Northeast wins both titles

The Vikings walk away with the boys and girls team championships at the City Meet at North Shore pool.

Published October 1, 2006

ST. PETERSBURG - Since Josh Gordon could remember - seventh-grade to be exact - he'd go to the City Meet at North Shore pool and linger around the public announcer's table. There, as he watched the older swimmers rush by with their music selections, he told himself that one-day he also would pick out music for his race.

Yesterday, Gordon's dreams came true.

"It's unbelievable," said Gordon, now a senior at Shorecrest who took pre-race measures to make sure he had a copy of the rock band Atreyu's new single, Ex's and Oh's, and also won the 100-yard butterfly. "I love this meet. I've just always remembered the music."

Music inspired the downtown pool for the City of St. Pete Swim & Dive Championships. Those who won the early session's preliminaries were able to choose a song to play before the final - for better or for worse.

Northeast made the most noise, winning both the boys and girls team titles. Charles Bardin and Cameron Chambers, both sophomores, won two titles each and captained the final race of the night, the 400-yard freestyle relay they won alongside the other Viking double-winner, Russell Snyder. Their pre-race warm-up song: the SpongeBob SquarePants theme song. The win helped them capture the title over defending champion St. Petersburg 416-396.5.

Gordon's performance put the Shorecrest boys in third place, same as the girls, which is where Chargers coach Jill St. Louis said she wanted them to be again.

"This was our turning point last year, and we've done it again," St. Louis said.

Megan Romano broke the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke meet records in the morning, then again in the evening. Northeast trailed St. Petersburg by 40 points at the halfway mark then went on to win the girls title over the Green Devils 446-429.

Sophomore Kelsey Krauss doubled for St. Petersburg Catholic, helping the Barons finish fourth in the girls division. Northeast divers Jordan Weber and P.J. Bennett won the girls and boys 1-meter dive, respectively.

"This was amazing, considering," Northeast coach Bill Burrows said. "A lot of kids on all teams had trouble making this meet. It's certainly nice to come out on top again. But I have to give credit to St. Pete. They lost a lot of swimmers last year, and they swam extremely well here."