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District swimming begins today

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LHS heads to Clearwater, CRHS to Orlando

Justin Plante
Correspondent

The swimming regular season is over. With one end, another beginning comes in the form of the postseason, which starts today with district meets. 

Lecanto makes another trip down to the Long Center in Clearwater to meet the rest of the schools in District 2A-5. The Panthers have been very consistent throughout the year, with the girls’ team losing only twice in the season, once to West Port and the other to county rival Crystal River. 

Possible contenders to advance for the boys team are senior Will Davis in the 100 breaststroke, senior J.D. Heinzman in the 100 backstroke, junior Steven Swartz in the 100 freestyle,and sophomores Caleb Heinzman and Lane Ramsey in the 100 butterfly and 200 freestyle, respectively. The boys’ relay teams also seem poised to pack a punch, with their strongest  being the 4x400 relay. 

The girls have strong leadership in seniors Marissa Buck and Courtney Toomei, both of whom are solid competition in the 100 freestyle and the 500 freestyle respectively. Buck also remains solid in the 200 IM, with teammate Anabel Marchildon surging as of late in the 200 IM and the 100 breaststroke. 

For the divers, Gavin Ross and Kyle Ramsey for the boys and Kaitlyn O’ Rourke and Brittany Gleason for the girls posted solid numbers all season and look  to do so again.

For Crystal River, the Pirates are sitting atop the District 1A-3 charts and are strong contenders to take the crown. For Crystal River, strong performances from sophomore Dylan Earnheart in the 100 butterfly and 200 IM, and older brother Hunter in the 200 and 500 freestyle are key in the team’s hunt for the district crown. 

Seniors Abigail Brown and Marissa Penn have been dominant this season. Brown is the girls’ leading freestyle swimmer in the county and doesn’t look to be slowing down. Penn, however, posts equally impressive times in the 50 free as well as the 100 breaststroke. Teammates Hayley Clarke and Jordan Collins also have had very successful years and will probably continue against their district foes. 

Boys divers Blake Davis and Nicholas Hooper and girl diver Madison Farrick are big contributors as well. 

Citrus’ young teams have struggled a bit on the year, but are ready to tackle their District 2A-4 opposition. Captain Jena Askew has remained solid throughout her senior campaign and has set a positive example for a young team. Teammates Jennifer Ear, Abigail Mattingly and Eileen-Carroll Cruz join Askew on solid relay teams ready to compete Friday. 

For the boys, sophomore Jake Steel appears to be getting stronger in the pool as the season progresses. Steel, the county’s top breaststroker, hasn’t faced too much opposition in his field and wants to continue that success. Steel also swims in the 500 free and the 100 butterfly. 

Lecanto

What: District 2A-5 meet.

Where: The Long Center in Clearwater.

When: Today.

Other notable teams: Central, Gulf, Hernando, Land O’Lakes, Mitchell, Nature Coast, Pasco, River Ridge, Springstead, Sunlake, Tavares, Wesley Chapel, Zephyrhills. 

Crystal River

What: District 1A-3 meet.

Where: The YMCA Aquatic Center in Orlando.

When: Today.

Other notable teams: Bishop McLaughlin, Eustis, Mount Dora, Oak Hall, P.K. Yonge, St. Francis, St. John Lutheran, Trinity Catholic, Umatilla, Villages. 

Citrus

What: District 2A-4 meet.

Where: O’Connell Center at the University of Florida.

When: Friday.

Other notable teams: Belleview, Dunnellon, Eastside, Gainesville, Lake Weir, Leesburg, North Marion, Palatka, Vanguard, Weeki Wachee.