SARASOTA — Berkeley Prep's boys team has gone through a remarkable transformation, emerging as a contender after winning plenty of titles the past two months, including the school's first district crown in more than 10 years last week.
And in this season of breakthroughs, the Buccaneers achieved another one Saturday with their first region title. Berkeley Prep scored 349 points, 117 more than runnerup Sarasota Cardinal Mooney.
"This was the final goal we had this year, to win regions," coach Kevin Rosepapa said. "I felt it was a real strong possibility coming in, and we did well in the relays and had a lot of depth in the sprints."
Berkeley Prep swept the relays. Graham Olney, Andreas Hatoum, Sam Bobo, Zach Eicholtz were on the winning 200-yard medley (1 minute, 43.95 seconds).
Will Miller, Zack Bandes, Alex Bandes and Eicholtz teamed to take first in the 200 free relay (1:30.55) and Miller, Zack Bandes, Alex Bandes and Hatoum made up the first-place 400 free relay (3:21.24).
"It was a great year," Rosepapa said. "This is the deepest team we've had and everybody was able to lower their time in each event. The next goal is to get the relays to place in the top eight at state."
The Class A state meet is Saturday in Orlando. The top finisher in each individual event advances from the four regions, with the state field reaching at least 24 based on the next-best region times. The winning relays from each region advance, with the field reaching at least 16 from the next-best region times. The top two divers from each region advance, with the field reaching at least 24 based on the next-best region scores.
On the girls side, Shorecrest won its first title with 324 points. Jessica Piper was the Chargers' only champion in multiple individual events, winning the 200 individual medley (2:09.43) and 100 back (58.92).
Northside Christian was second with 265 points. The Mustangs were led by Jacki St. Louis, who won the 100 free (52.42) and 100 breast (1:04.19).
Berkeley Prep's Laura Jordan was Hillsborough County's only girl to win multiple individual events, taking first in the 50 free (24.53) and 100 fly (59.35).