PUNTA GORDA — The anthem of the underdog -- aka the theme from "Rocky" -- was the first of several tunes that echoed over the water each time swimmers were introduced at South County Regional Park.
Tuesday, though, underdogs needed not to apply.
Favorites ruled the waves at the Class 2A-District 10 Swimming and Diving Championships.
Only three top seeds failed to win their events on a night that struck to the script.
The Barron Collier girls and the Charlotte boys captured team titles.
The top eight individual finalists from each event advance to the 2A-Region 4 championship Oct. 26 at FGCU.
Barron Collier girls coach Sherry Delia, who managed to avoid the wet post-meet celebration plunge that the Charlotte coaches endured, pointed to a team effort from top to bottom.
"All the girls really stepped up," said Delia, whose team finished with 396.50 points, a comfy 103 points ahead of second place Gulf Coast.
Sophomore Ashley Grimes ignited the Cougars by winning the one meter diving event with a score of 345.15.
Barron didn't do it with a ton of wins, but rather with a load of depth. Tenth grader Cassie Gross won the 100-yard butterfly for the Cougars, who also received several top five finishes nearly across the board.
Gulf Coast was led by double-winner Rachel Elliott. The freshman speedster sprinted her way to wins in the 50-yard freestyle (25.51) and the 100-yard freestyle (55.36), where she edged top-seed Abby Huffman of Cypress lake by less than a half-second.
Another Gulf Coast rookie -- Madeline Hansen -- beat Palmetto Ridge's Morgan Eames by less than a second to win the 100 backstroke.
In the girls 200 IM, Lely's Wesley Blassneck wrestled the title away from teammate -- and last year's winner -- Mercedes Farhat, who finished second.
Lely also won a pair of relays.
Fifth overall on the girls side, Lely coach Carl Kolling was ecstatic about his team's times.
"All the kids are dropping their times. We had so many personal bests tonight," said Kolling. "Our girls have been strong all season."
Like the girls team, Gulf Coast's boys also had to settle for second. Though they didn't take team titles home, it was still mission accomplished.
"I'm very pleased with the performances tonight," said Gulf Coast Harry Lawson. "The purpose of tonight's meet is to go ahead and qualify as many people and relay teams as you can for regionals and I think we were successful with that."
Gulf Coast jumped out to the lead early thanks to a 1-2 finish in diving from R.J. Ciesielski and Robert Kyle Lloyd, respectively.
Gulf Coast freshman Nicholas Caldwell won the 200 individual medley by nearly five seconds over Estero freshman Kyle Snew. Caldwell was also part of the winning foursome in the 200 medley relay that included his brother Nathan, Dustin Broxson and James Nolan.
It was a successful night of defending titles for Estero senior Tayler Dubrasky and Cypress Lake junior Chelsea Franklin. Both won the same events they did a year ago.
Dubrasky breezed to first place in the boys 200-yard freestyle. His time of 1:45.83 was nearly three seconds ahead of second place Jeffrey Lim of Charlotte.
In a star-studded field for the 500-freestyle, Dubrasky (4:35.49) edged Nicholas Caldwell by two seconds. The pair are training partners on their club team -- Gulf Coast Swim Team. In fact, six GCST swimmers were in the event.
"I knew I had to go out fast if I wanted to win," said Dubrasky.
Franklin captured the 200-freestyle and 500-freestyle, winning the latter by nearly six seconds over second place Molly Dubrasky -- Tayler's freshman sister -- of Estero. Franklin, the reigning 2A state champ in the 500-free, wrapped up the night by helping the Panthers win the 400 freestyle relay with Alicia Gaidry, Huffman and Andrea Fredlund.
Palmetto Ridge finished eighth in both the girls and boys team competition. Naples girls were 11th and the boys eighth. Estero's boys finished fifth overall while the Wildcat girls were 10th.
