TAMPA — After locking up the girls side of the meet Saturday, Sickles coach Scott Parlett waited to hear his team's name come up second in the boys meet. When Newsome was announced as the second-place team, Parlett stood there stunned for barely a second before his swimmers grabbed him and tossed him into the pool.
"I don't know which is better, the trophy or the throw-in," Parlett said. "It was an awesome meet. We were lucky enough and talented enough to push through."
Nearly 700 swimmers packed the Bobby Hicks Pool for the 35th annual City Relays, and the Gryphons floated off with the boys and girls titles. The Sickles boys beat Newsome 320-302, and the girls side was closer, as the Gryphons edged Newsome 302-298.
Newsome held the lead in the boys relays until the last race, the 200-meter freestyle. The Wolves finished fifth in the race and Sickles won it, locking up the team victory.
"This is the most fun meet of the year," Newsome coach Chau Clark said. "It's all about bragging rights."
Those bragging rights belong to Sickles for now, until the teams have their dual meet later in the year.
"Usually the top two teams do well at the end of the season," Parlett said. "Our meet with them near the end of the season could have four or more state champions in it."
The Plant girls finished third, with three-time state champion Meg Anderson leading the way on two relays. Anderson swam first on both the 200-meter freestyle relay and the 500-meter freestyle crescendo. Both races were rounded out with impressive performances from Rebecca Werdine and sisters Hillary and Haley Hahmann.