St. Petersburg Catholic's Helene Wudy, like most top swimmers in morning preliminaries, did not worry much about a fast time. The night finals would be when the speed came out.
Unfortunately, the rain also came out and never left, reducing Saturday's district meet at North Shore Pool to a preliminaries-only format. Whatever swimmers did in the morning stood as the final result, with the top three finishers in each event earning spots at next week's state meet in Fort Lauderdale.
Wudy finished first in both of her individual events, the 200-yard individual medley and the 100 breaststroke, but times of 2 minutes, 15.79 seconds and 1:06.55 did not do much for her.
"I thought we'd have finals so I didn't swim very fast," Wudy said. "It was hard, it was raining and cold. I was disappointed."
SPC's overall effort in the shortened meet was anything but, as it finished fourth on the girls side and claimed six wins out of the 11 swim events. Wudy's housemate, fellow German junior Yasemin Taskin, won the 100 butterfly. Sophomore Dani Brands won the 50 and 100 freestyle, and combined with the juniors and Kristina Fisher to win the 200 free relay.
Admiral Farragut eighth-grader Stase Michota added another title for Pinellas, winning the 500 free just ahead of teammate Christine Thompson.
Academy of the Holy Names defended its girls title with 409 points, 47 ahead of Berkeley Prep. Jesuit repeated on the boys side, edging Tampa Prep 361-342.
Shorecrest finished fourth with 228, led by Adam Moody's two wins in the 100 free and 100 backstroke. The Chargers' 200 free relay team also qualified for the state meet, as did Clearwater Central Catholic's 400 free relay.
Cougars, Eagles win
CLEARWATER _ Countryside foiled East Lake's bid for a second straight district sweep by taking a page from the Eagles' script.
The Cougars increased their roster by 10 to 57. That helped them win the boys meet with 462 points.
East Lake, which last year won both district titles, was the boys runner-up (338 points) and won a third straight girls championship with 538 points to runner-up Contryside's 409.
"Depth, that's how we won last year and that's how we won again," East Lake coach Sybil Lotz said.
Countryside coach Diana Jones sounded a familiar refrain: "For the boys, we have the depth this year. And (unlike last year) we have a diver."
Countryside freshman Cody Dodds was a runner-up, preventing East Lake from taking the top two spots in girls and boys diving.
The Eagles' Joshua Matson was the top boys diver and East Lake's Sarah Ellerby and Katie Zuccolo went 1-2 in girls diving.
East Lake only garnered one win in the girls events, but Lotz said her team "did not get down. It just gave them that much more reason to go faster."
Countryside's Ashley Messmore, Cindy Rosal and Kim Iaquinto were on two winning relay teams (200 medley and 400 free). Additionally, Rosal (500 free), Messmore (100 breast) and Stephanie Widmer (200 IM) won a race.
In the boys competition, Countryside and East Lake each had five victories with Hudson's Joe Hroma coming up with the other two wins (200-yard individual medley and 100 butterfly).
East Lake's Ryan Van Hall (200 free, 500 free) and Countryside's Mark Denison (50 free, 100 free) each won a pair of races. East Lake's Brad Marchenia won the 100 back and Countryside's Robby Hoskins won the 100 breast.
_ STEVE LEE