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Two county teams win State Cup

By EMERY SKOLFIELD
Published May 27, 2007


Two Pinellas County club teams are Florida Youth Soccer State Cup champions.

The Clearwater Chargers under-15 girls secured their State Cup with a 4-1 victory over Weston Fury Premier on May 20 at the Kelly Road Soccer Complex in Fort Myers. St. Petersburg-based Strictly Soccer Select U-14 boys gave the county another champion, beating Sunrise Elite of Miami 2-0 for the title.

State champions advance to the U.S. Youth Soccer Southern Regional Championship tournament, to be held late June through early July in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Two other county teams narrowly missed titles. Following five rounds of penalty kicks, the Chargers' U-15 boys fell 4-3 to Wellington Wave Premier. The game remained tied at three after regulation and two overtimes. In U-18 girls play, the Countryside Lightning of Clearwater also lost, falling 2-1 to Space Coast United of Brevard County.

With St. Petersburg's Zack MacMath in goal, the U-17 boys national team qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup by winning three of four games to finish atop their group in qualifying play this month at Kingston, Jamaica.

World Cup play begins Aug. 18 in South Korea.

When he's not playing goalkeeper for the U-17 national team, MacMath is a midfielder for the U-15 Clearwater Chargers.

The St. Pete Raiders U-12 girls Division 2 club team won the Hackworth-Davis Cup in April in Fort Lauderdale. Team members were: Tori West, Dani Columbus, Genevieve DiVito, Sophia Ginocchio, Katie McCullough, Michelle McNally, Emilie Vannaste, Morgan Orobello, Ashlyn Irwin, Shalia Roland, Kelly Shanahan, Sydney Vitale, Erin Waterman and Emily Johannesen. The team was coached by Chris Charles.

FIGURE SKATING: Five county athletes combined for eight medals - five gold - at the Sunshine State Games Figure Skating Championships, held May 18-20 at the Incredible Ice complex in Coral Springs.

Emma Oleck, 8, of Safety Harbor captured two gold medals and one bronze. She won both the pre-preliminary A girls free skating and preliminary compulsory moves events, and took third in the preliminary showcase event.

Victoria Hennings, 16, of Clearwater was also a multiple-event winner, earning titles in the senior ladies short program and senior ladies free skating.

Palm Harbor's April Myerscough, 10, was a gold medalist in preliminary jumps Group 1 competition, while Palm Harbor's Allyson Klovekorn, 11, captured silver in juvenile girls free skating. Madison Taylor, 9, of St. Petersburg earned bronze in no test B girls free skating group 2 competition.

GYMNASTICS: Sarena Bumbarger of LaFleur's Gymnastic Club Largo proved once again to be among the nation's elite Level 9 gymnasts, winning the bars and floor en route to an age-group all-around title at the Eastern National Championships May 10-13 in Kissimmee.

Teammate Kaley LaFleur finished third all-around, while Dali Lemazan was second on the floor.

Besides her second-place finish at regionals, Bumbarger was undefeated in all-around competition this season.

SWIMMING: Six St. Petersburg Aquatics team members finished in the top eight of their respective divisions at the Florida Swimming Open Water Junior Olympic Championships on May 20 in the waters off Fort Myers.

Summer Finke, who won the girls short course Junior Olympic title in February, won the 10-under girls competition by covering the 1, 000-meter course in 14 minutes, 31 seconds.

Teammate Joshua Chen added a gold medal, winning the 10-under boys title with a time of 17:32.

Autumn Finke finished second among 11-12 girls, finishing the 2, 500-meter course in 33:02. Marissa Marchese was third at 34:17, and Melanie Rorer was sixth in 36:45.

Alexandra Jones was seventh in the 13-14 girls field, finishing in a time of 34:12.

The Countryside Cuda swim team finished third at the West Florida Lightning Aquatic Spring Meet on May 4-6 in Largo. Place-winners for the Cudas were: Abbey King (first place, 11-12 girls), Megan Rossi (second, 13-14 girls), Courtney Grace (third, 13-14 girls), Eric Freeman (third, 8-under boys), Kathleen Rossi (fifth, 13-14 girls) and Caroline Myers (fifth, senior girls).

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