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High School Sports

SWC swimming championships: Avon Lake girls rally for win on last race; Amherst boys cruise to title

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    Amherst's Justin Farmer competes in the 200 free at Saturday afternoon's Southwestern Conference championships at the Westlake Recreation Center. Amherst won its fourth straight league title.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

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    Avon Lake High School's Jared Demich swims the 200 free on Saturday afternoon, January 26.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

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    Amherst Steele High School's John Pluta swims the 200 free on Saturday afternoon, January 26.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

  • 012619-SWC-SWIMMING-KB02

    North Ridgeville High School's Tanner Norman swims the 200 free on Saturday afternoon, January 26.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

  • 012619-SWC-SWIMMING-KB04

    Avon High School's Ryan Hammerschmidt swims the 200 free on Saturday afternoon, January 26.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

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WESTLAKE — Avon Lake’s girls won Saturday’s Southwestern Conference Swimming and Diving Championships on the last race of the day, making up 14 points to pull into a tie with Avon and then winning the title on a tiebreaker.

Yet it was the first race of the day that set everything in motion for the Shoregals.

Avon Lake kicked off the day’s events at the Westlake Recreation Center by winning the 200-yard medley relay for the fourth year in a row.

Talk about a good omen.

Maggie Williams teamed with Emily Presley, Maya Assaf and Emma Okuma to edge Avon 1:57.75 to 1:57.78. Okuma split 25.97 in the anchor spot to barely hold off Avon’s Katt Benny, who split 25.77.

“It’s really fun to have that first event to get warmed up and get used to the little rivalry we have (with Avon),” Assaf said.

Little rivalry? It’s turned out to be a big one.

The Shoregals trailed Avon 289-275 going into the last event, the 400-yard free relay, but came away with first-, ninth- and 11th-place points to outscore the Eagles 46-32 and tie the meet at 321.

Avon Lake took home the overall championship based on its 97-89 dual meet win over the Eagles on Dec. 5. Dual meet records account for 50 percent of the conference championship. As a result, Avon Lake took the title with 15.5 championship points, leaving Avon in second with 14.5 points.

It was the Avon Lake girls’ third SWC title in four years and sixth since 1998. Avon, co-champs last year with Avon Lake, had its conference reign end at two in a row.

Williams and Assaf led the way for the Shoregals, Williams getting four wins and Assaf three.

Williams won her third straight title in the 500 free (5:36.65) and won her second 200 free title (2:03.64) in three years. The junior’s other win came in the 400 free relay (3:52.60) when she teamed with Assaf, Emily Hauck and her freshman sister, Katie.

Assaf, a senior, won the 100 fly (1:03.00) over top-seeded Avon senior Caitlin Downing (1:03.30).

“When we tied we were still so excited from the 400 free relay,” Assaf said. “We had no idea we were going to win that event.”

“We were so proud of our other relays,” said Maggie Williams, who has seven career SWC titles. “Every point counts. There are no small swimmers. Doesn’t matter if someone swims on a B relay or a C relay. You go all out. If you can bump into the No. 12 spot or knock someone down a spot, it’s huge. That’s all that matters. That’s really what it was. We won that last event, but if we didn’t have our other two relays we wouldn’t have pulled this off. It was really a huge team effort.”

It was the fourth straight year the Avon Lake girls won the SWC meet. The Shoregals didn’t win the overall title in 2016, however, because of their third-place finish in dual meets.

The two top teams were almost dead even in award totals through the top three places. Avon Lake finished with five firsts, two seconds and three thirds. Avon also had five firsts along with three seconds and two thirds. The 12-place scoring system definitely worked in the Shoregals’ favor.

“It doesn’t get old,” said Avon Lake’s Joe Smith, who is co-coach with Dan Smith (no relation). “It’s just as exciting now as it as the first time we did it (in 2015).

“We knew Avon would be coming hard for us. I think they expected to beat us in the dual meet and we surprised them there. I think they expected to win here and we surprised them here. Our girls just got up for this meet. I give them all the credit. They just got up and rallied. We’ve got a tight-knit group of girls that really motivate each other and really get each other going.”

