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Class 3A, District 5 swimming: Palm Harbor boys, girls challenged but continue dominance

CLEARWATER — At the start of the season, it appeared Palm Harbor University's stranglehold on district swim titles might be in jeopardy. After all, several strong programs, including Northeast, Plant and Seminole, moved into Class 3A, District 5.

That made it one of the toughest — and fastest — districts in the state, and the abundance of talent could have played a factor in nullifying the Hurricanes' superior depth.

Nevertheless, things remained the same Saturday.

Palm Harbor University won its ninth straight boys title, scoring 434 points, 99 more than Countryside. And the Hurricanes also won their third straight girls title, outscoring Plant 403 to 371.

"This is the toughest district I've ever coached in," PHU coach Lisa Bitting said. "There are so many good swimmers. It places even more importance on getting kids through, and we were able to do that."

The Hurricanes boys placed in the top four in every swimming event. Wes Stearns led PHU, taking first in the 200-yard freestyle (1 minute, 43.62 seconds) and the 500 free (4:35.21) and swimming a leg on the top 400 free relay (3:17.72). Stearns was the only boy at the meet to win more than one individual event.

On the girls side, the Hurricanes had a close battle with the Panthers.

Plant's Alex Hagan took first in diving with 414.10 points, and the 200 free relay of Rebecca Werdine, Elin Slaatmo, Haley Hahmann and Hillary Hahmann won in 1:40.98.

PHU did not win a girls event but still prevailed by placing swimmers in the top eight in every event.

Countryside's Melanie Margalis won the 200 individual medley (2:00.64) and the 500 free (4:49.79) and swam a leg on the top 200 medley relay (1:51.53) and 400 free relay (3:38.45).

Seminole's Kaitlin Frehling was the only other girl from the meet to win multiple events, taking first in the 50 free (24.16 seconds) and 100 fly (57.50).

Up next

District meets determine region berths (Thursday-Saturday), with 24 per event (district winners plus next overall best times). In diving, the top four in each district advance (minimum score of 280).

Girls team scores: Palm Harbor U. 403, Plant 371, Countryside 330, Clearwater 235, East Lake 221, Northeast 207, Seminole 189.5, Largo 103.5, Chamberlain 56, Alonso 54.

Girls individual winners: 200 medley relay — Countryside (Compton, Margalis, L. Hall, E. Hall) 1:51.53; 200 free Katz (EL) 1:50.08; 200 IM Margalis (Cs) 2:00.64; 50 free Frehling (Sem) 24.16; Diving Hagan (Pl) 414.10; 100 butterfly Frehling (Sem) 57.50; 100 free Isaacson (Lar) 52.74; 500 free Margalis (Cs) 4:49.79; 200 free relay Plant (Werdine, Slaatmo, Hahmann, Hil. Hahmann) 1:40.98; 100 back Piper (Ne) 58.65; 100 breast Torres (EL) 1:06.55; 400 free relay Countryside (Grace, Witkowski, Hall, Margalis) 3:38.45

Boys team scores: Palm Harbor U. 434, Countryside 335, Plant 286, Northeast 264, Clearwater 252, Seminole 245, East Lake 189, Largo 64, Alonso 42.

Boys individual winners: 200 medley relay Countryside (Fabian, Meszaros, Taddeo, Witkowski) 1:39.48; 200 free Stearns (PHU) 1:43.62; 200 IM Thompson (Sem) 1:56.36; 50 free Rinard (Ne) 22.07; Diving Bourgoing (Clw) 461.95; 100 butterfly Perrotti (PHU) 52.97; 100 free McRae (PHU) 47.63; 500 free Stearns (PHU) 4:35.21; 200 free relay Seminole (Hawkins, Metka, Sinibaldi, Thompson) 1:31.16; 100 back Fabian (Cs) 52.70; 100 breast Meszaros (Cs) 1:01.61; 400 free relay Palm Harbor U. (McRae, Gettino, Morgan, Stearns) 3:17.72.

Class 3A, District 5 swimming: Palm Harbor boys, girls challenged but continue dominance 10/31/09 [Last modified: Saturday, October 31, 2009 11:41pm]
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