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Tiger swimmers enjoy best meet at sectionals

By STEVE BATKO Correspondent Published: February 15, 2017 12:00 AM

A big-time performance for the Twinsburg High boys and girls swimming diving programs, led to a host of district qualifications and season best times in sectional action.

Both Tiger teams excelled at the challenging Akron North Sectional Championships, held Feb. 8-11 at the University of Akron.

The top finishers qualified for the upcoming Division I District Championships at Cleveland State University.

Twinsburg's boys placed sixth overall out of 14 schools at the sectional with 141 points.

The girls squad was eighth out of 15 teams at AKRON, and were only 18 points out of sixth place. With combine scores, Twinsburg was sixth overall.

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"Our team saw 94 percent best times at this meet," said an veteran excited head coach Kirtis Huelsman. "Everyone had great performances."

"I think that the hard work from the season paid off for the team at this event," explained Huelsman.

For the boys, it all started in the diving competition, which was Feb. 8. In 1-meter diving, sophomore Brad Yates had a very successful sectional meet. He qualified for the district meet.

Yates placed fifth overall with a final score of 329.95.

Junior Brad Bierworth had a superb sectional meet for the Tigers as he placed fourth overall in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.53 seconds to qualify for the district championships.

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Bierworth's Feb. 11 effort was the 15th best time in the district field.

In the 100-yard butterfly, sophomore Colin Martin finished fourth overall in 54.37 ticks and was sixth in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:51.60, which was good enough for a district berth.

Martin reached districts in both events and could have room to improve.

Twinsburg's Mitchell Govang swam eighth in the 500 free as the sophomore was timed at 5:05.83 to notch a district championship lane. That mark also broke a new Twinsburg record.

Govang also took part in the record-setting 200-yard medley relay and the eight-place 400-yard free relay (3:28.04). Both relays earned a trip to districts.

The 200 medley crew touched in a school record time of 1:45.45 and qualified for the district meet.

Included in the 200 medley was Govang, junior Zach Dobrski, Martin, and Bierworth. The 400 crew had Martin, senior Dylan Bretz, Govang, and Bierworth.

Bierworth also grabbed 11th in the 100 free and gained a district berth with a strong time of 50.84 seconds at AU.

Twinsburg's 200 free relay grabbed 10th place in 1:38.59. This cast had Bretz, sophomore P.J. Blayney, sophomore Jacob Atienza, and Dobrski.

Freshman Evan Bartel had an impressive race to finish 12th in the 500 free in 5:13.36. Govang was 12th in the 100 backstroke in 1:00.37, and Bartel was 15th in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:01.50.

Bretz also scored with a 16th-place in the 200 free with a clocking of 1:56.02.

Senior Jared Deeds also scored as he was 21st in the 200 free in 1:58.51, plus had a strong time of 5:25.59 in the 500 free. Bretz was also 20th in the 100 back in 1:03.82.

Dobrski just missed scoring in the 100 breaststroke as he was 17th in 1:07.51.

The girls qualified three athletes to districts in diving.

Senior Sarah McGlumphy collected another district berth as she placed third overall at sectionals with a 310.40.

Junior Sam Giardino was sixth in the 100-yard freestyle with a best time of 55.57 seconds in the finals.

The gifted Giardino also was sixth in the 200-yard freestyle and gained a trip to districts with a time of 1.57 13.

In addition to McGlumphy, the Tigers also had two other divers that qualified for districts.

Junior Alyssa McKenzie placed sixth overall with a mark of 297.0.

Sophomore Piper Lash also made the cut for districts as she was 11th overall with a strong score of 268.80.

For the girls, the top six divers at districts will qualify for the state championships. The top seven advance for the boys in diving. The top two swimmers and top two relays advance to states.

Twinsburg had a strong relay finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay and earned a district meet appearance. The team placed sixth at Akron with a season best time of 3:51.30.

Making up the relay was sophomore Katie McCoy, senior Elena Kousaie, sophomore Angela DeFabio, and Giardino. Their time was just .08 off of a new school record.

Huelsman also saw his 200-yard medley relay place 10th overall in 1:57.83. This group had McCoy, sophomore Allison Porach, senior Sanae' Bean-Smith, and Giardino.

"We will look to break more records and have a second chance at the girls' 400 freestyle relay record at the upcoming District meet," noted Huelsman.

McCoy also made districts in two more events. She was 10th in the 500-yard free with a strong time of 5:30.60. She also touched 11th in the 200 free in 2:03.59, which secured a district slot.

Kousaie had a strong meet as she touched 13th in the 500 free with a 5:37.86 and was 14th in the 100 butterfly with a season-best clocking of 1:04.57. That was good enough to reach districts in both events!

Porach qualified for districts in the 100 breaststroke with an impressive time of 1:13.23.

Senior Briana Bober had one of her top 50-yard free swims with a 27.31 mark and posted a 1:02.96 in the 100 free.

Bober swam in the Tiger's strong 10th-place 200 free relay (1:50.56) along with Porach, Kousaie, and DeFabio.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

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