Wednesday, September 27, 2023

CVC reigns supreme at state swim meet

Chagrin Valley Conference swimmers had their way with the field at the 2021 OHSAA Swimming and Diving Championships at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton.

Conference swimmers brought home two team championships and six different individual event state titles.

Leading the way was the girls’ squad from Hawken, which claimed its 23rd straight state title with 387 points. Hathaway Brown was second with 260. Chagrin Falls placed 21st with 33 points, Orange was 22nd with 31 and Kirtland landed on the team scoreboard in 27th place with 26 points. West Geauga was 40th (10) and Beachwood placed 52nd (2).

Individual state champions in the girls’ competition included Hawken junior Jess Eden, who claimed the 200-yard IM title with a time of 2:02.44, junior Tori Culotta, who on the 500-yard freestyle in 4:55.92, senior Sydney Bare, who finished first in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:01.64, and Hawken’s 400-yard freestyle relay team of junior Maggie Mallett, seniors Ella Gilson and Chloe Katz, and Eden. That group finished the race in 3:28.27.

Culotta won her third straight title in the 500 free.

CVC swimmers also earned All-Ohio honors at a staggering pace.

Chagrin Falls senior Kate LaMonica finished second in diving (445.35) while teammate Samantha Holtz, a freshman, placed third (444.30).

Kirtland junior Kaley Ream finished among the top eight in two events. She placed fourth in the 100-yard butterfly (56.80) and eighth in the 500-yard freestyle (5:06.26).

Orange junior Lily Klinginsmith placed seventh in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.71.

Hawken, once again, had a large collection of All-Ohioans.

That group included senior Ariana Khan, who was fifth in diving with a score of 407.70, Katz, who placed third in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:52.97 and second in the 500-yard free (5:00.63), Gilson, who was fifth in the 200 free with a time of 1:53.27 and seventh in the 100-yard free in 52.50, Bare, who also placed second in the 200-yard IM in 2:05.83, senior Claire Pophal, who finished third in the 500-yard freestyle (5:01.00), freshman Sarah Pophal, who placed fourth in the 200-yard IM in 2:08.31 and sixth in the 500 free (5:02.70), Mallett, who claimed fourth place in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.93 and third in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 56.06, Eden, who also placed third in the 100-yard backstroke (56.43), sophomore Asma Khan, who finished seventh in the 100-yard backstroke (57.85), and a pair of All-Ohio relays.

Gilson, Eden, Asma Khan and sophomore Chloe Bautista teamed up to place second in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:36.22, and Asma Khan, Bare, Mallett and Bautista finished second in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:44.47.

The CVC boys were equally successful as the league claimed two individual champions in Hawken senior diver Angus Williams, who won the title with 483 points, and Hawken’s 400-yard freestyle relay team of seniors Connor Brown, Michael Butler and Alex Podrez, and junior Will Dietz. That group won the race in 3:10.32.

Hawken claimed its fourth overall title but the Hawks’ senior class won its first after finishing third last year and second in the two previous seasons.

Chagrin Falls finished 13th as a team with 72 points and Beachwood was 30th with 21.

CVC All-Ohioans included Beachwood senior Seth Warner, who was fourth in diving (417.65), Chagrin Falls senior Michael Tropf, who placed sixth in the 100-yard breaststroke (58.31), and the 200-yard medley relay team from Chagrin Falls. Tropf teamed up with juniors Joshua Rooney, Bobby Munz, and Zachary Muckle to place sixth in 1:37.92.

Hawken had a large contingent of All-Ohioans including Dietz, who placed eighth in the 200-yard freestyle (1:43.16) and fifth in the 500-yard freestyle (4:42.90), Podrez, who was second in the 200-yard IM (1:51.58) and seventh in the 100-yard breaststroke (58.46), Brown who placed fourth in the 200-yard IM (1:53.86) and fifth in the 100-yard backstroke (51.87), and Butler, who placed third in the 500-yard freestyle (4:39.55).

Two Hawken relays also earned All-Ohio honors.

The 200-yard medley relay team of senior Donovan Liao, junior Jacob Esposito, Brown and Podrez placed third in 1:36.42 while Esposito and Dietz teamed up with junior Lucas Greenberg and senior Madan Morris to finish fifth in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:29.05.

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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