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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Freedom's Michael Silva isn't satisfied with winning state championships for the third year in a row. The senior swimmer wants more.
As a sophomore, the standout at the breaststroke went to state as the sole representative for the Patriots. Last year he had a little company in winning gold. But now he hopes several teammates will qualify and accompany him.
Jeffrey Magol could. He joined Silva on the top platform with a district title for the 500 freestyle event, and both helped Freedom win the 200 freestyle relay. Ryan Irwin and Kevin Bart also swam legs for the relay team, which has a chance of adding another victory at the region meet.
Silva is favored for a three-peat in the breaststroke and is also a top candidate to capture gold in the 200 IM.
Magol could place in the top 10 in the 500 freestyle, but he likely will have to knock off at least 15 seconds from his 5:14.94 time that won the district.
OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS: Swimmers Brooke Bennett and Maritza Correia and assistant USA Olympic coach Peter Banks, plus collegian champion and USA diving-team member Chris Colwill, are scheduled to greet and talk with guests at a Breakfast With The Champions fundraiser Friday at the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center.
Breakfast is scheduled to start at 7 a.m.
"We are now a not-for-profit facility," Banks said. "As such, we are reaching out to the community for financial support and giving the community an opportunity to meet some of our champions and tour our improving facilities."
Before building up the Blue Wave program and training many collegiate champions, in addition to several Olympians, Banks was an assistant coach for the Irish Olympic team.
REGION FAVORITE? Diving helped the undefeated Berkeley Prep girls capture their third consecutive district title last week and is expected to help them do well at the upcoming regional and state tournaments.
Kirsten Chmielewski, Marni Tuchman and Caitlin Karniski placed one, two and three in the district 1-meter diving competition.
Jay Goldstein, who coaches all three, said that even though the level of competition from here on is very high, by doing their best, any of the three could win it all. He believes they will all place high, even with a not-so-great day.
Berkeley coach Kevin Rosepapa believes his girls should do well all the way to state.
Gina Mayer won the 200 individual medley district title and could place high even in the competitive Class A meets.
FINALS SWITCH: The upcoming state finals, originally scheduled for Nov. 4-5 at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex, has been postponed two weeks because of Hurricane Wilma and are tentatively rescheduled for either Nov. 18-19 or Nov. 19-20.