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And the weather. Jesuit and Holy Names shake off rain delays to dispatch Tampa Prep for team titles.
By JON MILTON
Published September 20, 2006
TAMPA- The night began as many high school swim meets do: full of nerves with a jolt of teenage adrenaline. To add to the equation was a bit of Mother Nature's not-so-merciful side.
Due to a moderate shower and a hint of thunder, the 6:30 meet between Academy of the Holy Names, Jesuit and Tampa Prep on Tuesday started 15 minutes late. But rain wasn't going to stop the teams from showing some competitive spirit. The Tampa Prep girls began the evening by winning the 200 relay with a final time of 1:57.75, while Jesuit's boys won their 200 relay in 1:43.13.
But the weather also came ready to compete.
At the end of the girls 50 free, lightning and a torrential downpour took over and caused a 20-minute delay.
After the wait, the competition was back on and the teams put on a show for the faithful, yet wet, crowd.
During the boys 200 free, Tampa Prep's Ryan Stumpf and Jesuit's Vinny Donnelly swam fingertip to fingertip with Donnelly winning by 1/100 of a second.
Despite the weather, top swimmers Chelsea Nauta of Tampa Prep and Tommy Wyher of Jesuit dominated their events. Swimming at times lower than their usual, each wanted to help out their respective teams, not focus on individual times.
"I am more worried about helping out the team in the relay tonight," said Nauta, who is preparing herself for state finals.
By the end of the night, swimmers like Academy's Molly Sheridan and Elizabeth Dowdle showed that their team had what it took to win 101 to 85 over Tampa Prep.
"I think the girls did really well. We swim (against) Plant next week and we will be back in the pool tomorrow morning," Academy coach Mara Shultz said.
And swimmers like Wyher and Vinny Donnelly showed that Jesuit had what it took to win 124 to 61 over Tampa Prep.
For many, swimming against Mother Nature's elements served as a new experience and something to learn from.
"One thing we need to do is talk about weather. We are swimming outdoors in Fort Lauderdale (for state meet) and we're not guaranteed good weather," Jesuit coach Bill Shaffer said. "We have to make this a little more mentally tough for them."