Last year, Walsh Jesuit’s Ben Boshkos advanced to the state meet in the 100-yard breast stroke as a sophomore but only qualified for the B heat.
That irked him.
At the Division II district swim meet at Cleveland State University’s Busbey Natatorium on Friday, he was dead set on making sure he was in the A heat for this year’s state meet.
He did that and more, beating one of the state’s top contenders — University School’s Gordon Wong — and winning the 100 breast stroke with a time of 59.02 seconds.
“I feel really good right now, this is amazing,” Boshkos said. “I dropped a lot of time. I haven’t really shaven or tapered yet so I’m obviously really excited.”
Boshkos most likely also qualified for the state meet in the 50 freestyle, taking fourth place with a time of 21.75 (the top two swimmers in each meet automatically advance, and 16 at-large bids are then filled from the four district meets around the state). Both of those times were easily personal bests for Boshkos, who says a tweak in his swimming motion from last week’s sectional meet might have made all the difference.
“It’s a secret, though,” he said.
Walsh Jesuit coach Wally Lutkus was encouraged to see what Boshkos was able to do without shaving and with little tapering.
“That’s a good mental thing, a good feeling for Ben because now he knows he doesn’t need to be shaved, and where he goes from here is now up to him because its what’s in here,” Lutkus said, pointing to his heart. “He’s been working hard all year. When he gets rest, he can do that.”
Boshkos should have plenty of support in Canton for the state meet. Walsh sophomore Joey Reilman placed second in the 100 backstroke (51.99 seconds) and fourth in the 200 freestyle (1:46.43).
Boshkos and Reilman were both a part of the 200 medley relay team that took third place (1:38.96) along with seniors Tanner Schodowski and Michael Petras.
Walsh sophomore Patrick Olivier also has a good chance of advancing to the state meet in the 500 freestyle, taking fourth place with a time of 4:53.13. State meet qualifiers won’t be official until later this weekend.
Canton Central Catholic senior David Cornet took third place in both of his individual events, timing 1:55.91 in the 200 individual medley and a 47.62 in the 100 freestyle. Last year at the state tournament, he took eighth and sixth in those events, respectively. His times on Saturday would have beaten both of his state-meet times.
“I don’t think today could have gone any more perfectly,” Cornet said. “I really hadn’t been tapering, so going faster than both my times at states was amazing to me. I’m very happy with where I stand right now.”
Cornet will be joined by junior Mary Mazey, who took first place in the 100 breast stroke with a time of 1:08.63 in the girls’ meet. Like Boshkos, Mazey had something to prove from this time last year.
“Last year I missed the state meet by like two spots, so my goal was to really make the state meet because I was heartbroken last year,” Mazey said. “I can’t get my head wrapped around it, I’m still in shock I got first. Last year I was eighth and I didn’t get to stand on the podium, and now I’m on top of the podium.”
Ryan Lewis can be reached at email@example.com. 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.