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The Buzz

Published April 24, 2007


Parents meet about Gulf swimming

On Monday Gulf administrators met with parents and students of the swim team who are fighting to have former coach Joe Lampkin reinstated. Lampkin was fired more than a week ago for unspecified reasons. Administrators, including assistant superintendent Jim Davis, would not talk specifically about Lampkin's dismissal, citing privacy laws, Gulf supporter Sue Smith said.

But they promised to listen with open minds while reconsidering the decision. Supporters offered alternatives if Lampkin were not reinstated, including having him return as an assistant. They left the meeting with the understanding a final decision would come within a few days, Smith said.

Parents begged Gulf principal Thomas Imerson to reconsider the firing after they felt he based his decision on input from only a few disgruntled parents. Lampkin's supporters wanted a meeting with Imerson before the first-year coach's dismissal. Imerson only agreed to a meeting after the fact.

Supporters protested the firing at a Pasco County School Board meeting last week, prompting superintendent Heather Fiorentino to get Davis to monitor the situation, which led to Monday's meeting.

"My daughter was going to quit the second day," Smith said. "Now she's one of his biggest supporters. I don't know anyone in their right mind that wouldn't take him back after they heard us."

Lifters score

While the contingent of county boys weightlifters didn't bring home any state titles Friday, there were several solid performances.

Pasco had the best boys finish, taking seventh in Class A. The Pirates were led by Todd Jeter's fourth-place finish in the 183-pound class after he lifted a combined 610 pounds in the bench press and clean and jerk. The Pirates also had three fifth-pace finishers: 154-pounder Matt Jackson (525 pounds hoisted), 169-pounder Dorian Tookes (575) and 219-pounder Matt Lemon (660).

Zephyrhills was led by the county's top finisher in John Ruebens. Ruebens, competing at 119 pounds, was second with a combined lift of 400 pounds, just 5 pounds behind champ Kyle King of South Sumter.

Ruebens' 230-pound bench press was best in the weight class.

Gulf and Hudson had sixth-place finishes by Joe Turnbull in the 169-pound class (560 pounds) and heavyweight Travis Tindell (665).

River Ridge was 26th in Class 2A, led by Stephen Songhunt , who was fourth in the 139-pound class with a combined lift of 500 pounds.

John C. Cotey and Izzy Gould, Times staff writers

[Last modified April 24, 2007, 00:08:59]

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