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Time off doesn't slow Tampa Prep swimmer

Chelsea Nauta wins two events and the Terrapin girls finish fourth.

By JOHN SCHWARB, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 20, 2002


CLEARWATER -- Chelsea Nauta surely will not be making any cross-country trips a week before next month's state meet, but at this time of the season, getting out of the water for a while proved just fine.

The Tampa Prep swimmer got back in the pool this week after five days in Arizona on a class trip, and showed no ill effects Saturday at the 28th annual Rotary Invitational in winning the 200- and 500-yard freestyle.

"Last week I was still training with weights and stuff, but no water," Nauta said. "Getting back into it this week has been kind of hard, but I'm happy with what I've done."

Nauta's efforts led the Terrapins to a fourth-place finish on the girls side with 183 points, 34 ahead of sixth-place Berkeley Prep. Seminole won with 355.

Palm Harbor U. won the boys event behind its depth, winning only the 200 free relay. Tampa Prep placed sixth and Berkeley Prep eighth.

Most teams came into the meet in the midst of heavy training, and powerhouses such as Jacksonville Bolles, Seminole and PHU opted to rest a number of their best swimmers and use others in events they normally would not swim.

"I'm so sore right now, very broken down," said Seminole's LeeAnn Laing, who nonetheless won the 100 backstroke and swam legs on victorious 200 and 400 medley relay teams.

Northeast's Brenno Varanda swam for five hours Friday with school out, woke up with sore shoulders but won the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke. Jay Carpenter won the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke for Clearwater, which won five events on the boys side.

Tampa Prep's Ali Lepech finished sixth in girls diving, while Berkeley Prep's Kyle Dent and Aaron Levy finished fifth and sixth in the boys competition.

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