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Thursday, Sep 21, 2017
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Land O' Lakes opens swim season with sweep of Zephyrhills

LAND O' LAKES - Of all the sports, swimming is the one that can handle a little rain. But Wednesday, Zephyrhills and host Land O' Lakes couldn't avoid lightning near the Land O' Lakes Recreation Center, forcing meet officials to call the meet short of completion. In the boys meet, the Gators handled Zephyrhills 74-27, which was called after seven events while Land O' Lakes girls downed the Bulldogs 93-27 in eight events. Land O' Lakes sophomore Cameron Hilgenberg won the 200 individual medley (2:18.7), the 100 freestyle (55.55) and was a member of the winning 200 medley relay. The Gators finished 1-2 in every event except diving, which they didn't have an entry.
Other individual winners were Grant Pawlak (200 freestyle, 2:04.86); Jordan Wheeler (50 freestyle, 25.39) and James Adams (100 butterfly, 57.36). Zephyrhills' Sam Rockhill won diving (143.90). Swimmers for the 500 freestyle were in the water when the first lightning strike was seen and the pool was cleared. In the girls meet, Krystin Demsher and Alexandria Haqq won two individual events as the Gators won every event. Demsher took first in the 100 butterfly (1:03.37) and 500 freestyle (5:34.03) while Haqq won the 200 freestyle (2:23.71) and 50 freestyle (29.60). Demsher also was a member of the winning 200 medley relay. Other winners were Jocelyn Williams (200 individual medley, 2:23.71); Megan McCarthy (diving, 181.95) and Katherine Haqq (100 freestyle). The meet kicks off the season that almost didn't happen. Pasco County Commissioners recommended the closure of pools in Land O' Lakes and Hudson which would have affected six of the county's 13 public schools. But the pools were given a reprieve – at least for this year. Zephyrhills wasn't as lucky. Their home pool – Hercules Aquatic Center – has been closed and the Bulldogs now make the East Pasco YMCA home. rharmon@tampatrib.com (813) 731-8135 www.twitter.com/RickHPascoTrib
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