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Last chance to claim conference crown

By NANCY MORGAN
Published July 1, 2007


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Kassie Schmidt Dunedin is making a temporary switch from swimmer to coach this summer.

Next month, however, the freestyler will be back in competitor mode as she prepares to complete her college career at Wright State.

The rising Raiders senior remained in Dayton, Ohio, to coach a local club team of swimmers ranging in ages 4 to 17.

"I'm really hoping we can win the conference my final year, " said Schmidt, 22. "We were second my first two years and third last season, so winning would be perfect. I think we have a really good chance, probably the best since I came here. There are nine of us seniors and I hear we have a good recruiting class. With our other teammates, we have a good chance."

Last year's third-place team finish in the Horizon League also included a third in the 400 relay for Schmidt. Her sophomore year, the 400 relay team set a school record at the league championships while placing second in the meet.

"I started swimming at 8 and tried a lot of other sports, too, but swimming stuck with me, " Schmidt said. "After middle school though, I didn't do any other sports. All along, I wanted to swim in college.

"...I'm still adjusting to the weather, but it was an easy transition to the team. We're really team oriented so there's a lot of unity. We all have the same focus of winning the conference, plus you make friends that you'll have for life."

Schmidt credits Mike Yearwood of the Clearwater Aquatics Team with her swimming achievements, along with her own dedication and desire to be successful.

Schmidt said a key role for the seniors will be to show by example how to work toward team goals.

"I would love to swim my best times my last season and place high, " said Schmidt, "and I especially would love for our 400 relay team to set a conference record. But most of all, I want us to win the team conference."

MORE SWIMMING: Marshall breaststroker Erin Hill (East Lake) swam her best times in the 100 (1:08.84) and 200 (2:29.61) events at the USA Conference championships.

BASEBALL: USF shortstop Addison Maruszak (St. Petersburg Catholic), who averaged .329 his sophomore season, is playing summer ball with the Bourne Braves in the prestigious Cape Cod Wooden Bat League.

- Rising Savannah College of Art and Design senior Casey Allen (Gibbs) is playing his first summer in the Florida Collegiate League with the Leesburg Lightning. At SCAD, the outfielder averaged .255 on 41 hits with 19 RBIs.

- Right-hander Boof Bonser (Gibbs) has the Twins' third-best ERA (4.45) and a 5-3 record.

- In his senior season, catcher Marshall Hampton (Admiral Farragut) averaged .352 on 38 hits for Case Western Reserve and posted a .491 slugging percentage. Over four years, Hampton averaged .344, connected on 138 hits and recorded 66 RBIs. Hampton posted a .953 fielding percentage.

TRACK: At last month's AT&T USA Track and Field Championships, Ashlee Kidd (St. Petersburg) raced to the semifinals in the 200 and 400 meters. Kidd finished 14th in the 200 and 11th in the 400.

SOCCER: Winthrop's Matt Skonicki (St. Petersburg Catholic) was seventh in assists in the Big South Conference. The midfielder was named to the conference's all-freshman team.

News for this column may be faxed to Nancy Morgan, 445-4119; e-mailed to namorgan@tampabay.rr.com or sent to 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756.

[Last modified June 30, 2007, 23:24:05]


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