The faces at the top of the team standings at the Pinellas County Athletic Conference swim meet were familiar, but that took nothing away from the end-of-the-meet drama Saturday at the Southwest Complex in Largo.
At least for the girls.
Palm Harbor University, which owned the county until 2002 (when the girls won their sixth straight title), was second for the second year in a row. The Hurricanes lost to Seminole by 9.5 points Saturday as the Warhawks repeated as champs, 403-393.5. Northeast was third with 276.
The boys meet displayed a return to the norm, with PHU winning easily with 467 points. St. Petersburg (323) was second and Seminole (276) third.
"It was a marvelous, marvelous meet," Seminole coach Tom Haight said. "When you figure how many points were scored in the meet, what we did was outstanding.
"And it's what you do in the consolation finals that makes the difference. We did extremely well in the (girls) breaststroke. Butterfly was another one _ those two events jump out at me."
The Hurricane girls won two of the three relays, but Seminole won the last event, the 400 freestyle relay. Lana Douglass, Tierney Moses, Whitney Roper and Teresa Tessier outdueled their PHU rivals, and that provided the margin of victory.
Palm Harbor coach Lisa Bitting, who swam for Haight at Seminole, experienced no such anxiety with her boys team, which was hardly challenged.
"We kind of set a goal to win by about 100, because of our depth," she said. "Our sprints and the relays were the difference."
Indeed, the Hurricane boys owned the relays, winning all three, with Levi Curnette, Alex Glover, Peter Welling, Graham Sheldon and Aaron Haas each swimming on two.
Northeast had two double winners in individual events, with Brenno Varanda first in the 200-yard individual medley (1:58.46) and the 100 breaststroke (59.75) and Mitchell Synder collecting the 200 (1:47.07) and 500 (4:45.61) freestyles.
The other male double winner was Seminole's Jon Procter in the 100 fly (52.40) and 50 free (22.55).
For the girls, Palm Harbor's Caitlin Warner was the only swimmer to win two individual events, capturing the 200 (1:58.60) and 500 (5:05.20) free.