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Knights, Bucs duel in SAC

First it was euphoria. Only later did they learn it was premature.

At the end of the inaugural Sunshine Athletic Conference swim meet, River Ridge believed it had a narrow 86-84 victory over host Gulf in the girls competition.

Royal Knight coach Devin Kane dove into the pool. Assistant Athena Graham just jumped in.

"A little closer than I wanted, but I knew it was going to be close," Kane said.

Only later did official scorer Susie Bittiker discover a mistake and the reality that the teams tied at 84. Still, River Ridge had a good celebration after the foursome of Christy Parzik, Mandy Mahovic, Melanie Goodchild and Kim Rumble won the final event, the 400 freestyle relay, in 3 minutes, 59.44 seconds. Gulf's Julie Muckler, Anna Tietz, Erica Bittiker and Annie Stewart, who earlier won the 200 free relay, touched in 4:01.16.

Muckler, Rumble and Stewart each won two individual events.

The Knight boys topped Gulf 95-69. River Ridge's Barry Miller and Jimmy Battista, along with Springstead's Rick Dofka, won two races apiece.

Neither Hudson nor Zephyrhills won any events, but their addition led to the formation of the conference. Gulf assistant Doug Cassidy said Ridgewood may become the SAC's seventh team next fall.

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