Kaitlyn Hunt led the Avon girls with wins in the 200 individual medley (2:20.66) and 100 back (1:03.20). Benny won the 50 free (26.11) and senior Abby Sidloski took the 100 breast (1:13.67). Amanda Socha of won the diving on Friday for the second straight year with an 11-dive total of 444.45.

“It was insane to tie (the meet),” said Benny, who has four career SWC titles. “We knew it was going to be a tough fight and we were going to have to work our butts off for every event. We just happened to tie the meet. Sure it’s sad because we wanted to be at least co-champs, but they deserved it. I’m proud of them and I’m proud of us. I’m friends with so many of the people on the Avon Lake team.”

Amherst dominated the boys meet, racking up 382 points to win its fourth straight SWC title and seventh in nine years. Westlake was a distant second with 269.

The Comets’ relays were their strength. They won the 200 medley relay and 200 free relay for the fourth year in a row and also claimed the 400 free.

Kevin Heyd did the most damage for Amherst. He dominated the 100 breast (1:06.38), winning by 2.41 seconds over Westlake’s Lance Clemons, and was also a member of the winning 200 medley and 200 free relays. In addition, Heyd also took second in the 200 IM behind North Olmsted freshman Braden Martens, 2:08.87 to 2:09.89.

“I’m ecstatic and truly thrilled to do what did today,” Heyd said. “There’s no doubt in my mind we could come out and do what we did. We’ve all put in so much work this season. We all got the rewards we deserved, I feel.”

Heyd teamed with Chase Aruskevicius, Joe Haas and Jeremy Oncila to win the 200 medley relay (1:46.98) and with Jeremy Oncila, Ethan Belak and John Belak to win the 200 free relay, which held off Westlake 1:34.90 to 1:35.09. Ethan Belak, Justin Farmer, Aruskevicius and John Belak made up the winning 400 free relay (3:30.98).

William Moses became the first Avon Lake winner of the 200 free-100 free combo since 2001. Moses dominated the field, winning the 200 free (1:51.19) by 4.89 seconds and the 100 free (50.81) by 1.99 seconds.

“I’m just getting over a cold so I think the times I posted today were pretty good,” Moses said. “My mindset as coming in and doing what I had to for my team and getting as many points as possible.”

Contact Paul Heyse at (440) 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.

Girls

Team scores: T1. Avon Lake, Avon, 321; 3. Westlake, 228.5; 4. Amherst, 178.5; 5. Berea-Midpark, 114; 6. Lakewood, 96; 7. Olmsted Falls, 84; 8. North Ridgeville, 27; 9. North Olmsted, 25

Final standings including dual meets: 1, Avon Lake (7-0), 15.5; 2. Avon (6-1), 14.5; 3. Westlake (5-2), 12; 4. Amherst, 10; T5. Lakewood (3-4), Berea-Midpark (2-5), 7; 7. Olmsted Falls (1-6), 4; T8. North Olmsted (0-7), North Ridgeville, 1

200 medley relay: 1. Avon Lake A (Maggie Williams, Emily Presley, Maya Assaf, Emma Okuma), 1:57.75; 2. Avon, 1:57.78; 3. Amherst A, 2:04.32; 4. Avon Lake B, 2:06.31; 5. Olmsted Falls, 2:07.67; 6. Amherst B, 2:08.00

200 free: 1. Maggie Williams (Avon Lake), 2:03.64; 2. Sistina Simcox (Lakewood), 2:04.54; 3. Malin Taylor (Westlake), 2:07.81; 4. Caitlin Downing (Avon), 2:09.50; 5. Natalie Woods (Avon), 2:09.56; 6. Maya Assaf (Avon Lake), 2:09.95

200 IM: 1. Kaitlyn Hunt (Avon), 2:20.66; 2. Alexis Schuler (Berea-Midpark), 2:25.03; 3. Katie Williams (Avon Lake), 2:25.19; 4. Abby Sidloski (Avon), 2:25.49; 5. LynnDee Popovich (Berea-Midpark), 2:26.17; 6. Elizabeth Lowe (Amherst), 2:28.85

