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Warhawk boys pull off upset


© St. Petersburg Times, published October 22, 2000

CLEARWATER -- With 19 teams from around the state, including national power Jacksonville Bolles, the Rotary Invitational annually is one of the area's top swim meets.

Which is why Saturday's victory by the Seminole boys is particularly impressive. The Warhawks' 269.5 points enabled them to squeak past a split-squad from Bolles (265) and Gainesville (264.5) at the Long Center.

"Oh, of course not. Not at this meet," Seminole coach Tom Haight said when asked if he thought beforehand his team had a chance to win. "This is such a tough meet. You're so sore. You're so tired. Everybody feels the same way, and for the boys to do as well as they did, that's pretty special.

"Golly, just five points difference between the top three teams? Everybody who scored a point tonight for the guys can say it was their swims that helped us to victory."

The Warhawks were led by a victorious 200 freestyle relay team of Ryan Singletary, Luis Leon and brothers Tim and Chris Lang, which nipped Gainesville by 25 hundredths of a second and set a school record of 1 minute, 31.82 seconds.

"We've kind of fiddled around with the lineup throughout the season," said Haight, who is in his 18th season at Seminole. "It was a close win.

"It also ages me another six months and causes me to lose more hair."

Singletary, a junior, was Seminole's leading point-getter with 33.5. He was runner-up to Citrus' Jim Baker in the 50 freestyle, in 22.65, and also was second in the 100 free in 49.48.

Bolles, which sent half of its team to a meet in Fort Lauderdale, defeated Gainesville Buchholz for the girls title 381-358. Berkeley Prep was fourth with 199 and Seminole sixth with 167.

The Warhawk boys and girls combined total was good for fourth place, behind Bolles, Buchholz and Gainesville.

Clearwater's Stephanie Margalis won the girls 500 freestyle, pulling away from Buchholz's Kristen Gillaim over the final 100 yards to win in 4:57.72. Margalis also was second in the 200 individual medley (2:09.39) on her way to compiling 37 points, the third-most among girls.

Clearwater Central Catholic's Ashley Messmore was second in the girls 100 breaststroke (1:08.47) and third in the 200 IM (2:12.11). Clearwater's Sevasti Biondi was second in girls diving.

Gainesville's Ashley Carusone and Buchholz's Nikki Fiedler shared the girls swimmer of the meet award while Bolles' Chris George and George Bouell shared the boys award.

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