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SPA swimmer has classic day in Gator meet

Megan Romano, a 12-year-old who swims for St. Pete Aquatics, broke three state records at the Gator 2003 Fall Classic in November.

Romano's performance of 27.84 seconds surpassed the 50-yard backstroke mark, 28.15 set in 1996 by Amanda Paulo.

In the 100 backstroke, the previous record was 1:00.10, established by Paulo in '96. Romano shattered that with a 58.87.

Romano completed the record-breaking hat trick with a time of 2:06.93 in the 200 backstroke. The previous mark (2:10.27) was set by Cari Carpenter in 1995.

According to SPA, Romano is ranked in the top three in the United States.

SWIMMING: St. Pete Aquatics competed in the Southern Zone Southern Sectional Championship meet Jan. 15-18 at the Long Center in Clearwater.

The event is part of the Spring Speedo Long Course Champions Series, and former Olympian and Tampa resident Brooke Bennett participated.

In the girls division, Victoria King took 18th in the 50-meter freestyle with a 28.92 performance. Daniela Brands finished 19th at 28.97.

Brands was 25th in the 800 free, 2:15.54.

In the 100-meter backstroke, Romano placed seventh in 1:08.86. Stase Michota came in 15th with a time of 1:10.74.

Romano claimed eighth in the 200 backstroke, 2:27.66.

The SPA team had three members in the 100-meter breaststroke.

Tracy Rorer, 12, finished 17th with a time of 1:18.46. Brands took 18th (1:23:56), and Jamie Milo was 20th (1:22.07).

Kelsey Krauss placed 18th in the 100 butterfly, 1:08.37., In the 200-meter individual medley, Brands was 23rd at 2:32.

For the boys, St. Pete Aquatics standout Brenno Varando captured second in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:09.22 showing.

In the 200-meter breaststroke, Varando finished eighth (2:37.06).

Mitchell Snyder placed ninth in the 1,500 freestyle, 17:00. He was 14th in the 400-meter individual medley (4:58.35) and 13th in the 800 free (9:03.83).

Russell Snyder took 12th in the 200-meter breaststroke with a time of 2:41.08. He was 13th in the 100 breaststroke, 1:14.93.

GYMNASTICS: LaFleurs of Largo competed Jan. 10-11 in the Lightning City Invitational in Tampa, placing 10 members in the top 10.

In Level 7, Megan Vonstetina captured first in the all-around competition to lead the team to victory. She was tops on the vault and balance beam, fourth on the bars and third in the floor exercise.

Rebecca Roberts finished third in the vault and floor events.

The program's Level 8 squad took second in the all-around, led by Brynn Fullmer, Taylor Sides and Jordyn Wright.

Fullmer won the all-around, including first on vault and floor, second on the bars and fourth on the balance beam. Sides was an all-around runner-up after a second in the floor competition.

Wright, who came in third in all-around, posted a balance beam victory and was second on the floor.

Ashley Strong, Stephanie Young and Jenifer Voynovich sparked the Level 9 team to first all-around.

Strong recorded a win on the balance beam and was second on vault and floor. Young finished fourth on the beam, and Voynovich came in second on the floor.

The Level 10 squad claimed second in all-around, with Lesley Valenty and Alyssa Wright placing in a number of events.

Valenty finished third in all-around after a vault victory. Wright was fourth on vault and all-around.

+ Apollo Gymnastics of Clearwater captured second in Level 4 of the Lightning City Invitational.

Jordan Lamanna, 6, finished fourth on the vault. Madison Breese, 7, took third on the bars. Taylor King, 10, logged victories on the vault and bars and was fourth on the beam and floor.

Miranda Frohlich placed fifth on the balance beam and fourth on the bars. Sarah Sienna Davis took third on the bars and floor, and Rebecca Stewart was third on the vault.

The organization's Level 5 squad finished second.

Gracie Kobitter, 9, was the runner-up on the bars, floor and beam. Lucia Russo claimed fifth on floor, and Kassy Kogut took third in the event.

Scout McDaniel, 10, placed fifth on the vault and floor and second on the balance beam.

In Level 6, Molly Nelson won the balance beam competition, was second on the vault and third on floor. Taylor Lubecki finished fifth on the beam, and Sherilyn Mansfield took third in the event.

+ Gemini Gymnastics' Level 7 squad captured second overall in the Tampa Bay Turners Invitational, Jan. 16-18 at the Bayfront Center.

Lauryn Kannard won the all-around competition and bars and tied for second on the balance beam and floor. Sarah Zoldos came in first in all-around, floor and bars, was second on the vault and fourth on the balance beam.

In Level 9, Kaleigh Dickson, Elizabeth Dupell and Joelle Ferguson led the team to a fourth-place finish.

Dickson was third on the vault and fourth on the balance beam. Dupell finished second on the vault, third in all-around and fourth on the bars and floor.

Ferguson topped the balance beam competition, took second on the floor and in all-around and was fourth on the vault.

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