Class 2A-District 10 Swimming and Diving Championships
South County Regional Park, Punta Gorda
Boys Team Results
1. Charlotte 472
2. Gulf Coast 409
3. Port Charlotte 189
3. Barron Collier 189
5. Estero 179
6. Riverdale 141
7. Naples 135
8. Palmetto Ridge 132
8. Lely 132
10. Cypress Lake 106
11. Lemon Bay 65
12. Ida Baker 39
13. Lehigh 34
Boys Results: 1 mtr. diving: 1. Ciesielski GC 406.25, 2. Lloyd GC, 3. Knox Lely, 4. Peterson CH. 200 yard medley relay: 1. GC (Bruxson, Nathan Caldwell, Nicholas Caldwell, Nolton)1:47.19, 2. CH, 3. EST, 4. Naples. 200 yard freestyle: 1. T. Dubrasky EST 1:45.83, 2. Lim CH, 3. Scott CH, 4. Nathan Caldwell GC. 200 yard IM: 1. Nicholas Caldwell GC 2:00.19, 2. Snew EST, 3. Stephenson Lely, 4. Coldiron CH. 50 yard freestyle: Discuillo RIV 23.16, 2. Cates CH, 3. Nolton GC, 4. Broxson GC. 100 butterfly: 1. Ritz CL 56.41, 2. Thompson BC, 3. Tilka CH, 4. Higgins PC. 100 yard freestyle: 1. Cates CH 50.43, 2. Nolton GC, 3. Douglas CH, 4. DiScuillo RIV. 500 yard freestyle: 1. T. Dubrasky EST 4:35.49, 2. Nicholas Caldwell GC, 3. Snew EST, 4. Stephenson Lely. 200 yard freestyle relay: 1. CH (Cates, Kumar, Douglas, Lim) 1:35.93, 2. GC, 3. Naples, 4. PC. 100 yard backstroke: 1. Scott CH 57.33, 2. Carroll PR, 3. Broxson GC, 4. Munnell CH. 100 yard breaststroke: 1. Robinson Naples 1:03.30, 2. Perez EST, 3. Coldiron CH, 4. Brown PC. 400 yard freestyle relay: 1. GC (Dye, Nolton, Nathan Caldwell, Nicholas Caldwell) 3:25.74, 2. CH, 3. EST, 4. BC.
Girls Team Results
1. Barron Collier 396.50
2. Gulf Coast 293.50
3. Lemon Bay 283
4. Cypress Lake 244
5. Lely 243
6. Riverdale 179
7. Charlotte 159
8. Palmetto Ridge 127
9. Port Charlotte 83
10. Estero 70
11. Naples 67
12. Ida Baker 37
13. Lehigh 17
Girls results: 1 mtr. diving: 1. Grimes BC 345.15, 2. LeBlanc LB, 3. Dati BC, 4. Caey GC. 1. 200 yard medley relay: Lely (M. Farhat, Blassneck, L. Farhat, Su) 1:59.32, 2. BC, 3. CL, 4. LB. 200 yard freestyle: 1. Franklin CL 1:53.94, 2. M. Dubrasky EST, 3. Gadowry, CH, 4. Titus BC. 200 yard individual medley: 1. Blassneck Lely 2:13.59, 2. M. Farhat Lely, 3. Gross BC, 4. Gaidry CL. 50 yard freestyle: 1. Elliott GC 25.51, 2. Huffman CL, 3. Powell LB, 4. Su Lely. 100 yard butterfly: 1. Gross BC 1:02.48, 2. L. Farhat Lely, 3. Sunyak BC, 4. Goodwin LB. 100 yard freestyle: 1. Elliott GC 55.36. 2. Huffman CL, 3. Powell LB, 4. Su Lely. 500 yard freestyle: Franklin CL 4:57.85, 2. M. Dubrasky EST, 3. Blassneck Lely, 4. Gadowry. 200 yard freestyle relay: 1. Lely (L. Farhat, Su, Blassneck, Hine) 1:46.98. 100 yard backstroke:Hanson GC 1:07.09, 2. Eames PR, 3. Stone BC, 4. Lee CH. 100 yard breaststroke: 1. Gaidry CL 1:11.07, 2. Farhat, M. Lely, 3. Weichelt BC, 4. Fredlund CL. 400 yard freestyle relay: 1. CL (Gaidry, Huffman, Fredlund, Franklin) 3:47.64, 2. BC, 3. GC. 4. LB