Swimmer of the year
Jessica Piper, Jr., St. Petersburg
Why we picked her: Piper, a transfer from Shorecrest, had the strongest performance of any county girl swimmer at a state meet. She won the 3A title in the 100-yard backstroke in 55.81 seconds and finished second in the 200 individual medley in 2 minutes, 2.81 seconds. The state title was a first for her in any event. She also was the only county girl swimmer to finish in the top two at state in two individual events.
Fun fact: Jessica's mother, Rene, was a nationally ranked swimmer in the 400 individual medley and came close to making the Olympics.
What's next: Piper is training for longer distances and hopes to lower her times in the 200 back at offseason meets before preparing to defend her state title next season.
50 free: Courtney Grace, Sr., Countryside; eighth at state
100 fly: Kelly Verheyleweghen, So., Tarpon Springs; 13th at state
100 free: Kelsey Buckley, Jr., Tarpon Springs; state runnerup
100 back: Jessica Piper, Jr., St. Petersburg; state champion
100 breast: Hannah Roper, So., Seminole; state champion
200 free: Megan Rossi, Sr., Clearwater; 12th at state
200 individual medley: Kelsey Buckley, Jr., Tarpon Springs; state champion
500 free: Megan Rossi, Sr., Clearwater; eighth at state
200 free relay: Palm Harbor U. (Sarah Freeman, Megan Kovac, Kendall McIntosh, Emily Bloxam); sixth at state
200 medley relay: Shorecrest (Hope Andrews, Paige Tripp, Rachel Thigpen, Meredith Little); county's top time
400 free relay: Palm Harbor U. (Sarah Freeman, Chloe Hubbard, Abbey King, Emily Bloxam); ninth at state
Diving: Hannah Stein, Jr., Shorecrest; fourth at state
50 free: Sarah Freeman, Fr., Palm Harbor U.; 100 fly: Sarah Gorman, So., Seminole; 100 free: Lauren Hall, So., Countryside; 100 back: Marissa Marckese, So., St. Petersburg; 100 breast: Lauren Hall, So., Countryside; 200 free: Hope Andrews, Jr., Shorecrest; 200 individual medley: Jessica Piper, Jr., St. Petersburg; 500 free: Autumn Finke, So., Countryside; 200 free relay: Tarpon Springs (Kelsey Buckley, Kelly Verheyleweghen, Sara Meador, Melissa Damaske); 200 medley relay: Countryside (Autumn Finke, Lauren Hall, Sarah Hughes, Courtney Grace); 400 free relay: Northeast (Caroline Neely, Hristina Krasetva, Tara Quinn, AJ Jones); Diving: Alexi Gonzalez, So., East Lake
Clearwater: 400 free relay; Countryside: 200 free relay; Northeast: AJ Jones (200 IM, 100 breast), Caroline Neely (200 free); Osceola: Ashley Wiser (100 fly); Palm Harbor U.: Emily Bloxam (50 free), Abby King (500 free), Kelli Swanson (100 back), Caite Tarr (diving); Seminole: Jennifer Dawson (diving), Hannah Roper (200 IM)
Coach of the year
Lisa Bitting, Palm Harbor University: With a team made up primarily of freshmen, Bitting guided the Hurricanes to conference, district and region titles.