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Finally, county swimmers are state bound

Published:   |   Updated: November 7, 2013 at 10:17 PM

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The frustrating storyline that hovered above Hernando County swimming has finally been put to rest.

Four seasons of sending zero swimmers to states are now a thing of the past, thanks to Springstead seniors Morgan Kiloh and Monica Surrena.

Those two will represent the Eagles at the Class 2A FHSAA Finals Saturday at Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart.

Prelims start at 9 a.m. followed by finals at 5:30 p.m.

"Obviously we're super-excited," Springstead coach Wayne Withington said. "The kids are really excited about going. The whole team is excited for them."

Not since 2008, when Springstead's Dan Barry and Central's Barrett Sheffield went to states, has a local swimmer reached this point.

Central's Elizabeth McGeehan, now the Weeki Wachee head coach, was the last county female to make it in 2007.

The last Springstead girl to advance this far? That would be Sarah Barry, back in 2004.

On the girls side, Surrena will be competing in both the 200-yard freestyle and 100 free, culminating a prep career in which she had come agonizing close to qualifying for states three previous years.

She broke her own school record in the 200 at regionals last week, posting a time of 2:00.03 that snagged the 24th and final state berth in that race.

Surrena also set a new Springstead mark in the 100, taking down a record held by Sarah Barry, with a 55.82 that likewise seeds her 24th this weekend.

Kiloh, who just missed out on a state berth as a junior, made it in the boys 200 free with a 1:48.74 that ranks 21st in the state field.

Withington pointed to Kiloh and Surrena both switching to his year-round club team out of the local YMCA as a reason for them finally getting past the state barrier.

"I don't know if that made a change or not, but I think maybe it had something to do with how they performed," Withington said. "The practices they're doing are paying off. I guess both them and I are doing something right to get them where they are. Hopefully this week they drop more time.

"We're going to go into this to do the best they can and whatever the outcome is, it is. Their objective is to get their best times."

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At a Glance

What: Class 2A FHSAA Finals

Who: Springstead's Morgan Kiloh (boys 200-yard freestyle) and Monica Surrena (girls 200 free, 100 free).

When: Saturday; prelims starting at 9 a.m., finals at 5:30 p.m.

Where: Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center, 931 SE Ruhnke St., Stuart

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