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Hard work lifts Buc freshman


© St. Petersburg Times, published November 19, 2000

ORLANDO -- There were times the past few months Sarah Kirkwood fell asleep in class or at the movies while out with friends.

She had to squeeze workouts into the mornings before school or evenings after volleyball practice.

The Berkeley Prep freshman experienced her share of hardships while trying to play two varsity sports in the same season.

But Saturday night at the YMCA Aquatic and Family Center, they all proved worthwhile.

Kirkwood placed fourth in the 50-yard freestyle and fifth in the 100 free, setting personal bests in both, while helping the Bucs to a sixth-place finish at the Class A state meet. "I thought I was giving too much energy to volleyball," Kirkwood said. "This makes me feel I found a happy medium."

Jacksonville Bolles won its 13th consecutive boys team title and 11th consecutive girls title.

Kirkwood cut her best time in the 50 from 24.8 seconds to 24.2. Her 100 time fell from 54.4 to 52.9.

She also helped Berkeley Prep's 200 free relay team to a fourth-place finish and the Bucs' 400 free relay team to a seventh-place showing, swimming the anchor leg in both events.

She said the meet helped to make up for the volleyball team's loss to Sarasota Cardinal Mooney in the regional semifinals. "If I hadn't come here and swam my best, it would have been two disappointments," she said.

Jesuit senior Kris Wiebeck placed second in the backstroke and third in the 200 free. He also helped Jesuit's 400 free relay squad to a fifth-place finish as the Tigers placed fifth overall.

"I would have liked to have done better," he said. "But under the circumstances, I think I did all right."

Berkeley Prep junior Kristin Rayhack overcame a sprained right wrist to place fifth in the girls diving. "I feel that I did really well," Rayhack said. "I tried my best, but my performance was not quite as good as I thought it should be."

Rayhack kicked out too early on a front 21/2 and found herself in 10th place following the first round of dives. But she nailed an inward 11/2 in the second round and jumped up to fifth place.

Sophomore Chris Colwill of Tampa Prep successfully completed a front 31/2 for the first time in competition while placing third for the second time in three years. Colwill, who won a 4A state title as a seventh-grader, finished third as an eighth-grader before missing last season's meet with a broken foot.

He finished just ahead of Jesuit senior Tim Hyer, whom he has known for five years.

"We were all pretty close together," Colwill said. "It was a great meet."

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