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For their own good
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Largo - When Seminole opened the season three months ago with its traditional midnight madness practice, Warhawks coach Tom Haight expected good things from the girls and the boys.
What he didn't anticipate, though, was a sweep of the region titles. On Saturday night the Warhawks used their depth to claim both the girls and boys region championships for the first time in school history.
"It wasn't just one person," Haight said. "The type of effort from top to bottom is what won it for us. We had all our swimmers get into the top eight, which was huge for us in then getting the points in the finals."
The boys team beat Clearwater 90 to 80, and the girls outscored Northeast 140-89. While the girls were clearly dominant during the season, posting a 7-1 record in dual meets, the boys are starting to peak at just the right time. During the season the boys had a 4-4 record but have since finished runnerup in the district and have a region title to their name.
Alex Metka led the way for Seminole, finishing first in the 100 and 200 free and helping the relay team win the 400 free and finish second in the 200 medley. Andrew Blazuk finished first in the 100 yard back and was a part of the 400 free along with Paul Hoffman and Eric Gottschling.
Clearwater senior Clay Bullock dominated his individual events, winning the 500 free in 4:38.26, nearly 10 seconds faster than the second-place finisher. He also won the 100 butterly and helped the relay team win the 200 medley. Michael Silva of Freedom took first in the 200 IM and second in the 100 breast and helped the relay team finish first in the 200 free.
In that 100 breast, Dunedin swimmer Bojan Jovanovic took first with a personal best of 57.77. Jovanovic just three months ago was out of swimming because of a car accident and is now back to full strength.
On the girls side, Seminole swept all three relay events, which it lost to Northeast in the districts. Northeast was without freshman sensation Megan Romano, who is in Colorado Springs preparing for the U.S. Junior Nationals Olympic squad. But Northeast managed second place in each relay event to most likely qualify for the state meet, for which Romano will return as part of the relay team only.
Seminole girls dominated their individual events as well. Alexandra Smith led Seminole along with Whitney Roper. Smith finished first in the 100 breast with Roper finishing third, followed by Stephanie Foss in fourth and Meaghan Thomas in fifth. Roper took first in the 200 IM followed by Kristine Metka in second and Smith in third.
Tierney Moses finished second in the fly and was a part of all winning relay teams in the 200 and 400 free and the 200 IM.
Northeast senior Jessie Bardin took first in the 100 free and second in the 50 free, and Plant freshman Meg Anderson finished first in the 50 and second in the 100.