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LARGO - The Clearwater Tornadoes proved Saturday night it doesn't take the fastest swimmer to place first in a big meet - it just takes many fast swimmers to pile up points.
Clearwater led from start to finish to win the 32nd annual Rotary Club of Clearwater Swimming and Diving Meet. The Tornadoes collected 355 points, and their closest competition was Seminole (300).
In the girls division, Bolles High School from Jacksonville placed first with 421.5 points, followed by Riverview from Sarasota (331).
The Tornadoes had to wait until the second to last event to see its first swimmer win a race. Adam Coibin took first in the breaststroke and earlier was second in the 200 freestyle. Clearwater only had one other top-three finish the whole night - Zach Lain placed third in the 200 individual medley.
"We have good depth," Tornadoes coach Dave Paul said. "We were shooting for a high finish, looking for a top four."
The Tornadoes were able to post the victory because of the number of swimmers who qualified for the finals and consolation finals. The top 16 places all scored team points, and Clearwater had 11 different athletes compete 21 times in the finals.
In the girls meet, Seminole led early, but Bolles took the lead after six events. The Warhawks settled for third place, but had one of only two double winners for the day. Kaitlin Frehling won the 50 and 100 freestyle.
"I was really happy," Frehling said. "(My times) were pretty much right where I wanted them. We were hoping to place high (as a team). You always want to go higher, but we did very good."
The only other two-time individual winner in the girls meet was Kata Fodor of Booker. Frehling and Fodor shared the most valuable swimmer award.
In the boys meet, Jose Crescembeni of Calvary Christian shared MVP honors with Austin Detra of Sarasota Christian. Both swimmers won two individual races during the day.