Monday, July 22, 2024

Hawken’s Sarah Pophal wins state swimming title

CANTON—Hawken senior Sarah Pophal led a group of Chagrin Valley Conference swimmers to the podium at the 2024 OHSAA Division II State Swimming & Diving Championships on Friday.

Pophal earned All-Ohio honors in four events highlighted by the second straight state championship she won in the 500-yard freestyle. She won that event with a time of 4:54.91. She also led the Hawks to two runner-up finishes in a pair of relays, and she placed third in the 200-yard freestyle (1:53.04).

“It’s a lot of fun,” Pophal said. “It’s a great environment here, so I was happy I could come out here and swim. I wasn’t expecting to swim as well as I did, and I’m just happy I got to be here with my friends and do that again.”

Last winter, Pophal won the 500-yard freestyle state title in 4:53.77 and she was eager to defend her title.

“I just told myself to work hard,” Pophal said. “I worked hard last year, I worked hard again this year, be consistent, and stick with it, and everything was going to work out again.”

Alaina Pizarro, Nina Newton, and Savannah Hirsch teamed up with Pophal to place second in the 200-yard Medley Relay with a time of 1:47.20, and Addy Pruce, Carys Edgar, Hirsch, and Pophal placed second in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:33.76.

Newton, Emma Salerno, Pruce, and Hirsch took home second place in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:37.15, and the Hawks placed in three other events on the way to a runner-up finish as a team.

Newton placed third in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:04.69) and fourth in the 100-yard freestyle (:52.02) and Edgar finished sixth in the 500-yard freestyle (5:05.04).

In the boys’ competition, Hawken’s 400-yard freestyle relay team of Daniel Xu, Akhil Peruri, Will Roth, and Preston Wooley led the CVC swimmers with a third-place finish in 3:16.08, and that same group placed fifth in the 200-yard Freestyle Relay in 1:28.49.

Perry’s Brody Hicks placed in two events as he finished sixth in both the 100-yard Butterfly (:50.51) and the 100-yard backstroke (:51.89), and Beachwood’s 200-yard Medley Relay team of Kevin Zhang, Benjamin Keyerleber, Derek Fan, and Colin Elwell placed sixth in 1:38.50.




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