ST. PETERSBURG — Shorecrest swam laps around its Class A, District 8 counterparts during the regular season. So it was only natural to skip the formalities and tab the Chargers teams as the overwhelming favorites to repeat as champions.
So in one of the more anticlimactic competitions, Shore-crest repeated as boys and girls champions at the district meet Saturday at North Shore Pool.
The boys, whose string is a modest two, were the most dominant, winning all but two races and scoring 490 points, 267 more than runnerup Sarasota Cardinal Mooney.
"I knew our boys could probably do this well," coach Patty Nardozzi said. "We have a lot of fast kids and a lot of depth."
The Chargers were led by their usual quartet: Joshua Chen, John Farese, Alex Grant and Mark Marshburn.
Farese won the 100 free (48.66) and 100 back (53.16). Chen took first in the 200 individual medley (2:02.21) and 100 breast (1:00.77). Grant was champion in the 50 free (23.73) and 100 fly (56.91). Marshburn took gold in the 200 free (1:53.51). All four had a hand in winning the 200 medley (1:43.20) and 400 free relays.
"We really wanted to come out and win both boys and girls titles again," Farese said. "I think we did better than expected. It was challenging for me because I've been sick the past three weeks. But I wanted to do my part and keep the string going of team titles."
Jack Stein, who came back from massive broken right foot and ankle injuries, won the diving competition.
The girls, who won their 10th straight district title, were led by Meredith Little, who won the 50 free (25.19) and 100 free (54.93). She swam anchor legs on the winning 200 medley relay (1:58.49) and 400 free relay (3:54.03).
"The girls, I thought it would be close," Nardozzi said. "Meredith was so strong for us. She did well in her individual events and got us out to a big lead in each of the relays she swam. I was pleased because we got through just about every swimmer I thought could get to regionals."
Class 2A-8: Largo placed seventh and Gibbs ninth in the girls meet hosted by the Academy of the Holy Names, while Gibbs took eighth and Largo 11th in the boys meet.
Divers Sydney Wyatt and Krysta Postlethwaite were the top finishers for Gibbs, taking second (282.75 points) and third (240.65), respectively.
Gibbs' Zachary Clark had a pair of seventh-place finishes in the 50 free and 100 free.
Largo's best effort came in the girls 200 free relay with Maja Konjanovska, Sophia Struzinski, Jamie Gillott and Maggie Kivett combining for third place in 2:06.72.
Times correspondent Steve Lee contributed to this report.