Clearwater Aquatics Team (CAT) swimmers opened their short-course season with a splash of success. Nine swimmers won individual age-group events and two relay teams won three events in last weekend's Winter Haven Open.
CAT swimmers Mike Eagan, David McManic and Jamie Wolczynski were high-point winners in their respective age divisions. CAT placed third among 12 teams in the meet.
"I couldn't be more pleased with the swimmers," said Jim Tynan, CAT director and coach. "The younger swimmers, especially from 12 years and younger, swam exceptionally well."
Tynan, who assumed the position with CAT in January, set up a schedule of growth and development for the team. At this point, Tynan believes the team has progressed and is even slightly ahead of schedule.
"We are still growing and have increased in numbers to 100-125 swimmers," he said. "We are trying to build a large solid base of younger swimmers for our program. That's necessary for the future."
Currently, about 70 percent of the CAT team falls in the 12-and-younger category. According to Tynan, with 25-30 swimmers in each age group, a team can always replenish swimmers lost through graduation.
Among those 12-and-under swimmers who have been coached by Tynan since January are Eagan, McManic and Wolczynski. Eagan won the 25-yard freestyle and breaststroke events in the 6-and-under division and was a member of the 100-yard freestyle relay team that won the 8-and-under title. Swimming with Eagan in the relay was Jamie Karlson, brother Joey Eagan and McManic.
McManic won four individual events in the 8-and-under: 25-and 50-yard freestyle, 50-yard butterfly and the 100-yard individual medley.
"Mike and David are all-around swimmers with good strength in the individual medley," said Tynan. "I base my program around the medley because it makes a swimmer stronger overall. The IM also allows you to have more success even though you may not have a specific strong stroke."
Wolczynski's strength, according to Tynan, is freestyle. At the Winter Haven Open in the 10-and-under competition, Wolczynski won the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyle events along with the 50-and 100-backstroke and the 100 individual medley.
Other individual winners at the meet were Laura Mateka (girls 13-14, 100 butterfly and 200 IM), Karlson (boys 8-and-under, 25 backstroke), Bret Schrayer (boys 10-and-under, 50-and 100-butterfly), John Jackson (boys 10-and-under, 50-and 100-breaststroke), Chad Schrayer (boys 11-12, 100 butterfly) and Wil LeBas (boys 13-14, 200 backstroke).
CAT 10-and-under boys also won the the 200-yard freestyle and medley relays in addition to the 10 individual events.
Gymnastics: Jackie Durham was first all-around at the Gemini Invitational in Level 4 competition among nearly 200 gymnasts. Durham, a gymnast at LaFleur's Gymnastic Club of Largo, also won the vault and uneven bars competition. Shannon Spinks from LaFleur's of St. Petersburg won the overall floor exercise in Level 4 and Largo's Cheryl Daniels won balance beam.
In Level 4, 6- to 8-year-old competition, Holly Harrison from the Appolo School of Gymnastics in Clearwater was first all-around in that division and placed second on balance beam and floor exercise, fourth on vault and fifth on uneven bars.
Today through Sunday, Apollo is hosting a second local qualifying meet for Levels 4 and 5. For specific competing times, call 447-2108.
Tennis: Eric Nunez of Largo, Rafel Kucharski of St. Petersburg and Mario Toledo of Seminole each won their age-division singles competition in last weekend's Junior Championships at the Racquet Club of St. Petersburg.
Ice skating: Area skaters won 16 categories in the 10th annual Skate Sun Competition held at SunBlades last weekend. Among the winners were Elizabeth Canty, Michael Ondrovich, Kelly Endres, Jennifer-Jordan Walters, Brandi Seabol, Jennifer Orsi, Laura Stuart, Kathy Smith, Susanne Searles, Michael Lokey, Sherrianna Graybeal, Bethany Kamrath, Morgan Dack, Jamie Rizzo, Erin and Katherine Shaefer and Jessica Austin-Hashimoto. Austin-Hashimoto won both the novice ladies figures and technical program.