Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

PHU's strength in 500 free helps boys, girls sweep Countryside

PALM HARBOR — There they were, a Palm Harbor University express of swimmers, each mirroring the other's effortless strokes as they touched the wall in the 500-yard freestyle.

In a season-ending dual Wednesday against two of the county's undefeated boys and girls teams, the Hurricanes used the 500 freestyle as the catalyst to distance themselves from their fiercest rival and sweep both titles.

PHU's boys won 117-71, beating Countryside for the sixth straight year. The Hurricanes girls got their second straight win over the Cougars, 102-84.

"It's an event where we are really strong and were able to use our depth," PHU coach Lisa Bitting said of the 500 free.

The Hurricanes' Wes Stearns, who set the county record in the 500 free last month, won the event in 4 minutes, 41.90 seconds. Three other PHU swimmers finished in the top six. Stearns also won the 200 free (1:46.10) and swam a leg on the winning 200 free relay (1:33.38) and 400 free relay (3:20.36).

Other boys swimmers to win multiple events were the Hurricanes' Ryan McRae in the 100 free (49.57) and 100 back (57.17) and Countryside's Jonathan Taddeo in the 200 individual medley (1:59.54) and 100 breaststroke (1:03.28).

The girls 500 free was similar to the boys with PHU taking four of the top six spots. But the winner in the event was the Cougars' Melanie Margalis in 4:55.15.

Margalis also won the 200 IM (2:13.73) and was on the winning 200 medley relay (1:53.95) and 400 free relay (3:43.95). Other girls to win multiple events were the Hurricanes' Emily Bloxam in the 50 free (25.64) and the 100 free (56.01) and Countryside's Lauren Hall in the 100 fly (1:00.63) and 100 breaststroke (1:09.97).

Bitting said Kristi Katopis' victory in the 100 back (1:03.62) was key.

PHU's strength in 500 free helps boys, girls sweep Countryside 10/14/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 14, 2009 11:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa Bay Tech offense gains dimension with addition of RB Treshaun Ward


    TAMPA — The playbook was pretty simple at Tampa Bay Tech. Snap the ball to quarterback Michael Penix and let him throw all over the field.

    Jaquavious Johnson, left, and Treshaun Ward pose for a portrait during practice at Tampa Bay Tech High School in Tampa on Monday, August 21, 2017.
  2. HomeTeam 25: Volleyball rankings for Tampa Bay

    Volleyball Preps

    1. Plant

    Last season: 28-4

    This week: Thursday vs. Bloomingdale

    Plant High outside hitter Camryn Vogler (1) hits the ball over the net past St. Thomas Aquinas outside hitter Kirsten Klos (10) during the Class 8A state volleyball final between Plant High and St. Thomas Aquinas at West Port High School in Ocala, Fla., on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. St. Thomas beat Plant High 3-0.
  3. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Key roster battles


    Greg Auman looks ahead to tonight's third episode of HBO's "Hard Knocks," and talks about key roster battles that could shift with the Bucs' third preseason game Saturday night against the Browns on our …

    Bucs running back Jacquizz Rodgers (32) is hit by middle linebacker Kwon Alexander (58) while running the ball during training camp. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Rays series preview: Who are the Blue Jays?


    Last week, the Rays faced the Blue Jays in the Rogers Centre, dropping three of four. This week, they'll play three games at Tropicana Field. Here's the information you need to know about Toronto before the action kicks off.

    Third baseman Josh Donaldson hit four home runs in as many games against the Rays last week.
  5. And the most-searched NFL player in Florida is ...


    The Bucs just faced the Jacksonville Jaguars in preseason, and open their 2017 season at the Miami Dolphins. So with the state's NFL competition ahead of and just behind the Bucs, who do you think is the NFL player most searched on Google by Floridians?

    Fans react with excitement moments after the Bucs announce their first-round pick at the team's 2016 NFL draft party. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]