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Swimmers shine during state meet

With endurance and speed in the Florida Swimming Senior State Championships, Carrollwood Village distance swimmer Amy Mueller guided her five-member squad to a fourth-place finish in women's competition and ninth in combined men's and women's competition.

Scores were combined for teams with both genders competing in the July 12-15 event.

The Carrollwood women finished ninth against both men's and women's teams in a field of 36 Florida teams at the Indian River Community College pool in Fort Pierce. Carrollwood's women placed high overall even without male swimmers in competition.

Mueller, 17, will be a senior on the Hillsborough High team in the fall.

"Amy was the first swimmer to qualify for the Florida all-star team," Carrollwood Village head coach Jim Kelly said. "She qualified the first night in the 800-meters freestyle event with senior girls ages 17 to 18. After all the events were over and the points tallied, she finished second overall for girls her age for the state. She had a great meet."

Mueller won the 1,500-meters freestyle, placed second in the 400 and 800 freestyle, third in the 400 individual medley, fourth in the 200 butterfly and fifth in the 200 freestyle.

"The big surprise for us was the super performance of Meredith Lynch," Kelly said. "She surprised even herself in the meet. In the 200 backstroke, she was only a second short of earning a spot on the all-star team."

For girls ages 15 to 16, Lynch placed fifth in the 200 backstroke, eighth in the 400 individual medley, ninth in the 100 backstroke, 13th in the 100 freestyle and 22nd in the 200 freestyle. Lynch, 16, will be a junior at Tampa Catholic in the fall.

Kelly refers to 13-year-old Carly Cavalieri as the baby of the group. She moved up to compete with 17- to 18-year-olds for both singles and relays.

"The backstroke is her primary event and she did well with the big girls, finishing seventh in the 100 meters and eighth in the 200," Kelly said. "She also finished 11th in the 100 breaststroke and 13th in the 200 breaststroke."

Cavalieri joined forces with Mueller, Lynch and 15-year-old Becky Bird to swim the relays.

The aquatic quartet placed fourth in the 400 medley relay, sixth in the 400 freestyle and eighth in the 800 freestyle.

Katrina Cooke, 14, the fifth member of the local team to compete, finished seventh in the 1,500 freestyle and 14th in the 800 freestyle for ages 17 to 18.

All the younger swimmers, ages 8-and-under through 14, are competing this weekend in the Junior Olympics in Sarasota. The Junior Olympics are the Florida swimming championships for the younger ages.

More than 40 competitors from Carrollwood Village and Team New Tampa are at the state meet in Sarasota.