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Gators stay perfect, cruise past Mustangs

Mitchell doesn't have the depth to keep up with Land O'Lakes, which improves to 8-0.

By STEVE LEE

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 12, 2000


LAND O'LAKES -- First-year Land O'Lakes coach Glenna Chamberlain wanted her swimmers to be versatile, and they adapted, often swimming events other than their specialties.

Chamberlain went a step further Wednesday by allowing her seniors to make out the lineup as part of Senior Night.

The result was no different than in any other meet this year as the Gators set a school record for wins with a 248-58 win over visiting Mitchell.

"I'm pretty excited for them," Chamberlain said. "I don't think that this team thought it could (break the school record)."

Finishing with a perfect record is the next hurdle for the Gators (8-0), who face Wesley Chapel in the final meet Oct. 18. Mitchell, a first-year team with just five boys, dropped to 0-9. The Mustangs lacked enough boys to compete in all but four of 12 events and lost the boys meet 117-18.

Land O'Lakes senior Chris Koslin, who opted to swim the 50-yard freestyle for the first time this season, won that event. He also won the 100 backstroke, an event he qualified for state in last year.

"I like the 50 free, and I wanted to see how well I could do at it," Koslin said. "I was happy because I finally got to swim what I wanted to swim."

"We let the seniors do what they wanted to do," Chamberlain said of the decision, which was discussed with assistant Barbara Hayes. "That's a little out of my comfort zone, but it's fun."

Chamberlain admitted she would not have permitted the seniors to choose their events had Land O'Lakes been going up against a stronger opponent.

Land O'Lakes finished first in every girls race and won all but one boys race. The Gators also won the diving competitions -- Luke Jenson for the boys and Kasi Ressler for the girls.

The Mustangs' lone winner was Cory Hloska, who took first in the 100 butterfly. Hloska also placed second in the 50 free.

Mitchell competed without one of its top girls, Emily Vlahakis, who is unbeaten (7-0) in the 100 breaststroke. Vlahakis missed Wednesday's meet and last week's meet against Hudson due to a stomach ailment.

Koslin, Craig Hilgenberg, Heather Anderson and Tara Patterson won two individual events for Land O'Lakes.

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