If Monday night’s Highland Board of Education meeting goes as planned, the Hornets will be represented at next month’s Akron Division I sectional swim meet.
Highland, with the help of the Medina Makos Club Swim team, has six swimmers that have already competed in an interscholastic meet, along with several Lake Erie League Club events during the 2012-13 season.
Now the group, which consists of four girls and two boys, will await word from the Highland administration to see if they can represent the school in the OHSAA postseason in February.
“The parents have done a really good job of pushing it,” said Anthony Petruzzi, who serves as the Makos head coach and has been coaching the Highland swimmers along with Steve Rhein and Jessica Sanders. “(The vote) should go through and if it does, we could get double digits (of swimmers) next year.
“We’ve had a ton of Highland kids over the years (in the Makos), but when they get to high school they just look for other things to do, because there has been no team.”
Petruzzi entered the Highland swimmers, which includes senior Nicole Hadler, junior Breanna Stacho, sophomores Malia Smith, Noah Foutz and Alexander Karwowski and freshman Katherine Janesch, in the Salem High School Invitational last weekend at Youngstown State so they could get their first taste of high school competition.
Stacho paced Highland, placing fourth overall on the strength of high finishes in the 50-yard freestyle (3rd, 27.92), 100 butterfly (3rd, 1:17.56) and 100 free (1:03.04). Stacho also helped the 200 free relay of Jenesch, Hadler and Smith to a ninth-place showing (2:11.75).
“Bri and Malia come in with a lot of experience, while the others are beginners, but have progressed quite nicely,” Petruzzi said. “It was tough, but they’re all getting better and with three coaches and five lanes at practice, the kids have great attention.”
Pending board approval, Petruzzi plans on entering the squad in the Medina County Meet, which is scheduled for Jan. 26 at Medina, before participating in sectionals the following week.
A little shuffling of the deck by Blue Devils coach Erin Crabtree helped the team capture the Northeast Ohio Conference River Division crown last weekend.
Along with some key individual performances, several new relay combinations helped Brunswick break away from the field. The 200 free relay of Nicolette Crissinger, Melissa Froncek, Hannah McCulloch and Lizzy Gehlmann took third overall and first in the division, while the 400 free (McCulloch, Lauren Oktavec, Crissinger, Gehlmann) and 200 medley (Mikayla Dostall, Jenna Vance, Froncek, Oktavec) also took top billing in the division and finished fourth overall.
• Senior Jake Pavlisin dropped his season-low times in the sprint events at the NOC meet. The three-year letterwinner, who was a district qualifier as a junior, not only had Brunswick’s best individual finish on the boys side — seventh in the 50 free in 22.86 — he recorded an anchor-leg split time of 22.18 to help the 200 free relay to an eighth-place finish (1:38.25). Chris Nguyen, Billy Silvestro and Nathaniel Hagar made up the rest of the 200 relay.
It’s been a quite a two-week period for the Colt boys as four school records were set. Adam Goodreau (100 butterfly), Brice Bechtel (100 backstroke), and Josh Butt (50 free), and the 200 free relay of Goodreau, Butt, Bechtel, and Jake Thacker set the standards.
• Jacob Wolf and Janelle Jordan continue to drop times in their respective sprint events. Wolf, who is in his first year in the sport, has been recording personal records on a weekly basis, while Jordan posted personal-low times in the 50 and 100 free in a Suburban League dual Wednesday with Green.
Nothing stands in Carolyn Yurkoski’s way when she’s on the block as the competition at the NOC Meet found out. Yurkoski improved on her seed position by two spots in the 50 free with a seventh-place showing (25.44).
“Carolyn is one of those kids that knows the game, meaning things can be going crazy around her, but once the whistle blows for her to step up on the block and race, watch out,” Bees coach Jaime Moore said. “She had a goal and went after it Saturday.”
• Like Yurkoski, junior Matt Rump earned a top-15 finish in the overall league meet despite being sick. Rump placed 15th in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.72).
Whether it’s a sprint event or a distance race, senior Bryce Easterling has shown he can do just about anything for the Grizzlies. The returning letterwinner had a hand in four victories in a SL win over Tallmadge. He won the 50 (24.19) and 500 free (5:22.15), along with helping the 200- and 400-free relays to wins.
• Kim Stafford was also a four-event winner for the Grizzlies vs. Tallmadge, doing damage in the grueling double of the 200 individual medley and the 500 free, as well as having a hand in the 200 medley and free relay wins.
Contact Dan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.