By RUTH ANNE LAWSON
SEBRING – It was an emotional night at the Sebring pool as the Blue Streaks celebrated senior night and the final home meet of the regular season. Before the meet began Sebring honored its 10 seniors with each senior being walked by their parents.
Once the meet got underway the Blue Streaks defeated the Hardee Wildcats. Sebring men placed first with 122 and the ladies came in second with 80 for a team score of 202. Hardee girls placed first with 115 and the men placed second with 74 for a team score of 189.
“The coaches are very proud of the progress that all the swimmers and divers have made through the regular season,” said Sebring Coach Pat Caton. “Now, it is time to taper and have our swimmers rested and strong. We will work on their starts, turns and techniques to make them winners in districts.”
The Wildcats claimed first place in the girls 200-yard medley relay with a time of 2:16.50. Sebring placed second with the foursome of Hannah Berry, Anna Ruano, Sophia Kogelschatz and Ashley Keith clocking a 2:17.13. Hardee placed third with 2:30.17 and the Blue Streak team of Kyara Chambers, Jenson DeWitt, Mckaela Barlaug and Emma Rowe came in fourth with 2:30.93.
In the men’s 200 medley relay, Hardee placed first with 1:54.00. The Blue Streak squad of James Branca, Yiorgos Panagiotopoulos, Justin Barrett and Mason Griffin came in close second with 1:54.71. The Sebring quartet of Seth Hagen, Lucas Kromholz, Kyler Post and Grant Saunders rounded out the top three with 2:05.58.
Sebring dominated in the men’s 200 individual medley, taking the top three positions with Branca placing first with a 2:26.76, Panagiotopoulos came in second with 2:33.45 and Post placed third with 2:43.45.
The girls 50 freestyle winner was Sebring’s Keith with 0:28.39.
In diving, Sebring’s Rilian Smith placed first with a total of 190.05 points and Rowe came in second with 188.80.
The Sebring boys dominated in the diving competition taking the top three spots. Barrett placed first with 154.70, Andru Boyd claimed second with 137.05 and Luis Velez came in third with 122.30.
The boys 100 freestyle swimmers swept the competition, claiming all three top places. Griffin swam his way into first with a time of 55.10, Saunders came in second with 1:00.49 and Sebastian Rivera claimed third with 1:07.32.
Sebring’s Post was the top swimmer in the 500 men’s freestyle when he clocked a 6:32.81 and Hagen placed second with 6:37.10 for the Blue Streaks.
Branca was first in the 100 backstroke for Sebring with a 1:04.56 finish. Cole Mislery came in third for the Blue Streaks with 1:23.39.
Blue Steak DeWitt came in first in the girls 100 breaststroke with 1:23.71 and Ruano placed second for Sebring with 1:26.06.
“Kudos and high-fives to our first place winners James Branca, Ashley Keith, Rillian Smith, Justin Barrett, Mason Griffin, Kyler Post and Jenson DeWitt. We have high expectations for all swimmers and divers to do well at districts and move on to regionals,” said Caton.
The Sebring Blue Streaks are gearing up for the Heartland Invitational that begins Friday with diving at 4 p.m. and swimming will be held Saturday with a start time of 9 a.m. at Lake Placid High School.