The new-look Suburban League held its swimming and diving championship meet Saturday inside the University of Akron’s Ocasek Natatorium with 15 schools.
The meet took on the look and feel of the postseason, and after 12 events in each gender, Hudson, Brecksville and Copley rose above the competition with the best teams.
Hudson won the girls title in the eight-team larger enrollment National Conference and Brecksville won the boys crown. Copley earned girls and boys titles in the seven-team smaller enrollment American Conference.
“There were so many people cheering all around, so this meet really reminded me of sectionals,” said Hudson junior Macy Trattner, who finished first in four events.
Hudson is in its first year in the new Suburban League following a run in the Northeast Ohio Conference, which formerly held its championship meet at Cleveland State.
Trattner won the 50-yard freestyle in 24.70 seconds and the 100 freestyle in 53.91. She was also a member of the Explorers’ first-place 200 freestyle relay (1:40.40) with juniors Brittan Ham and Natalie Gundling and freshman Maddie Hannan, and the first-place 400 freestyle relay (3:39.64) with Gundling and juniors Maggie Haas and Gaby Palazzo.
“I am really happy with how I performed,” Trattner said. “The competition really helps because this meet was so big. There are so many good swimmers here, so I knew I had to stick to my training and my race strategy.”
Hudson scored 591 points in the girls race, just ahead of North Royalton (303), Copley (297), Brecksville (270) and Cuyahoga Falls (251).
“This is the first step for us,” Hudson coach Matt Davis said. “Having our conference meet at the end of the season is kind of new for our program going into the new league.
“I think this was a good precursor to what we are going to do at sectionals in a couple of weeks. We will be at the same facility with a lot of the same teams and compete at the same time. This was a good rehearsal for the state tournament.”
Davis said his “kids have been training hard and are pretty tired,” but acknowledged “that is how it is at this point of the season.”
Hudson also won the 200 medley relay (1:52.74) with senior Kristin Dagley, junior Rachel Johnson, Palazzo and Ham, and Gundling took first in the 500 freestyle (5:20.75).
Highland sophomore Ashley Mennenga won two events — the 100 butterfly in 58.76 and the 100 backstroke in 57.24. North Royalton sophomore Anna Martin also won twice, touching first in the 200 individual medley (2:12.95) and the 100 breaststroke (1:06.15).
Brecksville senior Anna Coronel (200 freestyle, 1:57.58) and Twinsburg senior Madison Posk (1-meter diving, 450.05 points) rounded out the first-place girls.
Krusinski, Madej shine
Brecksville scored 479 points in the boys race, just ahead of Hudson (457.5), Copley (349.5), Wadsworth (253) and Tallmadge (207).
“This was an exciting meet,” Brecksville coach Mark Krusinski said. “A lot of our top-line swimmers swam what I thought they would swim and our other swimmers were OK. I thought we did a nice job. I really like the format. I like that we are doing the boys and girls together. It really keeps the team together. Our kids had a lot of fun with this versus breaking it into boys one day and girls another day.”
Bees senior Mark Krusinski Jr. and sophomore David Madej joined freshman Eric Chimes and senior Anthony Savena to win the 400 freestyle relay in 3:13.75.
Krusinski also won the 200 freestyle in 1:45.15, the 100 butterfly in 50.63 and the 200 freestyle relay in 1:27.53 with Savena and seniors Matthew Martin and Mike Lynch.
Madej joined sophomore Jack Krusinski, Martin and Lynch to win the 200 medley relay in 1:36.48, and took first in the 100 freestyle in 46.08 and the 100 backstroke in 51.78.
“We were here to have fun,” Mark Krusinski Jr. said. “We are really broken down. We are going hard at practice everyday, so as much as we wanted to do our best we knew we weren’t going to do our best. Everyone was here to have fun and race.”
In total, Brecksville won nine of the 12 boys events as Chimes won the 500 freestyle in 4:50.49 and Lynch won the 50 freestyle in 21.51.
“Looking at the guys like me, Mark, Matt Martin, Mike Lynch, guys like that, we will be tapering for state,” Madej said. “The big postseason meets are coming up. … We are all pushing each other and getting behind our teammates to race and have fun.”
Other boys who won an event were North Royalton sophomore Colton Phelps (200 individual medley, 1:59.75), Wadsworth junior Joseph Pavlak (100 breaststroke, 57.90) and Aurora’s Drew Albrecht (1-meter diving, 377.05 points).
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the #ABJVarsity high school blog at www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBeavenABJ.