ST. PETERSBURG — Patty and Kristen Nardozzi sat next to each other on the pool deck, each coaxing their swimmers to faster times. Both were vying for something bigger than a team trophy at the St. Petersburg City Championships on Saturday.
They were trying to outdo each other to see who was the best Nardozzi in swimming.
Facing off in a mother-daughter coaching duo, they each claimed bragging rights. Patty guided Shorecrest's boys to their second straight title with 444 points. Patty's daughter helped St. Petersburg's girls win with 450 points.
"There was a lot of excitement, and we both wanted to win," Kristen said. "But I think the swimmers were more competitive than we were. It's kind of hard to be ultracompetitive when you're going against your mom. That would just be a little weird."
They have coached against each other in this meet before. Kristen coached St. Petersburg Catholic's boys and girls teams the past two seasons before taking over the Green Devils. But this was the first time Kristen had a legitimate chance at beating her mother for a team title. The meet turned out to be a family affair. Patty's husband, Dan, was an official.
"It was great to have all of us here," Patty said. "I have to give my daughter a lot of credit. She has a real strong team."
As usual, the Chargers relied on John Farese, Joshua Chen, Alex Grant and Mark Marshburn to score the majority of their points. Chen was the only one of the quartet to win multiple individual titles, taking first in the 200 individual medley (2:03.67) and 100 breast (1:02.40). Grant won the 50 free (23.73). Farese was a champion in the 100 free (48.87). And Mashburn took the 500 free (4:57.71).
All four were on the winning 200 medley (1:42.37) and 400 free (3:22.51) relays. Shorecrest had one other champion, Jack Stein, who won the diving event with 495.50 points.
Northeast's Georgi Krastev won the 100 fly (52.60) and 100 back (51.30).
On the girls side, St. Petersburg was strong in the relays as Marissa Marckese, McKenna Harris, Alex Kehoe and Camille Fredyl won the 200 medley (1:55.63) and 400 free (3:50.12). Marckese won the 100 back (59.27) and Harris took first in the 100 breast (1:07.75).
Two girls won multiple individual titles: Northside Christian's Lindsey Leadbetter in the 200 IM (2:14.26) and 500 free (5:17.76), and Shorecrest's Meredith Little in the 50 free (25.38) and 100 free (54.24).