ST. PETERSBURG — By the time the 400 freestyle relay started Saturday, Berkeley Prep coach Kevin Rosepapa already knew his girls team had enough of a cushion in points to win the Class A, Region 3 title for the first time since 2006.
The difference came a day earlier, and not in the pool but on the diving springboards. The Bucs took the top four spots in 1-meter diving, held Friday. The 68 points in that event helped Berkeley Prep outscore Tampa Prep 320-317 for the title.
"We just have so much depth with both the boys and the girls," said Rosepapa, whose team will look toward the state meet later this week. "We try to place three, four swimmers in each and score. It adds up."
Elle Chancey won multiple swimming events, taking first in the 50 free (24.35 seconds) and 100 free (50.10). But Berkeley Prep also gobbled points by placing swimmers in the top three in seven of 12 events. The Terrapins stayed within striking distance by sweeping the 200 medley (1:51.28), 200 free (1:42.71) and 400 free (3:37.59) relay events.
Clearwater Central Catholic had two champions: Emma Spilman in the 100 fly (56.73) and Mackenzie Stumpf in the 100 breast (1:05.73).
The Bucs were even stronger on the boys side, beating Tampa Prep 368-286.5 for their fifth straight region team title, but they did it without winning a single swimming or diving event. Much like the girls team, the boys won with multiple swimmers placing in each event.
Tampa Prep's Rasmus Skjaerpe won the 200 individual medley (1:55.11) and 100 back (50.44) and swam legs on the 200 free (1:31.76) and 400 free (3:14.62) relays that each finished second.
Shorecrest finished third overall. The Chargers' John Farese won the 100 free (47.45) and finished second in the 100 back (51.79). Teammate Joshua Chen took first in the 100 breast (59.15) and was second in the 200 IM (1:58.51). Both swam with Mark Marshburn and Alex Grant on the winning 200 medley (1:36.88) and 400 free (3:13.36) relays.
The only setback Shorecrest had was Grant being disqualified for a false start in the 100 fly, an event he likely would have won.
"I'm real proud of the way the boys swam," Shorecrest coach Patty Nardozzi said. "They all did what they needed to do."
Clearwater Central Catholic's Matthew Hirschberger won the 500 free (4:31.40) and teamed with Michael Hedrich, Antonio Pinero and Cameron Newton to finish first in the 200 free relay (1:29.68).
2A-2: Gators girls roll
The Land O'Lakes girls won the Class 2A, Region 2 team title Friday, beating runnerup and host Titusville (245.5) by 55.5 points.
The Gators were particularly strong in the relays, winning the 200 medley relay in 1:55.70 and the 400 free in 3:46.33.
The Land O'Lakes boys finished third but won three individual events. Senior Cameron Hilgenberg won the 50 free (21.22) and 100 breast (58.75), and junior Jordan Wheeler won the 100 fly (52.37). Hilgenberg also swam on the winning 200 medley relay (1:42.28).
Other North Suncoast champions: Wesley Chapel freshman Abbey Duncan (200 free, 1:53.83; 100 fly, 57.12) and senior Caleb Zeleznock (200 free, 1:46.96), and Fivay senior William Haas (100 back, 56.31).