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Northeast crushes competition

The Viking boys and girls start fast and don't look back in winning the City Championships.

By JOHN SCHWARB

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 22, 2000


ST. PETERSBURG -- If this were a high school football game, many fans would have left for the exits at halftime.

At Saturday's St. Petersburg City Championships, Northeast's boys and girls teams wasted no time in establishing their dominance at North Shore Pool, winning 11 of the meet's first 12 swimming events and 17 of 22 overall on the way to impressive victories.

The boys team avenged last year's loss to host St. Petersburg with a smashing 476-point effort while the girls continued their run of success in the city meet with 440 points, 134 ahead of second-place Lakewood.

In the evening's opening event, the Vikings established their territory as the girls and boys posted meet records in the 200-yard medley relay. Four more meet records fell in the opening half of the meet, two each to Northeast boys and girls. "That doesn't hurt. It gets everybody going and gets them juiced up," said Northeast coach Bill Burrows of his team's early explosion.

"That's what we strive for at the end of the year when we swim, too."

For the Vikings, many of the usual suspects made their marks. Senior Ted Bradley set meet records in the 200 and 500 freestyle, and senior Heather Skaggs scored two meet records (50 free, 100 fly) in a 25-minute span.

"We haven't swam that well in a long time," Skaggs said.

Her younger sister, Haley, also won two events, the 100 free and 100 breast.

The most successful swimmer not wearing a Northeast cap was Admiral Farragut freshman Nicole Margaritondo, who bettered her own meet record in the 200 free and added a win in the 500 free.

Clayton Halttunen, a transfer from St. Petersburg, also notched two wins for Northeast, in the 100 back and 100 breast, beating friend and former training partner Kent Mahoney.

"It was kind of weird looking back across the pool at all my teammates," Halttunen said.

In diving competition held Friday at Walter Fuller Pool, St. Petersburg Catholic senior Rachel Korth cruised to another big win, scoring 415.35 points to lead all divers. Gibbs' Ryan Troup won the boys division with 391.70 points.

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