Young 'Canes test waters before diving into action
By CAREY FREEMAN
© St. Petersburg Times,
If it seems Citrus is getting a late start to the season, there's a good reason: Youth.
Hoping to gain a little extra practice time for one of his youngest teams, Hurricanes coach Doug Patton held off starting the schedule until today's meet against Springstead.
"We're about as good as can be expected at this point," Patton said. "We have a good nucleus, but we don't have the seconds, thirds and fourths (finishes) to go with it.
"I tried to hold off as long as I can so we can give the new ones a chance to get comfortable," he said. "I like to spend as much time teaching them as I can."
FUN, FUN, FUN: Crystal River struck a fine balance in last weekend's Gulf Relays.
Part of the Pirates' plan included some extra relay work. The other part was about having a little fun before entering the meat of the schedule. And what could be more fun than winning the darn thing?
Nothing if you ask the Crystal River boys, who won seven of the 11 events and claimed a 24-point victory over Hudson.
The Pirates were led by the nucleus of Ash Preston, Matthew Washington, Mason Cummings, Chris Grillo, Tom Carter, Keith Martin and Andy Lanier in the relay-only meet. Each claimed three wins.
Overall, the Pirates recorded victories in the 200 medley, 200 freestyle, 250 crescendo, 200 butterfly, 200 backstroke, 200 breaststroke and 400 free relay. Of those, only the 200 MR, 200 FR and 400 FR are state events.
PRETTY FUN: The Crystal River girls came up just short of matching the boys' effort, finishing in second place behind Land O'Lakes.
The Pirates won four events to the Gators' three, but fell by virtue of the winners' six second-place finishes.
Crystal River was led by veterans Rachel Carnahan and Cherokee Boose, sophomore Laurie Thomas freshman Chelsea Newberry.
They combined to take home victories in the 200 medley relay and 200 free relay. Carnahan took part in all four wins, helping lead the Pirates in the 250 crescendo relay and the 200 fly relay.
WEATHER TAKES TOLL: Last Thursday's dual meet between Lecanto and Central was canceled due to lightning.
The meet likely will be made up Oct. 4, said Lecanto coach Paul Brundage. However, he is waiting on confirmation from the Bears.
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