Northeast sweeps city meet

St. Petersburg's girls and boys both took second place.

By DOUG KATES, Times Correspondent
Published September 30, 2007

ST. PETERSBURG - The Northeast boys swim team led from start to finish, and the Northeast girls also dominated - but there was still a little drama at the end before the Vikings could claim a sweep at the St. Petersburg City Championship swim meet.

The Northeast girls only trailed twice the entire day. The St. Petersburg girls led 102 to 101 after three events, and 447 to 445 after 11 events. With only one race remaining - the 400 freestyle relay - the Northeast girls team of Megan Romano, Katie Brown, Jennifer Crankshaw and Melanie Stickney won the race to clinch the sweep. The Green Devils were fourth in the relay.

"We were definitely trying to get first in both meets," said Romano, who had record-breaking individual wins in the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke, and contributed to two more wins in the 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay.

"We were definitely gunning for it," she said. "We knew it was going to be between us and St. Pete."

Added Northeast freshman Patrick Rinard, who was first in the boys 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and helped win the 200 medley relay: "I was hoping we would win. It took a lot of hard work, a lot of practice, not giving up and no breathing."

The Northeast boys finished with 395 points. St. Petersburg was second with 377 points, and Shorecrest Prep was third with 363 points.

Cameron Chambers placed first in the 500 freestyle for the Vikings and was a part of two winning relay teams. St. Petersburg was led by Robert Vanneste, with victories in the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke.

For the St. Petersburg girls team, Allie Evans (50 and 100 free) and Colleen Quinn (200 and 500 free) were two-time individual winners, and they said they were okay with second place.

"I think we're pretty proud of finishing second, because Northeast is good competition and they push us more," Evans said.

Added Quinn: "We all worked really hard to take second. We had some good swims."

After seven events, the Northeast girls had a 297 to 252 lead over St. Petersburg when the Green Devils made a run. Evans was first in the 100 freestyle, Sarah Faulkner was fourth, Kiersten Kellin was seventh and Kathleen Brant was eighth. Northeast's lead was cut to 328 to 310, and three events later St. Petersburg took the lead.