CANTON: Brecksville-Broadview Heights finished up a storybook season in second place Saturday in the 89th annual Division I boys swimming and diving state meet at C.T. Branin Natatorium.
Powerhouse program Cincinnati St. Xavier continued its reign over the sport as expected, but Brecksville’s rise to runner-up was impressive.
Sophomore David Madej and senior Mark Krusinski Jr. led Brecksville to 179 points. St. Xavier won its 37th team state title with 398 points.
“This is the highest team place in the history of our program,” Bees coach Mark Krusinski Sr. said. “I think our previous best was last year when we were seventh.
“It is really about those four boys that are on those relays that are just magic. Relays count for double points, and they really just rise to the occasion. I am so proud of them.”
Madej won the 100-yard freestyle in 44.31 seconds, took third in the 50 freestyle in 20.60 seconds and was a member of the Bees’ triumphant 200 freestyle relay and second-place 400 freestyle relay.
“This is more than I ever could have asked for,” Madej said. “I am not going to take any credit for myself. It was all the team. It was all coaches. It was all the friendships I have made that have pushed me through and brought me to this moment right here. I am ecstatic, and I know everyone else is.”
Brecksville won the 200 freestyle relay in a meet-record time of 1:21.78 with seniors Mark Krusinski, Mike Lynch and Matt Martin, and sophomore Madej. St. Xavier finished second in the event (1:22.62), Columbus St. Charles took third (1:23.22) and Cleveland St. Ignatius was fourth (1:24.84).
“St. X hadn’t lost that relay for 14 years until last year when we beat them [in the state meet],” Krusinski Sr. said. “And we were two-tenths of a second off of the national record today. That time we have is second in the country [to a high school in California].”
Krusinski Jr. placed second in the 200 butterfly in 48.72 and Martin touched the wall third in the event in 49.07.
The Bees concluded the evening with a second-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay in 3:02.09 with Krusinski, Lynch, Martin and Madej. St. Xavier won the race in 3:01.34.
“This was the most fun I have ever had in my whole life,” said Krusinski Jr., an Eastern Michigan University recruit. “I was here to compete and have fun, and that is exactly what I did. It was a plus that we got the [200 freestyle relay] record. I had a good time here and I am sad that I am leaving this atmosphere that I have been in for four years.”
Krusinski Sr., a former swimmer and diver at Cuyahoga Heights High School and Cleveland State University, hugged his swimmers as the evening closed.
Green senior Dominic Poletta finished second in the 50 freestyle in 20.52 seconds to Grove City senior Kalvin Koethke, who won the event in a state meet-record 19.97.
North Canton Hoover senior Justin Richards was fifth in the 50 freestyle (21.04) and Strongsville senior DJ Arslanian finished fifth in the 100 butterfly (49.52).
Cameron Thatcher of Powell Olentangy Liberty won the diving title with 633.80 points. Canton McKinley’s Tyler Brezina took 10th with 422.90 points.
St. Charles (154), Centerville (151) and Upper Arlington (138) rounded out the top five teams. Hoover scored 75 points for ninth and Green was 10th with 59.5 points.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the #ABJVarsity high school blog at www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBeavenABJ.