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College beckons standout swimmer

By TERRY JONES
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 5, 2002

CARROLLWOOD -- Senior distance swimmer Amy Mueller has signed to add her aquatic skills to Northwestern University for the next four years. After refining her list down to the Northwestern, the University of Virginia and Duke University, Mueller decided to go to the cold North.

Mueller, 18, lives in Carrollwood but attended Hillsborough High to participate in the I.B. and A.P. programs. She graduates from high school in a few weeks with a 5.324 GPA.

In her senior year, swimming for the Terriers, Mueller placed fourth in the 500 yard freestyle and fifth in the 200 individual medley in the state championships.

For the USA swimming championships for Florida, as a member of the Carrollwood swim team, she placed second in the 1,000 freestyle, and third in the 500 and 1,650 freestyle, 400 individual medley and 200 butterfly events.

"I am so very excited about college," Mueller said. "I will miss all the friends I have in high school and really miss all the friends I have had on the Carrollwood swim team for 10 years. But I know I will meet new friends at Northwestern. I have been looking forward to this time for a long time. I will leave for Evanston, Ill. some time in September."

While on the Carrollwood team, she qualified for 20 USA swimming meets on the regional, sectional and zone levels, plus one U.S. Open Championship.

"It is hard to see any of our kids move on, when they leave for college," Carrollwood head coach Jim Kelly said. "Amy has been an outstanding leader in our program for the past several years. She will really be missed by all her teammates here."

SOFTBALL: Leto High School completed its best softball season Tuesday night h a 6-5 loss to Plant City in the regional quarterfinals.

The Falcons finale presented both good news and bad. Their 12-9 record was one of the best ever and all but three of the players will be back next season.

However, second-year coach Ryan Trainor, 24, resigned from the program to get back into baseball, but he leaves a full cupboard for his replacement. Trainor built a solid program at Leto and took the team into the regional playoffs both seasons.

"Leto is a good place to work, but I don't like being a head coach in any sport and I want to get back to baseball," Trainor said. "Whoever Mr. (Oscar) Gonzalez selects to take over the program will have some great athletes to work with. I will miss the girls and their families, but for me it is time to move on."

Sophomore pitcher Clarissa Davis was the on-field leader for the Falcons, both this year and as a freshman. She finished this season with a 9-6 record, 3.40 ERA and was hitting .380.

"We had consistent pitching from Clarissa all year, plus the team hit the ball well," Trainor said. "The losses we had were to good teams that beat us, but our girls played tough all season. We had only one game where the girls beat themselves and that is not bad for such a young team."

Karen Hobbs and Jessica Miranda are two starting seniors who are hitting over .300.

Hobbs played left field and hit .386. Miranda, the lead off hitter, played on third base and hit .306 and scored 24 runs.

Freshman catcher Brittany Garcia was the most consistent at the plate for the Falcons. She hit .404 and recorded 15 RBI.

Tina Rosas, Jessica Shepherd and Cassie Green, all juniors, were also consistent at the plate and helped solidify the Falcons defense. Rosas played second base, hit .392 and recorded 20 RBI.

Shepherd guarded the middle as shortstop, hit .387 and scored 20 runs. She also recorded 7 RBI.

Green played first base, hit .384 and recorded 15 RBI.

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