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Season preview: North Suncoast girls swimming, diving

From left, Zephyrhills’ Lindsay Gorgen, Land O’Lakes’ Alex Pierovich, Mitchell’s Mazie Siddens, Sunlake’s Kaylin Sylvester, in back in white cap, Wiregrass Ranch’s Becca Pindral and Ridgewood’s Joe Geschke are reaching for greatness in the pool this season.

KERI WIGINTON | Times

From left, Zephyrhills’ Lindsay Gorgen, Land O’Lakes’ Alex Pierovich, Mitchell’s Mazie Siddens, Sunlake’s Kaylin Sylvester, in back in white cap, Wiregrass Ranch’s Becca Pindral and Ridgewood’s Joe Geschke are reaching for greatness in the pool this season.

Three girls swimming story lines:

1. Battle brewing: Several teams are in the hunt for North Suncoast supremacy and though there is no way true way to compare them, Sunlake, Land O'Lakes, Zephyrhills, Wiregrass Ranch and Central will battle to be considered among the best. As usual, the Gators have depth, but key transfers to Sunlake and Zephyrhills will give those teams a boost. The Bulls and Bears have depth and numbers to score points.

2. Can Zephyrhills' Lindsay Gorgen compete for a state title? The lone North Suncoast qualifier in two events for the second consecutive season can be found working on her stroke at the New Tampa YMCA — site of this year's Sunshine Athletic Conference championship. She still specializes in the 100-yard freestyle and 100 backstroke, and after steady improvement the question is whether she can inch closer to a state title.

3. How will Wiregrass Ranch respond? The Bulls lost coach Nicole Bracciale to maternity leave, and with transfers Kaylin Sylvester and Lettie Clark at new schools some wonder how strong the Bulls will be. Thanks to numbers and talent, they should be fine with returners Katie Middleton, Fern Powell, Summer Sandoval, Makayla Strickland and Toni Tomei.

Swimmers to watch

Lindsay Gorgen, Jr., Zephyr­hills: North Suncoast girls' lone state qualifier in two events

Becca Pindral, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch: Best finish among North Suncoast girls; 11th at state in the 100 breast

Alex Pierovich, So., Land O'Lakes: First-year phenom from Colorado finished 17th in the 200 individual medley at state

Kaylin Sylvester, Jr., Sunlake: Wiregrass Ranch transfer finished 19th at state in the 100 back

Mazie Siddens, So., Mitchell: River Ridge transfer finished 20th at state in the 100 fly

Lettie Clark, Jr., Zephyr­hills: Wiregrass Ranch transfer finished ninth at regional in 200 free; 10th in 500 free

Mary Alice McGheehan, Jr., Central: 11th at regional in 100 fly has worked hard this offseason

Andrea Mapugay, Fr., Land O'Lakes: Unknown at the high school level, a club swimmer with lots of talent

Pakakul Sopapong, So., Wesley Chapel: Solid start last season and strong breaststroker

Megan Klebbe, Sr., Hudson: She's out to claim the diving title and took private lessons to improve

Savannah Mattox, So., Sunlake: Strong freestyler for the Seahawks

Emily Withington, Jr., Central: Solid in the 200 IM and 100 breast

Teams to watch

Land O'Lakes: Dedication at the club level is what makes the Gators strong year after year. With 26 swimmers already sound in the fundamentals, watch out for Land O'Lakes.

Zephyrhills: Gorgen and Clark will score big points in four events to give the Bulldogs an edge.

Wiregrass Ranch: The Bulls should be competitive despite losing two of their top swimmers to transfers.

Sunlake: Mattox, Sylvester and Megan Huyhn have many talking about the Seahawks.

Central: Withington and McGheehan will score big points for the Bears.

Season preview: North Suncoast girls swimming, diving 08/26/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 9:03pm]
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