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Girls preview: Swimmers to watch

After a summer competing in the Olympic trials and hobnobbing with top swimmers, Northeast's Megan Romano, Seminole's Kaitlin Frehling and Countryside's Melanie Margalis returned to the mundane task of attending high school.

They also are back on the blocks, ready to go for another season, one that has the potential to be the best ever for girls swimming in the county.

Romano, Frehling and Margalis won a combined five gold medals at last year's state meet. They could win just as many, if not more, this season.

They are not the only ones. Palm Harbor University's Katie Coleman, St. Petersburg's Tracy Rorer and St. Petersburg Catholic's Kelsey Krauss were close to winning individual titles last year and could break through this time.

Swimmers to watch

Katie Coleman, Palm Harbor University, Sr.: Last year, she emerged as the Hurricanes' leader after finishing fourth in the 100 fly at state.

Kaitlin Frehling, Seminole, Jr.: At last year's state meet, Frehling shared the spotlight with Romano as the only county swimmers to win multiple individual titles. Frehling took first in the 50 free (23.46) and 100 fly (56.64). Both times automatically qualified her for All-America status.

Kelsey Krauss, St. Petersburg Catholic, Sr.: She came close to winning last year, finishing second in the 50 free in 23.95 — .38 of a second behind Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest's Brooke Atkinson.

In the 100 fly, Krauss clocked in at 56.98 to take third. Her times in both events were personal bests and were considered for All-America status.

Melanie Margalis, Countryside, Jr.: She won the 200 individual medley at state last year with an automatic All-America time of 2 minutes, 1.69 seconds, shaving two seconds off her personal best. She also was third in the 100 breast (1:05.65) and teamed with Rachel Burns, Megan Rossi and Paige Schmidt to take fifth in the 400 relay.

Margalis continued to train in the offseason with her brother, Robert, a former Clearwater star and Olympic alternate.

Megan Romano, Northeast, Sr.: Last year, she took her dominance to another level by breaking a 10-year state record in the 100 back in 54.41 seconds. In the 200 free, she clocked in at 1:46.70, less than a second off the national record. She also qualified for six events at the Olympic trials and competed despite having mononucleosis. Now recovered, she wants to break a national record in at least one event.

Tracy Rorer, St. Petersburg, Sr.: Last year, Rorer beat her nemesis, Margalis, to take second in the breaststroke. Rorer also is strong in the 100 back.

For the fans

Admission: Dual meets and invitationals are $3. District meets are $5, region meets $6 per session and state meets $7 per session.

Regular season: Schools can compete in a maximum of 13 meets from Monday-Oct. 14.

Postseason: District meets are Oct. 15-20, region meets are Oct. 25-27 and state meets are Nov. 1-3 in Orlando.

District breakdowns

Class 3A, District 5: Alonso, Countryside, East Lake, Gibbs, Largo, Mitchell, Palm Harbor U., Pinellas Park, St. Petersburg, Sickles

Class 2A, District 9: Bradenton Bayshore, Bradenton Manatee, Bradenton Southeast, Boca Ciega, Clearwater, Dixie Hollins, Dunedin, Lakewood, Northeast, North Port, Osceola, Sarasota Booker, Seminole, Tarpon Springs

Class A, District 7: Academy of the Holy Names, Berkeley Prep, Calvary Christian, Cambridge, Clearwater Central Catholic, Robinson, Tampa Catholic, Tampa Prep

Class A, District 8: Admiral Farragut, Bradenton Braden River, Bradenton St. Episcopal, Northside Christian, Sarasota Mooney, Sarasota Christian, Sarasota Out-of-Door, Shorecrest, St. Petersburg Catholic

Girls preview: Swimmers to watch 08/27/08 [Last modified: Thursday, August 28, 2008 2:27pm]

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