During the year 2000, youth athletes have excelled in individual and team sports.
Here are some of the highlights:
BASEBALL _ The St. Pete Stingers' 11-and-under team won the AAU state title and advanced to the national championships. It finished third in the nation.
Pitcher Molly McKesson, 14, was selected to compete on Team Michigan in the All-Star Women's Tournament in Toronto. The event was sponsored by the American Women's Baseball League.
The Fossil Park Minor-Major All-Stars team of 9- and 10-year-olds captured its third consecutive Florida Little Major League crown.
The Slammers' 10-and-under boys were fifth in the 32-team AAU National Championships.
BASKETBALL _ Michael Brown, Ricky Pena, Spencer Gibson and Jorge Gullago captured the 3-on-3 Hoop It Up Tournament championship in Toronto.
Lake Vista Center racked up three district titles, advancing to the Florida State Tournament.
Winning district crowns were the Pee Wee (9 and under), Junior (13 and under) and Senior (15 and under) squads. The Pee Wee team went on to capture a state championship.
The St. Petersburg Police Athletic League (PAL) 14-and-under boys squad compiled a 5-2 record in the 12-team PAL National Tournament
BMX RACING _ Amanda Geving won the cruiser division in the Florida State Championship Series and was fourth in the 20-inch competition.
Geving traveled to Argentina to compete in the World Championships.
DIVING _ Austin Hampton advanced from regional to national championships in the 1- and 3-meter boards.
Hampton, Ryan Troup, Katie Smolen, Lauren Permuy, Mark Moss and Rachel Korth qualified for the U.S. JO Zone Championships.
Hampton and Troup advanced to the national event. Hampton, in his third trip to the nationals, was second in the 1-meter.
FOOTBALL _ The St. Pete 'Lil Devils captured Pinellas Youth Football Conference titles in the Flyweight, Pee Wee and Midget divisions. Largo won the Mighty Mite.
In the Game Day of Champions at the Raymond James Stadium, the 'Lil Devils took the Flyweight championship.
ICE HOCKEY _ The Tampa Bay Junior Lightning Bantam team, comprised of players 13-13, was the first area squad to qualify for the North American Silver Stick Finals in Michigan.
Tampa won the Sunshine State Games title. The Lightning's Pee Wee (12 and under) and Squirt (10 and under) clubs were second.
ICE SKATING _ First-time South Atlantic Regional Figure Skating competitors Sarah Wright, Andrw Crabb and Dante Swain joined Abby Evans and Megan McNeil in the Pennsylvania competition.
GYMNASTICS _ Lauren Campanioni, Lindsey Beddow, Lindsey Robinson, Margaret Dann and Jessica Beckman from the Tampa Bay Turners and Jodie Heinicka of LaFleur's in Largo advanced to the Level 10 national championships.
Level 9 national qualifiers included LaFleur's Lesley Valenty and Cassie Hammock and Tampa Bay's Lauren Bernloehr, Terin Martinjak, BriAnne McKeon, Lara Straub and Kristy Kavey.
In the Level 10 nationals, Campanioni placed second all-around, Beddow was sixth, Dann fourth and Heinicka sixth. Robinson was 13th in the floor exercise.
Bernloehr came home a Level 9 all-around and balance beam champion. Martinjak was a champion in the vault, third on the beam and sixth all-around. Kavey was third all-around, fourth on the uneven bars and fifth on the beam and in the floor exercise.
Campanioni and Dann went on to attend a week's training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado.
Reaching Level 8 regional championships were the Turners' Natalie Husseung and Christine Girard and LaFleur's Whitney Eberhardt, Amanda Ozack, Elizabeth Hermann and Kaitlyn Thorwarth.
Husseung was 12th nationally on the uneven bars. Girard was eighth all-around, third in the floor exercise and 11th in vault.
Eberhardt was a junior all-around champion, first in the vault, second on the beam and third on the bars. Ozack was third all-around and on the beam, fourth on the bars and fifth in the vault. Hermann was second in the vault, third on the bars and 12th on the beam.
The Medalist All-Stars' Tina Jacob in Level 9, Ryann Matthews in Level 8, Kimberly Jacob in Level 7 and Andrea Bairam and Briana Stiles in Level 5 earned first-place all-round honors in the club's annual spring invitational.
In the AAU State Championships, Jacob was second all-around and Matthews and Bairam fourth. Stacey Ostlund in Level 7, Kimberly Jacob in Level 7 and Mollie Parkinson in Level 5 were third.
Jacob was sixth all-around in the AAU Junior Olympics National Championships. Matthews was eighth.
Melissa Perkins was fourth all-around in the Level 9 AAU JO Team Florida tryouts. Melina Scouras won the Level 4 all-around for her age division.
