TAMPA — The American Division qualifier for the Hillsborough County swim meet was held Saturday at Bobby Hicks Pool with predictable results: Plant dominating the eight-school meet in both the boys and girls divisions.
The Panther boys won with 508 points, followed by Steinbrenner (433) and Sickles (248.5). Plant’s girls won with 537 points, 187 ahead of Sickles. Steinbrenner was third with 313.
More importantly, the favored two individual swimmers from each of the eight-represented schools qualified for Friday’s County Championship meet, also held at Bobby Hicks Pool. Start time is set for 1:30 p.m.
The other qualifiers for the County Championship will be determined Wednesday with the National Division held at Temple Terrace Recreation Center and the Federal Division held at Campo YMCA in Valrico. The top two in each event at those meets will also advance to Friday.
On Saturday, Plant coach Gil Gonzalez was pleased with the results, even though he said many of the swimmers were “sluggish.”
Defending Class 3A state 100 breaststroke champion Ally Donahue, for instance, cruised in Saturday with a time of 1 minute, 8.28 seconds, well off her state-winning time of 1:03.81 — a fact that is neither surprising or alarming. It is, in fact, understandable.
“Their bodies are pretty broken down and tired right now because we’re at a tough part in the season for training,” Gonzalez said. “Plus we swam pretty early (Saturday) morning and that can make it a little more tough to get warmed up.
“But we still pushed through with some strong performances.”
Overall, Plant qualified swimmers in every boys and girls event except for three.