The Twinsburg High swimming program kicked off the post season in impressive fashion as seven Tiger athletes from the boys and girls teams advanced to the district championships.
The Tigers fared well individually in the Akron North Division I sectional at the University of Akron's Ocasek Natatorium on Feb. 4 to 6.
To qualify for the Feb. 11 District meet at Cleveland State's Busbey Natatorium, the Tigers had to finish in the top 22 of their respected event between the Akron North and Akron South sectionals.
Head coach Kirtis Huelsman was thrilled to see a host of swimmers and divers make the cut.
"All of our swimmers had great swims and it was great to see everyone's hard work pay off at the conclusion of the season," said the mentor. "Our divers had a very great sectional meet."
Hannah McKenzie broke the school's one-meter, 11-dive record by placing sixth in the diving competition with a school mark score of 332.9.
"Hannah did a great job as she broke the school's diving record," said Huelsman. "Along with Hannah, Rachael Adkins, Jumal Afzal, and Adam Kane qualify to the district meet in their dives.
"On the swimming side, we had Brooke Calvetta, Sam Stauffer, and Elizabeth Schafer qualify to their district meet," he added.
McKenzie and Adkins both broke the Twinsburg 11-dive meet record with McKenzie establishing the new mark. Adkins' score was 305.55.
Junior Jumal Afzal also qualified for districts in diving for the boys. The meet started with 37 divers and went to 25 after the first results of the first five dives. Afzal then reached the round of 22 when the field was trimmed after eight dives.
Afzal put himself in a elite field as Nordonia's Steve Romanik won the individual title, followed by fell junior Alex Obendorf (Hudson) and Uniontown Lake's Jon Schlafer. Romanik had a school record of 527.60 points as he was the state division I runner up a year ago.
With 295.05 points, Afzal placed 10th overall and fourth in the Akron North sectional. His mark was a career-best.
Sophomore Adam Kane also qualified for Twinsburg for the first time. He placed 21st overall with a mark of 244.60, and was ninth.
Junior Ryan Pleau placed 14th for the boys in the Akron North with 104.6 while Brittany Handel placed 20th (119.8) for the girls.
The boys placed 11th in the team swimming standings with 76 points while the Lady Tigers were 11th (69).
Schafer, a senior, had a strong sectional as she placed 12th in the 200-yard freestyle race with a season-best time of 2:03.07.
In addition, Schafer placed 16th overall in the 500 freestyle with a clocking of 5:33.73.
Stauffer and Calvetta are two other seniors who excelled for the Lady Tigers at the sectional swim meet.
In the 100 butterfly, Stauffer placed 13th overall with a time of 1:03.56. She also placed 15th in the 50 free as she touched with a clocking of 25.90 seconds. Both times were better than her previous meet.
Calvetta placed 15th in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:04.00 as she had a blazing 33.81 second split. Calvetta also was 22nd in the 200 free (2:09.23).
Schafer and Stauffer repeat as district qualifiers as a year ago, Schafer made it in the 100 and 200 free swims, and Stauffer, in the 100 butterfly.
The top two individuals/relays in each swimming event and the top seven divers from the district meet will qualify for the state championships next weekend at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
Sixteen at-large swimming qualifiers will be selected on the basis of times recorded in all district tournaments statewide.
Other strong sectional marks from the boys included senior Alex Horvath (2:04.62 in the 200 free), junior Phillip Shvartsman (2:03.37 in the 200 free), and sophomore Josh Vargo (24.32 in the 50 free).
Shvartsman and Horvath were competitive in the 200 free as was Vargo in the 50 free.
Vargo swam well in the 50 free along with junior Adam Ruhe (24.60) and freshman Joey Giardino (25.65), who also placed well in the 100 butterfly (1:09.49). Vargo also had a strong 100 free time of 53.72.
Sophomore Nick Hinkle and freshman Matt Olson also fared well.