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FYSA event loaded with area squads

Area teams are playing this weekend in the Florida Youth Soccer Association (FYSA) Region C Championships.

Winners in the first division advance to the President's Cup. Second-division winners earn regional co-champion status.

In all, 15 girls squads and 17 boys teams begin semifinal competition today. Finals are scheduled for Sunday.

The Countryside Lightning has squads in girls under-15, -14, -12, -10 and boys under-12, 17). The Largo Wolves have teams in girls under-17, -10 and boys under-17, -14. Strictly Soccer is represented in girls under-12, -11 and boys under-9, -10, -12). Pinellas FC is in girls under-17, -15 and boys under-15, -18/19.

"We've been working towards this goal of having good representation at the Regional Cup," said Larry Ferrol, Largo's director of coaching. "We've been focusing on providing good coaching and training, and this representation shows us that it's working.

"A highlight for us is having two teams in the under-14 boys semifinal," he said. "The downside is they're playing one another in a semifinal, so one will be eliminated. The upside is we're assured of having a team in the final."

The St. Pete Raiders (boys under-16, -10, -9), Palm Harbor Lightning (girls under-10 Division 2, -15 and boys under-10 Division 2), Clearwater Chargers (boys under-10, -9), Belleair Blast (girls under-11 Division 2, -13), Oldsmar Outlaws (boys under-13 Division 2) and Azalea Eagles (girls under-14) round out the area clubs competing.

Division 1 games are hosted by Hillsborough United. Division 2 is in Temple Terrace.

"Anything can happen when you get to this stage," Ferrol said. "There's no need to look at what you did before against an opponent because this is a whole new game.

"We've stressed with our teams that they must just go out and play the best they can."

SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING: The Suncoast WaterWorks novice and intermediate teams competed in the Winter Invitational Synchronized Swim Meet in Jacksonville.

Firsts were earned in duet by Taylor Koon and Gabrielle Lewis, intermediate 11-and-under; Abbie Zohn and Keeley Lawner, advanced 12-13; and Jessica Milam and Rebecca Schuyler, intermediate 14-15.

Winning trio teams were Emily Minteer, Sarah Vernick and Katy Alexander, in novice 10-11; and Lilly Althauser, Jenna Lee and Logan Worley, intermediate 11-and-under.

The squads posting victories included the novice 10-11 (Marissa Foreit, Alicia Hartman, Kayla Bell, Megan Porter, Minteer, Vernick and Alexander), intermediate 11-and-under (Jennifer Aguero,Jessica Bennett, Laurie Goyack, Althauser, Koon, Lee, Lewis and Worley) and intermediate 14-15 (Rylie Burns, Casey Miller, Jeannie O'Connell, Erin Ritz, Milam and Schuyler).

Suncoast also produced four second-place finishes and two thirds.

CHEERLEADING: The Dunedin Jr. Falcons garnered top team and individual awards in the Contest of Champions at Disney World Complex in Orlando.

In youth competition, Caylin Brewer took first, and Cory Pavlik was second. At the junior level, Cailin Caccavelli placed second, and the stunt team of Brittany Cote, Allie Cowley, Cindi Engelhardt, Michelle Ligas and Elena Paolini was third.

The organization's youth and junior squads finished first overall, and the juniors received the Grand National Champions award for collecting the most points in the 98-team event.

The 24-member youth Falcons' head coach is Lisa Garwood.Tracy Urello is the instructor. The program's 35 juniors are coached by Sonia Seabol and instructed by Crystal Holtzclaw.

GIRLS GYMNASTICS: Alexandria Crawford placed first all-around in Level 4 of the Third AAU Qualifier in St. Cloud.

Crawford, a member at Apollo School of Gymnastics in Clearwater, was joined by teammates Alyssa Sichak and Cooper Voss. They were second and third, respectively.

Taylor Lubecki won the Level 4 balance beam, and Crawford took the event's top honor in her age division.

LaFleur's of Largo advanced five gymnasts to next month's Level 9 and 10 Regional Championships. They are Jodie Heinicka (Level 10) and Alyssa Wright, Elizabeth Hermann, Whitney Eberhardt and Jennifer Voynovich (Level 9).

The Tampa Bay Turners were the runner-up in Level 9 in last weekend's state championships.

The squad received a first-place all-around performance from Alyssa Harmon. Jenny Cotrin and Sarah Brownlee finished fourth and eighth, respectively.

Lauren Bernloehr was first all-around in Level 10. Terin Martinjak was second and Jessica Beckman third. Cameron Logan and Bernloehr were tops in the floor exercise, and Harmon posted a vault victory.

The National Judges Association presented special awards to Danielle Holtz, Emily Earle, Martinjak and Logan.

Holtz was recognized for her hard work, Earle for leadership, Martinjak for artistry and creativity, and Logan for academics.

This weekend is the Level 7 and 8 state championships at the Long Center in Clearwater.

TWIRLING: Fifteen awards were won by Deb's Allstars Baton Twirling Academy in the Drum Majorettes of America Southern States Regional Competition.

The program received honors in dance line, dance twirl, twirl team, specialty, novelty, pom line and show team events.

Jennifer George, 18, was named Southern States Princess. The academy's athletes are instructed by Debbie Duke.

The national finals are in North Carolina this summer.