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Chiefs, Hawks, Panthers rise to top

Chamberlain, Bloomingdale, Plant and Armwood showed their swimming and diving strength in Western Conference competition last weekend. The diving was Friday at Tampa's Copeland Park. The University of South Florida played host to Saturday's swim meet.

The Chamberlain boys finished first in the American Division with 122 points, and the girls placed first with 144. In the National Division, Armwood's boys finished first with 100 points and the Plant girls compiled a division-best 171.

"I guess I can say we're optimistic," Chamberlain co-coach Lee Rich said. "We're gearing up for the state meets. It was a real good weekend for us."

Junior Brian Morgado, who won the 100-yard backstroke in a time of 1:02.29, was among a number of Chiefs who fared well.

"Brian has come a long way since his sophomore year," said Rich. "He's a goal-getter and seeks to establish those goals. He dropped six seconds in his time since the last meet."

Senior Dan Head won the 200-yard individual medley (IM) with a time of 2:04.89 and established a division and conference record with a time of 52.92 seconds in the 100-yard butterfly.

For the girls, junior Chris Cover continues to be one of the leaders. She won the 100-yard freestyle in 56 seconds flat and helped the team win both the 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay.

Plant's girls diving team placed two members in the top three at Friday's National Division meet.

Senior Connie Klingler, who is in her third year of diving at Plant, placed first with a score of 292.70.

"Connie was a little down on a couple of her dives," said Plant coach Bob Bettinger. "She didn't follow through on a couple of dives and is capable of doing a little better. But she is very mature and the other divers can rely on her to be helpful."

Brigett Lyons finished third with a score of 147.80.

At Saturday's swim meet, the Panthers' Meghan Brennan won the 200 IM (2:19.00) and the 100 breaststroke (1:13.01).

"She's doing real good and has broken some school records this year," said Bettinger. "She swims all year and her times were about par for her. But I expect her times to drop."

Linda Wilson also swam well for the Panthers, placing first in the 200 and 500 freestyle events in helping Plant pile up division-leading totals.

The Bloomingdale girls diving team helped contribute to a 77-point, second-place standing in the American Division.

"Chamberlain has the strongest team and our plan was to finish second," said Bloomingdale coach Sara Davis. "We were very good and all our divers placed (in the top six)."

Sophomore Karin Schmedeman was the most effective diver on the girls team with a score of 316.05.

"I am really looking forward to her next two years," said Davis. "She has been working hard and has looked real good. She only has one year of diving experience."

For the boys, senior Rick Richmond set a conference record with a score of 477.90_ more than 60 points better than second place Darien Frost of Chamberlain.

"This is very exciting for Rick," said Davis of the record. "He has shown constant improvement and is gaining confidence. We're all looking forward to what he can do at the state meet."

Armwood's boys took first in seven of the 11 events. John Barco placed first in both the 200 IM and the 100 backstroke, and Aaron Fortner was first in the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly.

The district meet is Nov. 9-10. Copeland Park will be host for the diving, USF the swimming.

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