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This talent pool raises the bar

On one of the most extraordinary nights in county swimming, one that produced eight Pinellas County Athletic Conference meet records, Palm Harbor University's Tyler Reed left the biggest wake in the Long Center pool.

The Hurricanes senior made virtual mincemeat of the record books, setting new standards in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle races and anchoring the record-setting 200- and 400-yard freestyle relay teams.

Yet when Reed stands on the blocks for his individual races at this weekend's Florida Swimming Pool Association invitational in Orlando, he will not be the fastest swimmer.

Reed is seeded fourth in the 50 free and second in the 100 free.

That is a testament to how tough the FSPA invitational is. In its 31st year, the FSPA invites the best boys and girls swimmers, from public and private schools, in all classifications for one meet. And with the meet at the Orlando YMCA, the same site as the state finals, it is a good test to see where swimmers stand before the postseason.

"The FSPA meet is some of the toughest competition we see all year," Palm Harbor University swim coach Lisa Bitting said. "We like it because it gives us an idea of who will be tough outside of Pinellas County."

Pinellas swimmers rank among the best. Besides Reed, 12 others are seeded in the top five in their individual events.

They are: Clearwater's C.A. Castagna (100 back), Countryside's Rachel Burns (100 free), Northeast's Cameron Chambers (500 free) and Megan Romano (100 free, 100 back), Palm Harbor University's Justin Chambers (200 free), Katie Coleman (100 fly), Chris Mertens (100 breast), Caroline Myers (200 IM) and Wes Stearns (200, 500 free), Seminole's Kaitlin Frehling (50 free) and Chelsea Bolin (50 free) and St. Petersburg Catholic's Kelsey Krauss (100 fly).

Coleman and Frehling are the only county swimmers seeded first in their events.

In diving, Northeast's P.J. Bennett, Tyler Burrows and Chris Rowden are seeded in the top five among the boys. In girls diving, Northeast's Brianna Rizzo and Aramis Andreatas and Shorecrest's Hannah Stein are among the top five.

>>FAST FACTS

FSPA Invitational Swim & Dive meet

When: Saturday

Where: Orlando YMCA Pool

Schedule: 8:30 a.m.,

preliminaries; 10:30 a.m., girls diving; 2:30 p.m., boys diving; 6 p.m., consolations and finals

This talent pool raises the bar 10/09/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 9, 2008 12:09am]
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