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TEAMS AT A GLANCE

CITRUS BOYS

COACH: Doug Patton.

RETURNING Jimmy Baker (Jr., sprint freestyle, butterfly); Rob Callahan (Sr., sprint free); Adam Branson (Sr., diving); Jimmy Beville (Sr., breaststroke); Matt Frankel (Sr., distance freestyle), Brian Mason (Sr., breast).

TOP NEWCOMERS Kyle Williams (So., sprint free).

OF NOTE: District backstroke champion Baker will lead a rather young Hurricanes squad along with Callahan. Williams has looked good early on and could prove to be a crucial member of the relay teams. Branson, a state qualifier, gives Citrus a rare front-runner in diving.

CITRUS GIRLS

COACH: Frank Bachteler.

RETURNING: Lauren Gaffney (Sr., individual medley, breaststroke); Katherine Jones (Sr., sprint freestyle); Kelly Smith (Sr., sprint free); Evelyn Hren (Sr., distance free, IM); Laurie Kusmaul (Jr., free, butterfly); Teresa Roberts (Jr., free, backstroke); Megan St. Clair (So., breast, distance free); Callie Taylor (So., fly, sprint free); Stephanie Bird (Jr., diving)

OF NOTE: The Hurricanes have what the boys lack _ depth. But whether the girls have enough to contend with always-deep Crystal River remains to be seen. Gaffney is a proven performer who's won district titles, but the question is whether her participation in cross country will take away from her swimming. Citrus has a solid core of senior swimmers that should make it tough in the relays. Plus, the emergence of sophomore Megan St. Clair gives the Hurricanes even more depth.

CRYSTAL RIVER BOYS

COACH: Tim Holme.

RETURNING: Andrew Preston (Sr., backstroke, freestyle); Ashley Preston (So., IM, Breast); Chris Grillo (Jr., freestyle); Andy Lanier (So., fly, back).

TOP NEWCOMERS: Duncan Mackie (transfer from Coconut Creek last year, came in December, Sr., sprint free); Aaron Washington (Fr., diving, fly, IM).

OF NOTE: The Pirates must replace some top performers in John Sparkman and Craig Edmonds. But, as usual, Crystal River has plenty of bodies to take their place. Andrew and Ashley Preston along with Grillo and Lanier will make up the core. Promising newcomer Mackie has been impressive.

CRYSTAL RIVER GIRLS

COACH: Tim Holme.

RETURNING: Liz Garrick (Sr., sprint free); Lindsey Wood (Sr., back,free); Cherokee Boose (So., IM, breast); Rachel Carnahan (Jr., fly); Sarah Barnard (Sr., free)

TOP NEWCOMERS: Kellie Brooks (Fr., IM, fly); Katie Connolly (Fr., diving).

OF NOTE: Crystal River lost perhaps its best female swimmer ever in Natalie Rockefeller, but Holme can take stock in a nucleus of four state qualifiers who return. Garrick was the district runner-up in the 50 and 100 free and qualified on two relay teams. Boose may be the heir apparent to Rockefeller and should be a strong contender in the IM and 100 fly.

LECANTO BOYS

COACH: Bob Chambers and Tracee Glover.

RETURNING: Brent Hallowell (Sr., any event); Stephen Troiano (Jr.); David Bowman (So., IM)

TOP NEWCOMERS: Scott Jackson (Fr., breast, free); Aaron Payne (Fr., sprint free); Mike Cheek (Fr., sprint free).

OF NOTE: The Panthers are very young and return no notable starters from last year. Gone are district diving champion Chris Gayheart and state qualifier Stephen Graff, replaced by a number of freshmen and the core of Hallowell, Troiano and Bowman. Lecanto is hoping its best years are ahead.

LECANTO GIRLS

COACH: Tracee Glover and Bob Chambers.

RETURNING: Allison Brundage (Sr., sprint free); Angela Bowman (Jr.); Tara Gayheart (diving); Amanda Rose (So.); Amanda Beery (So.); Jenna Rhames (So.)

TOP NEWCOMERS: Michelle Townsend (So.); Megan Shear (Fr.); Cassandra Zamboli (Fr.); Shayna Demangone (Fr.); Cynthia Malm (Fr.); Korie Cole (Fr.), Maggie Sharar (Fr.).

OF NOTE: The good: The Panthers have two of the area's best individual performers in Brundage and Tara Gayheart. The bad: They easily are the youngest team in Citrus County. That means Lecanto will be looking for not just top performances, but guidance from its elder swimmers. Again, like the boys, the hope is that an investment this year will pay off in seasons to come.

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