope Andrews and Courtney Coleman to win the 200 free relay (1:58.25) and swam with Andrews, Little and Summer Kanstoroom on the winning 400 free relay (3:50.60).
Andrews took first in the 100 free (54.69). Meredith Little won the 50 free (25.41). Hannah Stein joined her brother Jack as a champion in diving by scoring 487.35 points.