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Crystal River pulls off sweep

By BRANT JAMES

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 29, 2000


SPRING HILL -- Crystal River coach Tim Holme finished the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Championships the same as the last six -- sopping. In a resounding victory for the status quo, the Pirates won the girls championship for the sixth consecutive year and the boys for the fifth then flung their more-than-willing coach into the Hernando Family YMCA pool.

"If (getting wet) means we won, I'll take it," Holme said.

Crystal River's boys team scored 552 points to easily outdistance Citrus (484), Springstead (263), Hernando (222), Central (171) and Lecanto (111).

The Pirate girls scored 415, holding off Citrus (381), Central (321), Springstead (315), Hernando (304) and Lecanto (181).

Crystal River won three individual titles and four relays, but Holme said the reason his team has been so successful the past six years was best exemplified by a last-place finish. "Tony Domingo," he said when queried for his team's individual highlight. "He's a first-year swimmer who said, "Coach, tell me what you need me to do.' And he went out and tried hard and finished dead last.

"But the whole team was right there cheering him on, and that's what it's all about. That's why we've been successful. Because everyone pulls together as a team."

The Pirates amassed points by packing individual finishers into the top 16 of each event, but winners were spread more evenly among schools than in past years. Every school won at least one event, and conference records were set in three events.

Springstead freshman Matt Barry cut more than a half-second off the 100-yard breaststroke standard, finishing in 1:07.31.

He also beat the previous mark in the 200-yard individual medley but finished second to training buddy Nathanial Brault of Central.

Brault, who won two events, finished in 2:08.14.

Lecanto's Jim Baker smashed by nearly two seconds the record in the 100-yard backstroke (which was set by Holme's son, John, in 1997), finishing in 58.44.

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