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Short-course swimmers enjoy Sweet beginning

By NANCY MORGAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 21, 2002


The Dunedin Aquatic Club team opened the short-course swim season with its sixth annual Sweet September Meet.

The Dunedin Aquatic Club team opened the short-course swim season with its sixth annual Sweet September Meet.

More than 370 competitors from nearly 20 clubs participated in the two-day event at Dunedin's Highlander Pool.

"Our meet has gotten bigger and better each year," Dunedin coach Linda Haley said.

"It was so much fun this year. I was impressed with the number of older swimmers we had and that the competition was very good in all the age groups," she said.

Tampa Bay Aquatics (TBAY), with 70-plus members, finished first. The Clearwater Aquatics Team (CAT) was second, Dunedin Aquatic Club (DAC) third, East Lake Woodlands (ELW) fifth and Carlouel Yacht Club (CYC) sixth. Countryside Country Club Aquatics (CCCA) was seventh and West Florida Lightning Aquatics (WFLA) 14th.

TBAY swimmers receiving high-point awards were Halee Spencer and Ashley Rossi (10-and-under), Chelsea Nauta (13-14), Brittany Nauta (senior girls) and Jason Hillhouse (senior boys).

"Winning was a good way for us to start the season," Tampa Bay coach Rich Rogers said.

"This meet helped us establish team goals and see where we are individually. We have a good mix of swimmers, with our biggest strength in the senior girls."

Though most of the meet's competitors were from the Clearwater area, TBAY has merged with squads from Hunter's Green in Tampa and New Port Richey. In all, there are about 170 swimmers in the TBAY organization.

"The only way to continue to give the personal attention every swimmer needs was to keep the numbers down," Rogers said.

"But the only way to increase numbers to help challenge for national attention was to increase lane space. Therefore, the three groups will continue to swim at their respective pools with their same coaches and we'll coordinate administratively.

"One of the things I was most pleased with at the meet was the way everybody came together as a group," Rogers said. Clearwater Aquatics earned two high-point honors. Jonathan Taddeo edged teammate Wes Stearns by a point in the 10-and-under division, and Andrew Mertens outscored WFLA's Aaron Haas by 9.5 points in 13-14. Countryside Country Club won the 6-and-under girls class high-point award on the performance of Catherin Wegner. Dunedin took the 8-and-under boys honor (Zachary Perrotti) and East Lake the 6-and-under (Alex Carbonell).

CAT's Jay Carpenter received USA High School All-American honorable-mention recognition for his 100-yard backstroke performance, 50.22.

TENNIS: The Florida State Doubles Championships are this weekend at Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach. In the tournament played on 24 courts, 43 boys teams, 34 girls squads and a record-high 54 mixed will challenge for titles in the 18-and-under, 16, 14, 12 and 10 divisions. Among the competitors are local juniors Joel Samaha, Clint Bowles, Jeff D'Amico, Brendan and Kimble McKay, Nicholas Smith, Morgan Basil, Alexandria Cercone, Morgan Frank, Yumi Hasegawa, Laura Gioia, Becky Gordon, Miranda Gutierrez and Brianna Willams. Mixed players include Kosuke Hasegawa and Alexandra Moreno-Kaste, Basil and Danny Riggs, the grandson of Bobby Riggs; Cercone and Jeffrey Morris, Lauren Saltiel and Smith, Samaha and Frank, Bowles and Yumi Hasegawa, and Gordon and Sean Daly. GIRLS GYMNASTICS: LaFleur's of Largo won the Level 4 trophy and was third in Level 5 in its fifth annual Hurricane Invitational. LaFleur's received three all-around honors and placed 15 other members in the top five all-around. Seven individual events were won in Level 4, six in Level 5. Kayley LaFleur was first all-around and won the vault, balance beam and floor exercise events in Level 5. In Level 4, Carly Tidwell and Christine Miles were first all-around. Tidwell won vault and beam, Miles uneven bars and beam. Other individual Level 5 event winners were Jessica Bunn (vault), Taylor Sides (floor) and Mary Michael Toups (vault). Posting Level 4 victories were Mikayla Mann (vault and bars), Caitlin Tarr (bars), Christin Fountain (vault), Tonya Narzinsky (floor) and Katelyn Greenleaf (bars). SOCCER: The Hillsborough County under-13 girls team finished second in the Atlanta Cup. The newly-formed squad consists of players from Hillsborough and Pinellas counties: Victoria Wyandt, Chelsea Wright, Marisa Bartelt, Kaely Roth, Katherine Warren, Sara Lockler, Adrienne Ballou, Stephanie Barnett, Katie Bentley, Leanna Mullins and Samantha Barrett. The coach is former pro Paul Roe, and his manager is Tom Gans. The Countryside Lightning under-11 girls defended their title in the Pinellas Park Labor Day Tournament. They defeated the 2001 Region C champion Largo Wolves 3-0 in the final.

Countryside's under-12 girls scored 12 goals and allowed one in the Tampa Bay Labor Day Classic. In the West Pasco Labor Day Tournament, Countryside's under-12 boys won four games and outscored opponents 24-2. The under-14 Countryside girls played in the U-15 division and captured a crown after surrendering one goal. TABLE TENNIS: In a matchup between the Countryside Outback Sharks and Jasmine Bad Boys, the Bad Boys won in a third-game playoff. The Sunrise Table Tennis Club offers youth programs at various recreation centers. FOOTBALL: Today's Suncoast Youth Conference varsity games include Tarpon Springs at Dixie, Dunedin in Pinellas Park, Northeast at Countryside and Clearwater in Seminole. Unbeaten after five weeks of action are the varsity Dunedin Midgets; Clearwater Pee Wees, Mighty Mites and Flyweights; Countryside Mighty Mites; and junior varsity Clearwater No. 2, Countryside No. 1 and Seminole No. 1 in Flyweights; Clearwater No. 1 and No. 2 and Countryside No. 3 and No. 4 Mighty Mites; Clearwater No. 2 and Countryside No. 2 Pee Wees; and Dunedin Midgets. After four weeks in the Pinellas Youth Conference, Gibbs is undefeated in Flyweights, Mighty Mites and Pee Wees, as are the St. Pete Lil Devils Mighty Mites and Pee Wees, Largo Jr. Packers Midgets and Silver Raiders Midgets. Perfect JV teams are Gibbs No. 2 and Palmetto No. 1 Flyweights; Largo Mighty Mites and Palmetto Midgets.

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