BY YANEEK SMITH , BEACON CONTRIBUTOR
CANTON — Oak Harbor had one of its finest showings on its biggest stage, finishing fifth in the Division II state tournament.
The Rockets had the best performance of any public school in Ohio, finishing with 113 points. Gates Mills Hawken won its 22nd consecutive state title with 387 points. Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown was second with 260 points, the Columbus School for Girls finished with 133 points and Cincinnati Seven Hills had 129 points.
Port Clinton finished 16th with 39 points.
Elayna Krupp finished her stellar career with a tremendous performance, finishing fifth in the 100 freestyle in 52.40 seconds. Krupp was part of two relays that both finished in fourth place. The 200 free relay of Krupp, Alyse Sorg, Skyler Turner and Amelia Mizelle was fourth in 1:37.21 and the 400 free relay team of Turner, Sorg, Paige Krupp and Elayna Krupp also took fourth in 3:37.17. The 200 medley relay team of Turner, Mizelle, Emily Hair and Paige Krupp was eighth in 1:51.14.
Turner finished 12th in the 100 backstroke in 59.43.
“I really didn’t have any expectations. I hate to say that the goal and emphasis all season long is to get there. Obviously, we want to do better than the year before,” said Oak Harbor coach Andrea Sorg. “With three extra freshmen, I thought our relays could score really well after I crunched the numbers. I was surprised the medley relay got a medal. The team, and the way Elayna and Skyler performed, that was icing on the cake.”
It was the final performance for Krupp, who will leave the storied program as one of the best swimmers in program history.
“Elayna is a special kid, she holds a near and dear place to my heart. There are a lot of ways that she could be my adopted child,” said Sorg. “She may not always like what I gave her to do at practice, or the critiquing that I gave her, but she took it with a grain of salt. Here she is, and she swam out of her mind.
“I wouldn’t say she was disappointed with her performance at state as a junior, but it stuck with her. It kept her going, in addition to the teammates that pushed her to get where she was.
“I would say Elayna is probably in the top three or four in program history. Lindsay Lange had Olympic-qualifying times in high school and swam at Purdue. Kelly Van Horn went on to swim at the University of Arkansas and then at University of Toledo.”
The Redskins had four individuals score points and one relay finished 10th.
Kami Periat was 10th in the 100 butterfly (58.17), Brigitte Schroeder finished 12th in the diving competition with 367.75 points, Alaina Dackermann finished 13th with 363.40 points, Carlie Blaesing was 15th in the 100 free (54.77) and the 200 free relay team of Periat, Blaesing, Gabbi Porter and Zoey Barr was 10th in 1:41.26.
On the boys side, Gates Mills Hawken won with 228 points, Port Clinton was 18th with 40 points and Oak Harbor finished 46th with eight points.
Logan Brown led the Redskins with a 15th-place finish in the 200 free (1:46.43) and a 19th-place finish in the 500 free (4:53.74). Ryan Zam was 20th in the 100 butterfly (53.83).
Brown joined Noah Shaw, Carter Blaesing and Garrett Hirt to finish seventh in the 200 free relay (1:29.97) and was part of a quartet with Zam, Hirt and Blaesing that was 10th in the 400 free relay (3:18.69).
The Rockets had two relay teams place. The 200 medley relay team of Karter Lajti, Karson Lajti, Troy Metcalf, Eli Sherman were 13th in 1:40.28 and the same quartet was 21st in the 400 free relay in 3:24.98.
“They came in ranked 15th in the medley and finished 13th, which is good enough for All-Ohio honors, and the 400 free relay team held. They swam well,” said Sorg. “I wasn’t sure about what to expect, but they certainly exceeded expectations.”