For the sixth year in a row, the Hudson boys swim team sat atop the Division I North sectional standings at the University of Akron’s Ocasek Natatorium.
Explorers junior Ross Palazzo turned in another strong performance Friday with two individual victories in events he won state titles in last season, and he added a win via a relay.
Jackson finished as the top boys team in the Division I South sectional, unseating North Canton Hoover, which had won four sectional titles in a row and eight out of 11
“This win means a lot,” Jackson coach Matt Ziders said. “It is our first sectional win. We won the Federal League for the first time in 20 years. We beat North Canton in that a couple of weeks ago, and we have a ton of respect for them. To be able to win again in this one helps build momentum toward the district meet next week and the state meet the week after.”
The top two in each event automatically advance to the district meet at Cleveland State University’s Busbey Natatorium.
Palazzo shined in Friday’s afternoon session with wins in the 200-yard individual medley (1:53.99) and the 100 breast stroke (59.56 seconds).
“For myself, this is just another step in the road toward the state meet,” Palazzo said. “For the team, this is a big meet because next week is our top priority as a team. It was really big for us to get some good swims in today, which [junior] Tanner Nelson did in the  backstroke. He had a breakout swim. A lot of guys did very well and dropped a lot of time. [Junior] Connor Coburn was solid in the 200 freestyle and 100 freestyle.”
Palazzo joined sophomore Cole Clampffer, senior Peyton Brown and junior Brendon Mulcahey to triumph in the 400 freestyle relay (3:19.57).
Hudson scored 514 points to win the 14-team North sectional, and Walsh Jesuit was second with 352 points. Hudson also won the 200 freestyle relay with Brown, Clampffer, Mulcahey and junior Ryan Johnson posting a 1:31.26.
“Today is always hard because you get some kids that are rested for this week and some kids that are going to be rested for next week,” Hudson coach Matt Davis said. “It is kind of a stressful meet because nothing can go right. It can only go wrong. You try to get the kids to move onto the next level. We had a few kids really step up. Tanner Nelson had a great 100 back and [senior] Miguel Gomes had a great 100 fly.”
Brecksville senior Ryan Charbonneau won the 50 freestyle in 21.16 and the 100 freestyle in 47.23, and he anchored the 200 medley relay (1:39.42) that included sophomores Matthew Martin and Mark Krusinski and senior Tyler Thompson.
Krusinski also won the 100 butterfly in 52.59.
Walsh junior Michael Reilman won the 200 freestyle in 1:43.88 and the 100 backstroke in 51.91, and Warriors junior Patrick Olivier won the 500 freestyle in 4:59.66.
Jackson scored 384.5 points to win the 14-team South sectional, and Hoover was second with 303 points.
“[Senior] Dylan Gulli won the 500 free [in 4:56.48] and really set himself up for next week,” Ziders said. “[Senior] Michael Mueller broke the school record in the 100 butterfly [third at 53.69].”
Jackson’s 400 freestyle relay placed first in 3:19.44 and consisted of sophomore Michael Biclawski, freshman Franklin Shew, Mueller and junior Sam Kinney.
Wooster won five events, with junior Daniel Ackerman taking part in four.
Ackerman won the 100 freestyle in 48.52 and the 100 breast stroke in a meet-record time of 58.64, and he was part of two relays. Juniors Matthew Dyer and David Goodrich joined senior BJ Graham and Ackerman to win the 200 medley relay in 1:38.70. Dyer, senior Bryan Parker, Ackerman and Graham combined to win the 200 freestyle relay in 1:28.92. Dyer also won the 200 IM in 2:02.09.
Hoover senior Stephen Watson clocked a meet-record time of 21.60 in the 50 freestyle, and Vikings sophomore Mitch Ganuelas finished in 55.16 in the 100 backstroke.
Green sophomore Dominic Poletta and GlenOak senior Nathaniel Allen tied for first in the 100 butterfly at 53.20.
Green junior Jacob Doney won the 200 freestyle in 1:49.72.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.