A couple of two-race winners and a strong sophomore class brought the title back to Walsh Jesuit in the Division II boys sectional swimming meet at the University of Akron on Friday night.
After a three-year reign at the sectional meet ended last year at the hands of Canfield, Walsh easily cruised in this year’s meet, winning with a score of 501 points. Canfield was second with 395 and no other team was within 300 points of the Warriors.
“It was nice to come back,” Walsh coach Wally Lutkus said. “Canfield has always been great competition for us and our kids swam really well. They rose to the occasion and I’m happy with that.”
Two Walsh swimmers, sophomore Joey Reilman and junior Ben Boshkos, each took first in two individual events and a relay. Reilman had an especially impressive night, first winning the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:46.29 and then the 100-yard backstroke at 52.67 seconds, both sectional records.
“I’m ecstatic with that,” Reilman said. “I didn’t expect to go that fast. The 200 was really fast, I was so surprised. It feels great but I feel like it hasn’t sunk in much.”
Reilman used to come to meets and watch in awe of the speed of the boys and the times they were putting up. Now, his name is among them.
“I’d come see my older sister swim when I was in seventh grade, and I always thought about how fast the guys were,” he said. “To be up there right now is incredible.”
Boshkos took first in the 50-yard freestyle (22.09) and the 100-yard breast stroke (1:00.88).
“I felt pretty good,” Boshkos said. “The farther I got into the meet, the better I did. The breast stroke was better than I expected so I’m pretty happy.”
Reilman and Boshkos also teamed up with seniors Tanner Schodowski and Michael Petras to take first in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:41.87.
Walsh’s sophomore class carried the Warriors the rest of the way. Kevin Murphy took second place in the 200-yard individual medley (2:08.17) and fourth in the 100-yard breast stroke (1:05.23). Patrick Olivier took second in the 500-yard freestyle. Alec Bryson took fourth in the 200-yard individual medley (2:08.85). Adam Wilson took sixth in two events and Matt Remen finished fifth in the 50-yard freestyle (23.06) and seventh in the 100-yard freestyle (51.12). Nick Pennza placed fifth in the 100-yard backstroke (59.05) and seventh in the 200-yard individual medley (2:12.06). The top two times in each event automatically qualify for the district tournament, and several at-large bids are then taken from among the other sectional meets.
“We have a very nice sophomore class,” Lutkus said. “They’re the hardest workers and they work together. A lot of them swam the USA Championships in March, and the kids would have 10 out of 10 best times. They did a nice job.”
Walsh also finished second in two relays, the 200-yard freestyle (1:32.14) and the 400-yard freestyle (3:24.04).
Canton Central Catholic placed third as a team with 175 points. Senior David Cornet led the Crusaders with a first-place finish in the 200-yard individual medley (2:03.22) and a second-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle at 48.83 seconds.
Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy senior Eric Vlahos moved on to the district meet in the 100-yard breast stroke with a time of 1:02.15, good enough for second place.
“I wanted to do a solid time going into districts so I’d be more motivated,” he said. “Last year I did a 1:04 here, that kinda slowed my roll. So this year I’m going into districts hot.” Revere finished fifth with 165.5 points. Archbishop Hoban was seventh with 103.5.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.