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Chief shaves time, heads to state meet

For Grant Nelson, winning the 500-yard freestyle at the Class 3A, District 5 meet did not pose too great a challenge. He walked into the Long Center as the best.

But a district meet is also about picking up momentum for the state meet, and the Chamberlain sophomore certainly did that Saturday night, setting a personal-best time of 4 minutes, 42.67 seconds in winning for the second consecutive year.

"That's my best by six seconds," said Nelson, who also qualified for the state meet in the 200 free with a second-place finish. "This was a really good meet for me, and a good prep for states."

Hillsborough's Crystal Bickoff also had a good night, winning the 100 butterfly (1:00.56) in her last district meet. The senior also swam with Cori Weitekamp, Cara Richardson and Amy Mueller on the Terriers' third-place 400 relay team.

Finishes of third or better in each event qualified for the state meet.

Mueller complained of arm pain in the days leading up to district, but still managed to place second in the 200 individual medley and 500 free.

Palm Harbor University won the boys and girls team titles. Hillsborough finished fifth among the girls teams, Chamberlain sixth among the boys.

A-6: Jaguars win title

ST. PETERSBURG _ Academy of the Holy Names girls coach Mara Toole wasn't thinking district title at the Class A, District 6 meet.

"I was just hoping we could repeat as a runner-up," Toole said.

Instead, her team made history. The Jaguars scored 367{ points and won their first district title since 1978.

Academy took first place in the 200-yard free relay (Kriten Zwolak, Laura Davis, Elizabeth Dowdle, Stephanie Derito) and the 400 free relay (Derito, Zwolak, Elisa Pineda and Stephanie Tarr).

On the boys side, Jesuit won its third district title with 397{ points.

Jesuit only had one first place finisher (Benjamin Sheridan in the 100 free) but had swimmers place in the top six in each event.

Berkeley Prep's Andy Helvenston won the 200 individual medley and the 100 back and was on the winning 200 medley relay and 400 free relay.