50 free: 1. Katt Benny (Avon), 26.11; 2. Okuma (Avon Lake), 26.28; 3. Katie Sanchez (Westlake), 26.61; 4. Krista Ramser (Avon), 26.87; 5. Lauren Steinbrunner (North Ridgeville), 27.11; 6. Gabrielle Smith (Amherst), 27.16

100 fly: 1. Assaf (Avon Lake), 1:03.00; 2. Downing (Avon), 1:03.36; 3. Elizabeth Lowe (Amherst), 1:06.57; 4. Elizabeth Zelnik (Amherst), 1:07.59; 5. Ethel Woodford (Lakewood), 1:08.55; 6. Presley (Avon Lake), 1:10.02

100 free: 1. Simcox (Lakewood), 56.80; 2. Benny (Avon), 57.04; 3. Isabelle Sanchez (Westlake), 57.87; 4. Katie Sanchez (Westlake), 58.97; 5. Emily Hauck (Avon Lake), 58.99; 6. Abby Calaway (Berea-Midpark), 1:00.83

500 free: 1. Maggie Williams (Avon Lake), 5:36.65; 2. Alexis Schuller (Berea-Midpark), 5:37.25; 3. Malin (Westlake), 5:46.42; 4. Natalie Woods (Avon), 5:46.59; 5. Abigail Lowe (Amherst), 5:54.93; 6. Lillie Katsaras (Olmsted Falls), 5:55.58

200 free relay: 1. Westlake A (K. Sanchez, Olivia Irwin, I. Sanchez, Malin), 1:46.72; 2. Avon, 1:46.96; 3. Avon Lake A, 1:48.31; 4. Westlake B, 1:52.08; 5. Lakewood, 1:52.16; 6. Avon Lake B, 1:52.34

100 back: 1. Hunt (Avon), 1:03.20; 2. I. Sanchez (Westlake), 1:03.58; 3. Izzy Eldridge (Avon), 1:05.56; 4. Katie Williams (Avon Lake), 1:07.33; 5. Kaye Dregalla (Olmsted Falls), 1:08.21; 6. Smith (Amherst), 1:08.68

100 breast: 1. Sidloski (Avon), 1:13.67; 2. Okuma (Avon Lake), 1:13.82; 3. Presley (Avon Lake), 1:15.41; 4. Annabelle Saultz (Amherst), 1:15.99; 5. Popovich (Berea-Midpark), 1:17.29; 6. Isabella McFadden (Westlake), 1:17.31

400 free relay: 1. Avon Lake (Assaf, Maggie Williams, Hauck, Katie Williams), 3:52.60; 2. Westlake, 3:54.30; 3. Avon, 3:58.58; 4. Amherst, 4:04.42; 5. Berea-Midpark, 4:05.40; 6. Olmsted Falls, 4:05.56

Diving: 1. Amanda Socha (Avon), 444.45; 2. Jamie Kennedy (North Olmsted), 378.45; 3. Abby Prout (Westlake), 272.80; 4. Kara Wilkinson (Westlake), 331.40; 5. Emma Sekerak (Amherst), 313.85; 6. Alyssa Chonko (Avon), 311.40

Boys

Team scores: 1, Amherst, 382; 2. Westlake, 269; 3. Avon Lake, 209; 4. Olmsted Falls, 180; 5. Avon, 127; 6. Berea-Midpark, 97; 7. North Olmsted, 81; 8. Lakewood, 49; 9. North Ridgeville, 0

Final standings including dual meets: 1, Amherst (7-0), 16; 2. Westlake (6-1), 14; 3. Avon Lake (5-2), 12; 4. Olmsted Falls (4-3), 10; 5. Avon (3-4), 8; 6. Berea-Midpark (2-5), 6; T7. Lakewood (1-6), North Olmsted (0-7), 3; 9. North Ridgeville, 0

