Berkeley Prep doubles up on Tampa Bay Classic titles

Published Oct. 2, 2016

ST. PETERSBURG — Berkeley Prep, loaded with a deep and talented roster of boys and girls swimmers, has been dominant against bay area competition. So it was no surprise that the Buccaneers cruised to team titles at Saturday's Tampa Bay Classic at North Shore Pool.

In the boys meet, Berkeley Prep won its fourths straight title, scoring 476 points — 150 ahead of Jacksonville Episcopal.

The Buccaneer girls won their first title at the Tampa Bay Classic with 439 points, beating rival Tampa Prep by 94.

With so many swimmers contending for individual titles — in the regular season and beyond — Berkeley Prep has put together a schedule that yields few easy nights and little rest. This was the fourth meet the Buccaneers had swum in the past week.

It was not just a heavy workload that was taxing. So was the competition. Berkeley Prep has already competed against powerhouse programs such as Jacksonville Bolles, Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest and Jacksonville Episcopal.

"It's a grind," Buccaneers coach Kevin Rosepapa said. "But there's a payoff at the end."

The intent is to get better — and faster — to contend for individual titles against swimmers from those programs once Berkeley Prep reaches the Class A state meet.

It also helped the Buccaneers cruise to wins on Saturday.

Robert Cecil, a freestyle specialist who was one of only two boys to win multiple individual titles at last week's prestigious Woodson Invitational, led the Buccaneers with first-place finishes in the 50 freestyle (21.72 seconds) and the 500 free (4:41.86) Saturday.

Cecil also swam legs on the winning 200 medley (1:39.17) and 200 free relays (1:28.07).

Teammate Nathan Stovern won the 200 free in a meet-record 1:42.22 and took first in the 100 free (47.73). He also was on the 200 free relay and the winning 400 free relay (3:18.17). Berkeley Prep's other individual champion was Matthew Dieffenthaller in the 100 back (54.38).

Tampa Prep's Van Cates was the only other boys area champion, taking first in the 200 IM (1:54.68).

On the girls side, the Buccaneers won despite having only one individual champion, Abby Foreman in the 500 free (5:19.88). Berkeley Prep prevailed thanks to superior depth.

As expected, Tampa Catholic's Christin Rockway was dominant. Rockway, who competed at the Olympic Trials over the summer, broke her own meet record in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:01.69 and won the 100 fly (56.35).

Tampa Prep's Isabella Weinstein won the 100 back (1:01.10) and was on the winning 200 medley relay (1:50.33). Teammate Pristine Siswanto took first in the 100 breast (1:08.64) and anchored the winning 200 free relay (1:41.81).

Northside Christian's Lindsey Leadbetter was the other area girls champion with a first-place finish in the 50 free (24.87).