CANTON — The girls swim team from North Canton Hoover acts as if the pool at C.T. Branin Natatorium is some kind of headquarters.

Having placed second in last year’s state meet here, the Vikings took a giant step toward a marvelous encore by winning the Division I sectional in the same pool.

Hoover left a huge gap Saturday between itself (547 points) and runner-up Jackson (350), which in turn left a canyon between itself and the rest of the field (third-place Wooster came in at 228).

“It’s a steppingstone to the district and state meets,” said Hoover senior Parker Timken, who won two events and anchored two winning relays. “I knew we were going to swim fast here. I can’t wait to see what happens the next two weeks.”

Hoover coach Mark Rogers’ head is spinning. He and his wife, Christie, welcomed their first child, Ruby Marie, last week, as the Vikings launched into a postseason of great expectations.

“This is a fast team,” Rogers said, “and it’s exciting.”

The Hoover boys proved just as fast, cruising to the team title with 473.5 points. Jackson edged Boardman 336-334.5 for second.

The girls meet opened with Hoover (1:46.55) and Jackson (1:48.91) both surpassing the previous sectional record in the medley relay and finishing far ahead of third-place Green (1:56.07).

Hoover’s lineup (Paige South backstroke, Maya Lewis breaststroke, Timken butterfly and Caroline Ehlers freestyle) is sure to attract the notice of other Ohio coaches with designs on a state title in the event. Jackson’s group (Janine Murphy, Amanda Dial, Sloan Hawkins, Christina Paliyannis) put up a good fight.

The 200 freestyle brought an exciting race among Hoover’s Brooke Boske (2:00.5), Hoover’s Reagan St. Clair (2:00.39) and Jackson’s Paliyannis (2:00.71).

The Hoover-Jackson theme was conspicuous in the individual medley. Jackson’s Dial won, and her teammates Samantha Schilling and Hanna Sausaman placed fifth and sixth. Hoover’s Lewis and Eden Seccombe finished second and third.

Hoover showed why it is a contender to repeat its 2018 state championship in the 200 freestyle relay via the open 50 free, in which 55 swimmers raced. Four of the top nine (Timken, Ehlers, Lily Mullens, Raeli Blandine) were from Hoover. Timken (sectional-record 23.37) and Ehlers (23.71) placed one-two.

In the 200 free relay, Hoover won by four seconds with the quartet of Ehlers, Reagan St. Clair, Raeli Blandine and Timken.

Timken, state runner-up in the 100 last year, breezed to sectional gold in the 100 (51.84). Ehlers (53.25) and Murphy (53.40) waged a close race for second place.

The Jackson freshman, Murphy, then turned some heads by setting a meet record in the 100 backstroke (57.69). Hoover senior Kate Lochridge was second, just ahead of teammate Caitlin Cronin.

“That was a really good race,” Jackson coach Megan Burrows said. “I was hoping she got under a minute, just to get through to district. To set a sectional record (57.69) is amazing.”

Lochridge and Jackson sophomore Sloan Hawkins placed two-three in the butterfly, and Hoover’s Lewis won the 100 breaststroke, ahead of Jackson’s Dial and Hoover’s Bailey Rinkes.

Jackson had plenty of bright moments and second places in both the girls and boys team races.

“The kids were amazing,” Burrows said. “Seeing so many times drops and personal bests. I’m so proud of these kids and and how awesome they did.”

On the boys side, the Vikings got rolling with a sectional-record 1:35.97 in the medley relay with junior Christopher O’Connor, sophomore Karl Helmuth, senior William Schneider and Stevens finishing well ahead of runner-up Boardman’s 1:41.84.

O’Connor later breezed to a win in the 100 backstroke. Helmuth won the 100 breaststroke by a wide margin. Schneider placed second in the 100 butterfly.

Senior Vince Stevens clipped Jackson's Ted Kinney by one one-hundredth of a second (0:21.48-0:21.49) in the 50-yard freestyle, and anchored Hoover’s winning 200 freestyle relay with a crisp 20.99 split.

Hoover later won the 200 freestyle relay with Helmuth, Schneider, sophomore Mack Lochridge and Stevens.

Jackson sophomore Aiden Neuman won the individual medley, ahead of Perry junior Jacob Vereb and Hoover freshman Ryan Ehlers. Neuman also placed second in the backstroke.

Green, which placed fourth in the boys team race, snagged third place in the medley relay (Mason Doerrer, Daniel Poletta, Parker Doerrer, Eric Rohweder). Doerrer edged GlenOak junior Braden Knoch 22.40-22.43 for third place in the 50 free.

GlenOak took second in the 200 free with Knoch, junior Richard Chenault, senior Ryan Meister and junior Justin Knoch. Hoover junior Trent Napholz took a second in the 500 freestyle.