The Tampa Bay Turners won the Level 9 and 7 state championships.
They were led in Level 7 by Jennifer Sutherland with a first-place all-around championship, and Natalie Mera, Heather Jennings, Casey Caleca, Sarah Brownlee and Alyssa Harmon.
The Turners' Lauren Gibson and Kristen Chmielewski were Level 6 state champs.
Gibson was unbeaten in floor and all-around during the season. She won both at state plus the beam event. It was the second title for Chmielewski _ the first in Level 4.
The club's Level 5 team finished sixth overall at state and was led by Barbara Simkanich and Jocilyn George. Lacie McCord was a Level 4 state champion.
LaFleur's of Largo defended its Level 5 state title with all-around wins from Nicole Abdo, Jordyn Wright and Alyssa Collins.
The club was second in Level 4, led by Kaley LaFleur, Brynn Fullmer, Ashleigh Johansen and Alana RIvera.
ROLLER SKATING _ Shannon Hallberg and Gina Scarpetta competed in figure skating and Brandi Tonkin and Adrian Martinez in speed skating in the U.S. National Championships.
Winning in area competitions were the team dance pair of Christina Walterson and Mike Moore, Meghan Dellaire, Becka Fisher, Linda Reed and Joan Somerville in Port Richey; esquire team dancers Lee Remley and Jim Singletary, Walterson and Moore and Barbara Michael in Casselberry; Hallberg, Walterson, Paul Bertels, Jennifer Monrose and team dancers Moore and Walterson in Kissimmee.
SOCCER _ The Northeast Raiders under-13 girls team made its debut in the Florida Youth Association State Cup.
The squad were the first Northeast team to advance to the final four round.
The St. Pete Raiders under-12 girls and the Strictly Soccer under-10 boys were division winners in the prestigious Countryside Easter Invitational.
Strictly Soccer under-10 and under-12 boys teams captured titles in the Dunedin Stirling Shootout, as did the Azalea Eagles under-13 boys.
The St. Pete Raiders under-11 girls won in the Suncoast Celebration.
The Raiders won the under-13 and under-16 girls divisions in their Kickoff Classic. They were joined in the winners circle by Strictly Soccer under-9, under-11 Continental and under-13, Azalea Eagles under-11 National and the Raiders under-12 boys teams.
Strictly Soccer's under-11 boys won in the Octoberfest, along with the Azalea under-13 girls.
SOFTBALL _ The Clearwater Bullets 18-and-under team finished fifth in a field of 146 in the National Softball Association World Series.
SWIMMING _ Lakewood Country Club was sixth in the Pinellas Aquatic League Championships. Tracey Rorer set the PAL 50-meter record in the 10-and-under girls division.
Lakewood was seventh in the Private Club League Championships, with Rorer in the 10s, Casey McKeon in the 8s and Sally Decker in 11-12 placing in the top 10 overall.
West Florida Lightning Aquatics was second in its invitational. St. Pete Aquatics was fourth. Nicole Margaritondo won all nine events and was the 13-14 high-point winner.
High point swimmers included Rorer and Margaritondo in the Jingle Bell Invitational; Margaritondo, Megan Roman, Russell Snyder, Robert Margalis in the 2000 Winter Invitational; Kristen Nardozzi, Margaritondo, Ted Bradley, Jonathan Proctor in the Last Chance Meet; McKeon and Proctor in the Carlouel Invitational; Tara Cromer, Mary Anne Thomas, Marie Azar and Ryan Singletary in the Spring Invitational.
SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING _ Evonne Paul and Liz Anne Markman of Suncoast WaterWorks won the 16-17 duet national title in the Baquacil Age Group Championships. It was the third national crown for Paulk.
Suncoast WaterWorks' Kara Clemens, Jackie Hickman and Rachael Simon were eighth in the 16-17-year-old division in the Baquacil Age Championships in California.
Stephanie Joyce was 17th in the 16-17 solo, and the 18-19 team of Jennifer Amsinger, Clemens, Kristi Whichter, Diana Paul and Dana Rosenfeld were 12th overall.
The 16-17 squad of Crystal Amsinger, Meredith Cooke, Rachel Farkash, Jamie Freshour, Hickman, Joyce and Simon were third.
The 12-13 team of Caroline Berkey, Darcee Kingsley, Nichole Lee, Andrea Patterson, Rachel Rooth, Logan Schaefer and Sorcha Sills were ninth. Kingsley, Rooth and Sills were 14th in trio, as were Lee and Schaefer in duet.
VOLLEYBALL _ The Clearwater YMCA Girls Volleyball Club, consisting of players from schools throughout the county, won the 16-and-under title in the East Coast Championships at Penn State without losing any games in nine matches.