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DQ aids Plant girls at relays; Jesuit tops boys

© St. Petersburg Times
published September 14, 2003

TAMPA - Jesuit won the boys championship at the City of Tampa Recreation Department Swim Relays at Bobby Hicks Pool on Saturday.

The Tigers finished with 232 points, followed by Plant at 147 and Bloomingdale at 126.

The Plant girls scored 187 points to beat runner-up Academy of the Holy Names (180) and Sickles (146) for the team title.

Going into the final girls' event, AHN needed no worse than an eighth place to wrap up the championship.

The team finished second to Hillsborough but was disqualified for an early start, handing the championship to Plant.

"Believe me, I know how they feel." Plant coach Gil Gonzalez said. "I have had it happen to me in, of all places, a state meet. They are a well-coached team and they'll bounce back, you'll see."

AHN sophomore Kelly Hug had a part in winning three races. Hug, who became a U.S. Open qualifier in July in the 100 backstroke, helped her team win the 200 yard butterfly, the 400 medley relay and mixed 200 medley relay.

"We have a real good team this year, and everybody is pulling together," Hug said. "I think we are going to do very well."

Jesuit, which hasn't lost a dual meet in 36 meets over more than four years, outdistanced the field for its fifth consecutive City Relay title.

The Tigers finished first or second in every event, winning six and finishing second in four.

AHN and Jesuit won all four mixed events.

"We are very fortunate at Jesuit to get the type of commitment we do from our young men in athletics in general and swimming in particular," said coach Bill Shaffer, in his ninth year. "They'll sacrifice and do what it takes to succeed."

Gonzalez, who took home a first with the girls and a second with the boys, was especially pleased.

"Both squads performed well," he said. "The boys are to be commended for finishing second. They are coming on strong and improving every day. And the girls just never gave up. I'm proud of both of them."


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