By TERRY JONES and JOHN SCHWARB
© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 9, 2001
Jesuit, Academy earn victories at City Relays
TAMPA -- Youth came through for Jesuit and Academy of the Holy Names at the 28th annual City Relays at the Bobby Hicks Pool on Saturday.
The Tigers, led by junior Ben Sheridan, captured their third consecutive title with 82 points. Former Plant state champion Mara Toole has turned the Jaguars around in her three years there, and she led them to their first City Relays title.
"I thought we would do well in this meet, but I didn't expect to do this well," Toole said. "I am very excited about this team. The girls are very young, but they are also very talented."
Jesuit won the 200-yard breaststroke, 400 freestyle, 200 butterfly and 400 medley relays. Sheridan swam legs in the 200 butterfly and 400 freestyle. "We have had only two dual meets so far, and all of our swimmers showed a lot of improvement today," Sheridan said.
"This is our first meet with as much competition of high caliber. And even our young guys really stepped up to a new level with a lot of intensity."
Tigers coach Bill Shaffer said he wasn't certain how his team would stand up after losing so many quality swimmers last year.
"We have nine freshmen on our team this year, and we were really encouraged by the way they came through with strong depth today," Shaffer said. "Their reaction to tough competition was fun to watch. It is a great thing for a coach to watch a kid compete above his level."
Christine Anseeuw turned in one of the most impressive individual performances of the meet. The state title contender swam a leg on the winning 400 girls freestyle relay and the mixed 200 and 400 freestyle relays. "For me, this meet is mostly a lot of fun to get the season started," Anseeuw said.
"We get to swim on some of the same relays with the guys and meet some of our friends on other teams around the county. Our girls team is pretty strong this year, even with so many new swimmers."
Durant's girls finished second with 54 points, followed by Plant (51), Sickles (31), Bloomingdale (29) and Gaither (27). Durant boys also were second with 52 points, followed by Wharton (32), Sickles and Bloomingdale (31) and Robinson (24). -- TERRY JONES
ST. PETERSBURG -- Tampa Prep placed first in the diving competition, held Friday at Northeast. The Terrapins' swimmers placed seventh in the girls standings and 10th in the boys. Seminole bettered Palm Harbor U. by eight points to win the girls competition at North Shore Pool, but the Hurricanes topped the Warhawks by 10 to take second in the boys behind first-place Punta Gorda Charlotte.
In the overall standings, PHU beat Seminole by two points. -- JOHN SCHWARB