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Pair of Piranhas prevail in the pool

By EMERY SKOLFIELD
Published February 18, 2007


A pair of standout performances on the boys side highlighted the YMCA of the Suncoast Piranhas swim team's first appearance last weekend at the Florida YMCA State Championship in Orlando.

Twelve-year-old Ryan Edens and 8-year-old Andrew Belcik combined for 11 individual event victories to pace the Piranhas.

Edens won all six of his individual events - 50-yard backstroke, freestyle and butterfly and the 100 freestyle, butterfly and individual medley - in the 11-12 boys division.

Edens' time of 24.92 in the 50 freestyle final was a half-second faster than his time in the prelims, and his 55.46 in the 100 freestyle put him more than two seconds ahead of his nearest competitor.

Belcik, meanwhile, won the freestyle, butterfly and backstroke at 25 yards and was victorious in the 50 freestyle and 100 individual medley en route to high-point honors in the 8-and-under division.

Lauren McIntosh won the 25 freestyle, 25 fly and 50 freestyle in the 8-under girls division for the Piranhas. Emily Maunus, 11, was victorious in the 50 backstroke.

GYMNASTICS: The Largo-based LaFleur's Gymnastic Club competed against many of the nation's elite programs at the Hilton Head S.C. Invitational on Jan. 24-25.

Proving it belonged among the country's best, LaFleur's captured team victories at Levels 7, 8, 9 and Prep-Optional. The Level 10 team finished second.

Sarena Bumbarger won the vault, bars and beam to earn the all-around title in her Level 9 age group. Level 9 teammate Lauren Rose was an all-around winner.

LaFleur's Brittany Calley won the bars and beam en route to an all-around victory in her Level 10 age division. Kaitlyn Green also won a pair of events (beam, floor) to capture her age-group all-around at Level 8. In Level 7, Natalie Humbert, Caitlyn Tarr and Megan Schell earned all-around victories for LaFleur's. Humbert won the bars, beam and floor to record the highest all-around for all competitors in Level 7.

Jessica Maggio and Kaylyn Nelson both won all-around titles for LaFleur's Prep-Op team.

Continuing its travels and competing against more nationally ranked clubs, LaFleur's placed second in Level 9 and third in Level 8 at last weekend's meet in Chicago.

Bumbarger again captured her Level 9 age-group all-around, winning the vault and beam along the way. Green, who won the bars, beam and floor, and Amanda Condreay both earned Level 8 all-around titles.

Amanda Ismaili, competing on behalf of Clearwater-based Apollo School of Gymnastics, won the bars and beam and captured the all-around title with a score of 36.275 in the Prep-Op division of the Sand Dollar Invitational at Disney's Wide World of Sports on Jan. 21 in Lake Buena Vista.

Ismaili followed with a Prep-Op all-around title at the Daytona Beach Open on Feb. 2.

CHEERLEADING: The Clearwater-based Flipz Extreme All-Stars won in Level 2 of the Small Senior division at the Cheerleaders of America competition in Orlando on Jan. 21. The Extreme All-Stars placed second in the same division at The Orange JAM, held Jan. 28 in Tampa.

The Florida Top Dog All-Stars (Largo) competed at the Florida Cheer and Dance Championships last weekend at the Florida State Fair.

The Top Dog All-Stars' Junior Co-Ed Level 5 team finished first, as did its Special Olympics Top Dog Too squad. The All-Stars' Junior Level 4 and Senior Co-Ed Level 5 teams placed second.

If you have youth sports news to be included in this youth column, please contact Times correspondent Emery Skolfield at (727) 481-2027 or via e-mail at sptimesyouth@yahoo.com.