SWIMMING: Port Charlotte girls win District, Lemon Bay has strong showing

By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports

Both the boys and girls for Port Charlotte High School and Lemon Bay had successful mornings Friday at the District 2A-10 championships, but it’s the Pirate girls who went home with hardware.

The Port Charlotte girls grabbed the team title with 481 points after being runnerup a year ago.

“I feel so happy and proud for the kids,” Coach J.R. Whaley said. “The girls set that as their team goal. To get second was huge for us last year. They knew they’d have to come together as a team.”

Makenzie Miller left the district meet with three first-place medals, two of which were as an individual. Miller just broke the one-minute mark with a time of 59.41 on the 100-yard backstroke, and also grabbed first in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:13.77.

“That (individual wins) was important for us, but really it was her contribution on the relay,” Whaley said. “The relays were so important, and with a team goal, she set herself up nicely for where she wants to be for regionals and possibly states.”

Miller was part of the 400 free relay team along with Tonirae Burke, Caitlin Moss-Solomon and Amber Hrabak, who won with a time of 3:49.76. Moss-Solomon also was an individual champion in the 100 free in 57.84.

All first- and second-place finishers in individual events automatically qualify for regionals, with the final 18 spots filled by at-large bids after all three district results are combined. For the relays, first-place winners automatically make it, and then the best finishers of the three districts combined will fill out the final spots.

Port Charlotte had some runnersup, and a handful of potential at-large qualifiers, which will likely be determined some time this evening.

Lemon Bay also is playing the waiting game, but there are five district champions who won’t need to wait.

Abby Shea and Hunter Scott each took home an individual title. Shea tied for first in the 50 freestyle with a time of 26.35, and Scott’s 1:58.33 in the 200 free was good enough for a gold medal.

“We’re looking forward to them moving on to the next level,” coach Dawn Hall said. “They did exactly what they had to do.”

On the boys side, Evan Burger had himself a great meet.

Individually, he won the 100 freestyle with a time of 51.68, and then also was part of the 200 freestyle relay team with Gage Denson, Sam Beaugrand, Jed Fazler, whose 1:33.95 clinched a victory.

Kevin Mayes was also a winner in the diving event.

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