PORT ORANGE — Spending the better part of three decades on the pool deck for Flagler Palm Coast, Tom Gillin experienced a rare nervous moment early Saturday afternoon. He crunched the numbers and discovered that his boys held a nine-point advantage entering the final event.

Considering FPC hadn't been this close to a Five Star Conference championship since the mid-90s, Gillin sweated out the early moments of the 400-meter freestyle relay.

"We knew if we won the relay, we'd win the meet," Gillin said. "You're always afraid of a false start or something catastrophic happening."

By the time Allan Kiperberg completed the first 100 with a lead of more than two full body lengths, the Bulldogs breathed easy. Victory was finally theirs.

FPC ended Spruce Creek's 23-year reign as the conference's boys swimming champion, ensuring maximum points with a combination of last-minute relay lineup configurations and unexpected standout performances.

Gillin first gambled by inserting senior Matthew Pokorny to swim the breaststroke in the 200 medley relay. The Bulldogs' 200 and 500 freestyle ace, Pokorny felt excited to rise to the occasion in a new event.

"It's another way to help my team, doing whatever we can to win," Pokorny said. "It might not be my (strongest) stroke, but I'm still very confident in all my strokes. Especially in a 50 (split) like that, you just do it as fast as you can."

Gillin also juggled with his lineup in the day's final race, moving Kiperberg into the first position. He established a lead that FPC was never close to relinquishing.

"All our dice-rolling came up lucky," Gillin said.

FPC received breakout performances from a pair of converted baseball players. Zach Wolpert placed second in the 100 butterfly and posted a personal-best, unofficial split of 55.5 seconds in the 400 relay. Sophomore Tate Underberg surprised in the 100 breaststroke, scoring a top-5 finish despite swimming in the second-to-last heat.

"It's breathtaking. There's no better feeling," said Wolpert, who last competitively swam in New York more than five years ago. "The fact we won, like, wow. That just happened. It's amazing."

Shortly after being handed the team trophy, FPC's jubilant celebration turned into somber shock.

As the Bulldogs posed for a team picture, the ceremonial podium gave way. Pokorny, who scored four golds on the day, landed awkwardly and experienced a "pinch" just above his ankle.

Pokorny's lower right leg was iced down and wrapped. The Bulldogs competed Saturday without their other top senior, Liam Dineen, sidelined with a shoulder injury.

"Injury-wise, this is easily my worst," he said. "Hopefully, the recovery is relatively short and I'll be somewhat OK for districts and regionals."

Spruce Creek's girls defended their title for a 25th consecutive fall, posting 123 more points than second-place DeLand. Camden Pickering won the 100 breaststroke (1:14.57), anchored the 200 freestyle relay team (1:48.39) and placed second in the 200 IM (2:26.71).

The News-Journal's 2017 Girls Swimmer of the Year, FPC sophomore Micayla Cronk did not participate in the conference meet. Cronk, who captured the school's first individual state title in the Class 4A 100 free last year, was invited to attend the National Select Camp at the Olympic Training Center this weekend in Colorado Springs.

Six locals scored golds in multiple individual events on the day — Pokorny (200/500 free), DeLand's Christina Clark (50 free/100 butterfly) and Anna Monette (100 free/100 backstroke), New Smyrna Beach's Aaron Malecki (50 free/100 backstroke), and Atlantic's duo of Emily Visscher (200/500 free) and Joseph Yim (200 IM/100 butterfly).

BOYS SWIMMING

Five Star Conference Championships at Port Orange YMCA

Flagler Palm Coast 362, Spruce Creek 343, DeLand 268, University 244, Seabreeze 200, Atlantic 190, New Smyrna Beach 169, Mainland 150

200 medley relay — FPC (J. Kiperberg, Pokorny, Wolpert, Araujo), 1:51.40; Atlantic, 1:54.30; University, 1:56.13.

200 free — FPC, Pokorny, 1:51.95; DeLand, Gaebel, 2:03.61; Spruce Creek, Esposito, 2:04.68.

200 IM — Atlantic, Yim, 2:09.17; FPC, A. Kiperberg, 2:15.86; Atlantic, Groel, 2:18.73.

50 free — NSB, Malecki, 22.98; Seabreeze, Korfant, 23.15; University, Partlow, 23.41.

100 fly — Atlantic, Yim, 55.64; FPC, Wolpert, 1:00.05; Spruce Creek, Ramshaw, 1:00.18.

100 free — Seabreeze, Korfant, 50.52; FPC, A. Kiperberg, 50.70; University, Neumeyer, 53.99.

500 free — FPC, Pokorny, 5:14.49; Spruce Creek, Outlaw, 5:27.12; Atlantic, Groel, 5:32.08.

200 free relay — FPC (A. Kiperberg, Babushkin, Araujo, Pokorny), 1:35.76; DeLand, 1:36.12; Seabreeze, 1:38.76.

100 back — NSB, Malecki, 57.96; Seabreeze, Pigliacampi, 1:01.80; FPC, J. Kiperberg, 1:01.92.

100 breast — Spruce Creek, Cunningham, 1:09.93; University, Pelland, 1:10.04; University, Neumeyer, 1:11.47.

400 free re­lay — FPC (A. Kiperberg, Wolpert, J. Kiperberg, Babushkin), 3:36.71; Atlantic, 3:40.70; DeLand, 3:43.95.

Highlights — FPC ends Spruce Creek's 23-year reign as conference champions. Pokorny won four medals, joining Yim and Malecki as individual double-winners.

GIRLS SWIMMING

Five Star Conference Championships at Port Orange YMCA

Spruce Creek 467, DeLand 344, Flagler Palm Coast 281, New Smyrna Beach 236, University 206, Atlantic 153, Seabreeze 152, Mainland 87

200 medley relay — DeLand (Monette, Schoolcraft, Finke, Clark) 1:58.21; Spruce Creek, 2:05.33; New Smyrna Beach, 2:06.95.

200 free — Atlantic, Visscher, 2:01.56; Spruce Creek, O. Bradley, 2:07.45; DeLand, Denner, 2:09.73.

200 IM — NSB, Sydeski, 2:19.08; Spruce Creek, Pickering, 2:26.71; University, Annunziato, 2:31.18.

50 free — DeLand, Clark, 25.76; Spruce Creek, Jones, 26.38; Seabreeze, Cassidy, 26.90.

100 fly — DeLand, Clark, 1:00.55; Spruce Creek, Meyer, 1:04.22; FPC, Lauria, 1:06.19.

100 free — DeLand, Monette, 55.58.; Spruce Creek, Jones, 58.30; Spruce Creek, M. Bradley, 58.34.

500 free — Atlantic, Visscher, 5:15.65; NSB, Sydeski, 5:21.01; Spruce Creek, O. Bradley, 5:37.53.

200 free relay — Spruce Creek (O. Bradley, M. Bradley, Jones, Pickering), 1:48.39; FPC, 1:51.45; NSB, 1:52.70.

100 back — DeLand, Monette, 1:00.43; Seabreeze, Fekete, 1:08.10; Spruce Creek, Manecke, 1:08.83.

100 breast — Spruce Creek, Pickering, 1:14.57; FPC, Stumbre, 1:18.92; DeLand, Schoolcraft, 1:19.12.

400 free re­lay — DeLand (Monette, Schoolcraft, Finke, Clark), 3:50.61; Spruce Creek, 3:59.25; FPC, 4:00.66.

Highlights — Spruce Creek's girls win the Five Star meet for the 25th consecutive year. Clark, Visscher and Monette were double winners.