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Region swimming: Jesuit, Holy Names honor Cailin Cannella

Published Oct. 28, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG — The memory of Cailin Cannella continues to resonate with Jesuit and Academy of the Holy Names swimmers.

At a dual meet earlier this season, coach Bill Shaffer left Lane 3, the fastest lane, open during the breaststroke to pay tribute to the former AHN swimmer who died from osteo­sarcoma, a bone cancer that usually affects children.

For the past two years, the swimmers have worn wristbands in her honor to raise awareness for childhood cancer.

On Saturday, Shaffer and his swimmers wore temporary, water-proof tattoos with #CalinStrong.

But the biggest tribute came Saturday at the Class 2A, Region 3 meet.

The Tigers won their 10th boys team title, outscoring Land O'Lakes 556-274. The Jaguars won their ninth girls team title, beating the Gators by 230 points.

Jesuit has enough depth to contend for a state team title next week, the ultimate goal to pay homage to Cailin.

"I love the titles and the excitement and atmosphere, but this meet is to move forward," Shaffer said. "I believe we got everybody that got through that was supposed to be in the top eight, so I think we still have a shot with the boys at a team title, which would be a great honor for Cailin."

Brendan Driscoll was Jesuit's only individual champion, taking first in the 500 free (4:35.46). But the Tigers were still able to rack up plenty of points by having a top-three place-winner in every individual event.

They also swept the relays, taking first in the 200 medley relay (1:39.62), the 200 free relay (1:28.90) and the 400 free relay (3:16.41).

Lakewood sprinter Ethan Long was dominant in his events, winning the 200 free (1:43.81) and 100 free (47.22).

Land O'Lakes' Jabari Ramsey, the defending two-time state champion in the 100 breast, won his signature event in 1:00.74. Teammate Patryk Pilkowski took first in the 100 back (52.60).

Robinson's Maxwell Smith was the boys other area champion in the 200 IM (1:59.87).

On the girls side, Holy Names had three individual champions: Katie Taulbee in the 200 IM (2:13.03), Sierra Wills in the 100 breast (1:08.96) and Bella Kirkpatrick in the 100 back (1:00.23).

The three also teamed with Sydney Wills on the winning 200 medley relay team (1:52.43).

Land O'Lakes' Taylor Ward won the 500 free (5:00.30) and anchored the winning 200 free relay (1:40.78) and 400 free relay (3:39.34).

Wesley Chapel's Brooke Duncan won the 50 free (24.73).

Dunedin dominated in diving with Alexa Atherholt winning the girls title with 409.95 points and Michael Cannatelli taking the boys title with 425.90 points