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Tuesday, Apr 23, 2019
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Newsome prepares for battle with Plant

LITHIA - Sometimes a competition remains in your memory. For instance, like last year's dual swim meet between Plant High and Newsome. After all the races and diving were concluded, and all the numbers and finishes where tabulated, it was announced that Plant's girls and boys had beaten the Wolves. But ... "Something didn't seem right," Newsome coach Chau Clark said.
Upon further inspection - after everyone had gone home - it was determined that Newsome's boys had won after all, a fact that Plant coach Gil Gonzalez acknowledged as an honest mistake. Nonetheless, it still didn't sit right with Newsome's boys. "I tell you what," Clark said, "it fired them up." Fast-forward to Thursday at Tampa's Bobby Hicks Pool: Plant vs. Newsome, 2010. Newsome, which won this year's City Relays, believes this time it can win both the girls and boys sides of the coin. "I think we can do it because we have the depth," Clark said. "But I'm not going to say it's going to be easy because I know Plant will be just as fired up for us as we are for them." Clark said the beauty of a dual like this is that every member of the team is important because every point counts - from the best swimmers to the ones racing for fourth and fifth places. A dual like this also helps solidify the team leaders heading into districts and regionals. For instance, Clark has the tough but enviable task of determining which four girls will compete for her 4X100 relay through the state meet. The six in the mix include senior Kylie Piche (almost a sure lock), sophomore Barbara Caraballo, freshmen Sarah Neely and Merrill Wilson and juniors Meghan Finning and Amy Taylor. The boys are led by Jon Simpson, Tyler Sheele, Matt Colvin and freshman Bill Billingsley, whose first order of business is beating Plant. "It should be interesting," Clark said. "It always is.
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