Twinsburg swimmers represent well at NOC Championships

by Steve Batko | Correspondent Published:

For first-year head coach Kirtis Huelsman, he wanted to see his Twinsburg program deal with the bright lights on at the Northeast Ohio Conference swimming and diving championships at Cleveland State University's Busby Natatorium.

The Tigers didn't figure in the title standings mix in boys or girls action, but the youthful Twinsburg teams were represented well with individual marks and times at the Jan. 5 meet.

"I think the NOC Championships were a great benchmark for our training this season," said Huelsman. "This was our first large invitational style meet as a team and it was fun to see how each swimmer performed under more pressure."

"In the finals everyone swam at their seasonal and lifetime bests, improving from their preliminary times."

Twinsburg finished 12th overall (122 points) out of 17 teams in the girls' competition. In the NOC River Division, the Lady Tigers were sixth.

For the boys, the Tigers placed sixth in the NOC River and 13th overall (74) out of 17 teams.

Some of the top finishes came in the girls' 100-yard butterfly event. Senior Sam Stauffer placed 11th overall with a time of 1:04.95 and senior Brooke Calvetta was 12th with a time of 1:05.95.

"In the preliminary heat, everyone swam well and the more experienced swimmers were able to get a little more adrenaline going with such a large crowd, and our inexperienced swimmers were able to experience the format of a large meet," said the coach.

Senior Elizabeth Schafer placed 13th in the girls' 200 free with a clocking of 2:05.52.

"In the finals, it is always physically harder to swim faster at night due to the lack of sleep from the night before and little rest between sessions," said Huelsman.

"It was possible for us to swim so well at night because of our daily morning/evening practice schedule, so we were already mentally used to swimming hard in the morning and afternoon."

The Tigers also scored in the difficult diving competition.

Junior Hannah McKenzie placed seventh for the girls in one-meter diving with a score of 295.80.

In boys diving, sophomore Jumal Afzal was eighth (281.20) and freshman Adam Kane was 12th (245.90).

Relay events were also a positive for Twinsburg as the girls' 400 free relay was 10th overall (3:58.56). This group included Schafer, Calvetta, senior Rebekah Watson, and Stauffer.

Twinsburg's 200-yard boys freestyle relay finished 11th overall with a time of 1:43.11.

Comprising this relay was sophomore Josh Vargo, junior Phillip Shvartsman, freshman Matt Olson, and senior Alex Horvath.

Also placing 11th was the Lady Tigers' 200 yard medley (2:07.39). This cast included junior Devin Farmiloe, Watson, Stauffer, and Schafer.

Stauffer placed 16th in the 50 free with a time of 26.58 seconds while Schafer was 17th in the 500 free with a fine clocking of 5:45.94.

"Overall, each individual swam at or near seasonal and lifetime bests, which is a huge confidence builder for the team," said Huelsman. "This is important as we prepare to finish up the rest of our hard training going into the state championships."

In the River Division, the Brunswick girls totaled 416 points to hold off Cuyahoga Falls and North Royalton, who finished tied for second with 342.

North Royalton won the boys division with 439.5 points while Cuyahoga Falls (403.5) edged Stow (399) for second.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

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