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Plant, Durant win conference titles


© St. Petersburg Times, published October 15, 2000

TAMPA -- Durant and Plant outclassed the competition at the Western Conference Championships at the Bobby Hicks Pool on Saturday.

Durant won the boys title with 392 points -- with Plant second at 314 -- while Plant won the girls title with 374 points -- with Durant second at 355.

Durant started well with victories in the boys and girls 200-yard medley relays. Senior Carrie Ellis anchored the girls team and won the 50 free and 100 free. Plant's girls were led by Christine Anseeuw and Allison Kirkwood, who were part of Plant's winning 200-yard freestyle relay and second-place 400 free relay team. Plant coach Gil Gonzalez said he was pleased with his team's performance.

"I am thrilled with the results today." Gonzalez said. "Our girls had a huge 400-yard freestyle race even though they took second."

The 400 free relay was the nail-biting event of the day as it concluded the girls competition. Plant took an early lead over Durant. By the final leg, Durant trailed by 15 yards. However, Ellis staged a comeback for the victory. "I knew I had to win it. I had to be at least 15 yards behind and somehow came out on top," Ellis said. Hillsborough (231), Bloomingdale (215) and Wharton (206) rounded out the top five.

Durant's boys were led by Richard McGrath, who won the 200 IM (2 minutes , 3.73 seconds) and 100 breaststroke (1:04.10) and was part of the winning 200 IM and 400 free relays.

"I surprised myself today with the wins," he said. "I just felt strong and smooth in the water today."

Plant City (196), Chamberlain (1831/2) and Gaither (178) rounded out the top five.

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