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Durant takes conference meet

Durant captured the Western Conference team championships for girls and boys Tuesday night at Bobby Hicks Pool. It was the first time overall conference champions were recognized since divisions were formed more than a decade ago.

The girls scored 84 points to outdistance Bloomingdale (52) and Plant (48).

In its first year, and with no seniors, Wharton placed fourth in girls competition with 32 points and fifth in boys with 30.

The Cougar boys scored 82, followed by Plant (47) and Chamberlain (34).

"This was a team meet and a team effort for us all the way," Durant head coach Kathy Menendez said. "Just look at the teamwork on the relays. The boys won all three and the girls won two and placed second on the third. Everybody had a lot of spirit tonight."

Summer Washburn of Bloomingdale and Maritza Correia of Tampa Bay Tech typified the intensity in some of the individual events.

The two are opponents in high school, teammates on the Brandon Blue Wave club team and best friends. However, they battled fiercely in one of the night's best individual events, the 200 individual medley.

Correia won in 2 minutes, 8.50 seconds, edging Washburn by less than 3 seconds. She also won the 50 free in 52.80 seconds.

Washburn won the 100 butterfly in 1:00.38 and was on the winning 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays.

"There is no animosity between us or our friendship, because we leave everything in the pool after we race," Washburn said. "Overall, the conference competition was better this year."

"Summer and I are the best of friends and that never changes because of competition," Correia said. "We train and work together everyday and when we compete against each other, we push each other hard to improve. Then after the race we are just two good friends."

On the boys side, Shreve McNally of Plant was a standout. He won the 50 and 100 freestyle sprints.

Gary Kovacs, a distance freestyler, stood out for Durant's boys, with wins in the 200 and 500 freestyle.