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St. Petersburg sinks Northeast

Senior Jon Swisher may not have had feeling in his fingers after winning several races on Wednesday night. But that didn't stop him from celebrating with his teammates as St. Petersburg swept rival Northeast.

The Green Devils easily defeated the host Vikings 116-70 in the boys race behind the strong showing of Ryan Mahoney, Curtis Nakamoto, Mike Moore and Swisher. Freshman Jordan Skaaland helped lead St. Petersburg girls to a 117-70 victory.

According to the coaches, it was the first time in more than 10 years that St. Petersburg had swept the always-powerful Northeast squad.

"This is exciting for all of us," said St. Petersburg coach Lisa Bitting. "We're very happy with everyone. They've shown a tremendous amount of spirit and a strong will to succeed."

Swisher was just returning from a hand injury two weeks ago that damaged a nerve and left him without feeling in his right hand.

"It's excruciating," said Swisher, one of the best swimmers in the county. "It's going to be tough to build my endurance again and be ready for the districts, but this was a good start."

Swisher anchored the 200 individual medley freestyle (1:52.04) and led the team to victories in the 200 free relay and the 400 free relay. He also won the 200 free with a time of 2:06.34.

Swisher's teammates continued to improve as Nakamoto and Moore put together impressive times. Nakamoto had personal-best times in the 200 I.M. (2:08.12) and the 100 butterfly (58.90), while Moore won in the 500 free (5:07.08) and the 100 backstroke (1:03.33). Mahoney surprised many by winning titles in the 50 free (24.09) and the 100 free (54.08).

The girls were led by the strong performance of freshman Skaaland, who won in the 200 I.M. (2:28.03) and the 100 back (1:08.43) while helping St. Petersburg to two wins in the 200 free relay and the 400 free relay.

"This is really neat for all of us," Skaaland said.