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Eagles girls prevent title sweep by Pirates

© St. Petersburg Times
published November 3, 2002

SPRING HILL -- Crystal River coach Tim Holme took his usual dip in the pool Saturday after the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference meet.

"That's one of the more pleasurable aspects of this job, taking a little bath when people win," he said.

Holme had only one conference champion Saturday as the Pirates captured their seventh straight boys title by 104 points. Springstead coach Brian Hengesbach willingly jumped in after his team broke the Pirates' seven-year lock on the girls side.

The Eagles edged Crystal River 439-418.

"(Crystal River's) the favorite year in and year out," Hengesbach said. "This is a special team and we're only going to get better."

Hengesbach took a gamble on the relays by stacking them, and the move paid off for the Eagles, who posted three wins and 120 points to help make up for not having divers.

Springstead's Sarah Barry, a freshman, took top honors in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle and contributed to the 200 and 400 free relay wins.

For Crystal River, sophomore Chelsea Newberry set a meet record in the 100 backstroke, swimming the event in 1:07.34 to better her own mark.

"I also congratulate my ladies, they performed very well, as did the guys," Holme said. "Basically, everyone swam how I expected them to."

Just like the Springstead girls, the Crystal River boys were victorious in all three relays.

Besides winning individual events, Pirates Ash Preston (200 individual medley) and Keith Martin (100 free) swam legs on the 200 medley and 400 free relays. Teammate Aaron Washington picked up valuable points by taking Friday's 1-meter diving competition, finishing first in the 100 butterfly and contributing to the 200 medley and 200 free relays.

Following Crystal River's lead, Citrus and Lecanto finished second and third in the boys standings with 382 and 283 points. Citrus freshman Ian Gaffney won the 200 and 500 free in convincing fashion.

The Lecanto boys, who finished sixth last season, were paced by Scott Jackson's runner-up finishes in the 50 free and 200 medley relay. Hernando's Jessica Lufsey set a meet record in diving with 197.95. Fellow senior Carli Dofka helped the Leopards take fourth by winning a third straight conference title in the 100 fly in addition to her 100 breaststroke victory.

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