Waite leads Bloomingdale
TAMPA - Bloomingdale senior D.J. Waite couldn't have been more exhausted after a brutal week of training and a furious effort at Friday's Class 3A-District 4 swimming meet. "But I feel great," said Waite, holding the boys' team championship trophy with teammates cheering around him at Bobby Hicks Pool. Many of those cheers were for Waite, who won the 100 free (49.66 seconds), finished second in the 50 free (22.45), and anchored the winning 400 free relay with a final leg that he began more than 10 feet behind the leader. Waite's efforts helped lead the Bulls with 306 points, 19 points ahead of Newsome. Freedom was third with 274, followed by Lakeland George Jenkins (274) and Wharton (253)."We really wanted this as a team, because for the past four years we've finished second to Newsome," Waite said. "It feels great to finally get that victory." On the girls' side, Newsome prevailed for the fourth straight year, dominating with 452 points, 158 ahead of George Jenkins. Bloomingdale was third in the girls' meet with 260, and Tampa Bay Tech was fourth with 211. Individual girls standouts included Newsome sophomore Maddie Hess, who won the 100 free (53.38) and the 100 backstroke (59.70); Newsome's Barbara Caraballo, who won the 200 IM (2:08.25) and 100 butterfly (57.98); and Plant City's Bailey Bowden, who won the 500 free (5:12.64) and the 200 free (1:58.58). The best news for all these swimmers is that they are still in the midst of vigorous training schedules and their times are expected to go down after tapering their training before the state meet. "I am exhausted, but I'm very pleased because the training is going as planned," Bowden said. "I can't wait to (feel refreshed) when we start tapering. I'm optimistic." Class 3A-District 5 Led by Emily Clifford, Tara McGowan, Alex Donahue, Carter Flynn and Ashlyn Gage, Plant's girls gave defending district champion Palm Harbor University everything it had before the Hurricanes sealed victory in the Class 3A-District 5 meet at Clearwater's Long Center. Palm Harbor won with 400.5 points, 14 ahead of Plant. East Lake was third with 321. Clifford, McGowan, Donahue and Flynn won the 200 medley relay (1:52.39), and Clifford, McGowan, Donahue and Gage won the 200 free relay (1:40.66). Clifford also won the 100 butterfly (1:00.02) and Donahue won the 100 breaststroke (1:09.17). Plant also had the top finish among Hillsborough County boys teams, placing sixth with 187 points. Palm Harbor won the boys' competition with 499, and East Lake was second with 385. Class A-District 7 Berkeley Prep's boys won their fourth straight district title with 542.5 points, cruising past Tampa Prep, which finished with 447. Tampa Prep's girls, however, made sure the Terrapins didn't go home without a trophy, winning their competition with 548, well ahead of Berkeley Prep (485). "Everybody swam great today, and overall it was about all we could have hoped for," Berkeley Prep coach Kevin Rosepapa said. "Now we hope our boys can win their fourth straight region title next week." Tampa Prep's Rasmus Skjaerpe again dominated in his individual events, taking the 200 free (1:44.37) and the 100 butterfly (51.45).