200 medley relay: 1. Amherst A (Chase Aruskevicius, Kevin Heyd, Joe Haas, Jeremy Oncila), 1:46.98; 2. Avon Lake, 1:48.30; 3. Avon, 1:49.04; 4. Olmsted Falls, 1:51.66; 5. Amherst B, 1:55.03; 6. Westlake, 1:55.66

200 free: 1. William Moses (Avon Lake), 1:51.19; 2. Masen Collins (Olmsted Falls), 1:55.98; 3. John Belak (Amherst), 1:56.45; 4. Colin Neumann (Berea-Midpark), 2:00.25; 5. Jacob Wylie (Westlake), 2:00.74; 6. John Pluta (Amherst), 2:02.27

200 IM: 1. Braden Martens (North Olmsted), 2:08.87; 2. Heyd (Amherst), 2:09.89; 3. Aruskevicius (Amherst), 2:10.91; 4. Max Lee (Westlake), 2:17.21; 5. Alec McNeill (Avon Lake), 2:19.09; 6. John Munoz (Olmsted Falls), 2:22.48

50 free: 1. Luke Heberle (Westlake), 22.49; 2. Ethan Belak (Amherst), 23.46; 3. Jack Williams (Westlake), 23.72; 4. Jeremy Oncila (Amherst), 24.17; 5. Steven Malloy (Avon), 24.60; T6. Cole Kroneker (Avon Lake) and Jack Surtman (Olmsted Falls), 24.63

100 fly: 1. Heberle (Westlake), 53.97; 2. Kyle Brown (Avon), 56.99; 3. Steven Malloy (Avon), 59.64; 4. Patrick Kennedy (North Olmsted), 1:00.08; 5. Haas (Amherst), 1:01.17; 6. Stevie Soboslay (Amherst), 1:02.41

100 free: 1. Moses (Avon Lake), 50.81; 2. John Belak (Amherst), 52.80; 3. Lucas Trupo (Olmsted Falls), 53.42; 4. Lee (Westlake), 53.63; 5. Connor White (Olmsted Falls), 54.04; 6. Oncila (Amherst), 54.70

500 free: 1. Martens (North Olmsted), 5:10.65; 2. Aruskevicius (Amherst), 5:18.31; 3. Collins (Olmsted Falls), 5:19.98; 4. Jacob Wylie (Westlake), 5:26.74; 5. Pluta (Amherst), 5:32.07; 6. Williams (Westlake), 5:34.12

200 free relay: 1. Amherst A (Heyd, Oncila, Ethan Belak, John Belak), 1:34.90; 2. Westlake, 1:35.09; 3. Avon Lake, 1:38.55; 4. Amherst B, 1:40.11; 5. Berea-Midpark, 1:41.31; 6. Lakewood, 1:41.37

100 back: 1. Brown (Avon), 58.01; 2. Trupo (Olmsted Falls), 1:00.34; 3. Owen Barnhorst (Avon Lake), 1:01.06; 4. Ethan Drake (Westlake), 1:03.41; 5. Kennedy (North Olmsted), 1:04.36; 6. Soboslay (Amherst), 1:04.98

100 breast: 1. Heyd (Amherst), 1:06.38; 2. Lance Clemons (Westlake), 1:08.79; 3. John Pinzon (Berea-Midpark), 1:10.08; 4. Evan Hammerschmidt (Avon), 1:10.12; 5. James Watson (Amherst), 1:10.21; 6. Stephen Blair (Westlake), 1:10.27

400 free relay: 1. Amherst (Ethan Belak, Justin Farmer, Aruskevicius, John Belak), 3:30.98; 2. Westlake, 3:33.19; 3. Olmsted Falls, 3:35.91; 4. Avon Lake, 3:36.13; 5. Avon, 3:41.15; 6. Berea-Midpark, 3:46.25

Diving: 1. Michael Slaughter (Avon Lake), 304.50; 2. Caden Dees (Berea-Midpark), 383.15; 3. Ethan Belak (Amherst), 380.85; 4. Joe Toole (Lakewood), 362.90; 5. Collin Burrows (Westlake), 351.70; 6. Leland Starwalt (Avon), 336.75



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