BY YANEEK SMITH, BEACON CONTRIBUTOR
OAK HARBOR — For the third year in a row, the Port Clinton girls swim team is the champion of the Sandusky Bay Conference Lake Division.
The Redskins won the meet in convincing fashion and set a number of records along the way, finishing with 291 points, well ahead of Sandusky, which was second with 156 points, followed by Perkins (126), Tiffin Columbian (48), Vermilion (23) and Norwalk (12).
It is the fourth league championship for the program under the leadership of Danny Diaz.
“I was super excited. This was the third year in a row that we won (the championship),” said Diaz, now in his 21st season coaching the team. “We set a few Lake Division meet records, and I was extremely pleased.”
Led by diver Alaina Dackerman, a three-time state qualifier named the Lake Division Performer of the Meet, Port Clinton won all three relay events and seven individual events.
Dackerman finished first in the one-meter diving competition with 377.90 points. Kami Periat won the 50-meter freestyle (24.46 seconds) and the 100 butterfly (59.73), the latter event by over five seconds. Carlie Blaesing won two events as well, finishing first in the 200 individual medley in 2 minutes, 18.92 seconds, and taking first in the 100 free in 54.77.
Alexa Taylor was first in the 500 free in 5:51.52, finishing just ahead of teammate Katie Rodgers (5:55:93), who was second, and Hannah Cross (6:07.31), who was fourth. Taylor also took fourth in the 200 IM, finishing in 2:33.78. Cross, meanwhile, was third in the 200 free in 2:13.72.
The other winner was Gabbi Porter, who took first in the 100 breaststroke in 1:12.31. She was also third in the 100 fly in 1:10.07.
Zoey Barr was second in the 100 free (1:00.31) and fourth in the 200 free (2:13.75), Haylie Sewell was second in the 50 free (27.73), Alyssa Diaz was second in the 100 backstroke (1:08.71) and Brigitte Schroeder was second in the diving competition (364.20).
Emily Holcomb was third in the 100 backstroke (1:09.31), Davie Avis finished fourth in two events — the 50 free (28.20) and the 100 free (1:02.13) — Claire Snyder was fourth in the 100 fly (1:17.84), Emma Gottron was fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:23.56) and Lydia Boykin took fourth in the 100 backstroke (1:13.58).
The 200 medley relay team of Diaz, Porter, Periat and Blaesing won in 1:55.07, finishing more than 15 seconds ahead of the next team; the 200 free relay team (Blaesing, Sewell, Barr and Periat) came in first in 1:43.63; and Barr, Cross, Taylor and Diaz took first in the 400 free relay in 4:04.97.
“When the league meet happens, it’s kind of right in the middle of our training, about 3 to 4 weeks away from sectionals,” said Diaz. “It’s a great indication of things that hopefully will come.”
Oak Harbor Girls win Bay Division
The Oak Harbor girls team won the Bay Division with 268 points, well ahead of Margaretta, which was second with 180. Willard placed third with 88 points, followed by St. Mary Central Catholic (68), Huron (36), Gibsonburg (17) and Tiffin Calvert (6).
It is the sixth league championship for Andrea Sorg, now in her 18th season coaching the team.
“The girls team is rather strong, we have some seasoned veterans and a big group of freshmen that have made a lot of noise,” said Sorg. “It’s been fun to move them around, but it’s also made it difficult to figure out where I’m going to put them at the end of the year.
“They come into practice every day knowing they have a job to do, and they have all banded together to push each other. The camaraderie on this team is not something that you have a lot of on a female team. They really support each other and are there to cheer each other on in practice, in the weight room and in meets.”
Senior Elayna Krupp, a three-time state qualifier, was named the Performer of the Meet for her efforts, winning two individual events — the 50 free (24.72) and the 100 fly (1:02.80) — and two relays. She won the 200 free relay with Skyler Turner, Amelia Mizelle and Alyse Sorg in 1:41.06 and the 400 free relay with the same trio in 3:49.37.
“She swam rather well, she swam strong. She did what she set out to do,” said Andrea Sorg. “She won the Bay division in all four of her events — the 100 fly, 50 free and the two relays. She has qualified for state in four events as a sophomore and junior and in three events as a freshman.”
Turner was fantastic in her individual events, winning the 100 backstroke in 1:03.33 and the 200 IM in 2:23.98. Sorg, a freshman, won the 200 free in an impressive 2:06.10, followed by teammates Marissa Mapes, who was second in 2:13.68, and Abby Beehler, who took fourth in 2:20.23. Beehler was also second in the 500 free in 6:19.07 and Mapes was third in the 100 free in 1:02.50.
Emily Haar was second in two events, the 100 breaststroke (1:16.48) and the 100 fly (1:12.31). Mizelle was second in the 200 IM (2:30.37) and third in the 100 breaststroke (1:17.68); Sydney Overmyer finished second in the 100 free (1:02.44) and was fourth in the 100 backstroke (1:12.52); Paige Krupp took third in the 50 free (26.71) and the 100 backstroke (1:06.50); Amanda Clark placed fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:21.19); and Abigail Smith was fourth in the 500 free (6:33.45).
Rocket Boys capture Bay Division
The Rocket boys won the Bay Division with 243 points, and Huron was second with 164. Margaretta took third with 113 points, followed by SMCC (93), Willard (30) and Calvert (4).
“We have a pretty solid group of boys,” said Andrea Sorg. “They train rather hard. We have a couple of kids that are energizer bunnies, and they push the rest of the team to work hard as well.”
Oak Harbor had just one individual, Troy Metcalf, finish first in an individual event, plus two relay teams that came in first. Metcalf won the 100 free in 50.08, and he teamed with Karter Lajti, Karson Lajti and Eli Sherman to finish first in the 200 medley relay in 1:46.20. The same quartet won the 400 free relay in 3:30.48. Metcalf was also second in the 50 free in 22.72.
Karter Lajti finished second in the 200 IM (2:11.48), followed by Karson Lajti, who took third in 2:13.23. Karson Lajti was second in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.40) and Karter Lajti took third in the 100 backstroke in 59.72.
Nathan Buderer finished second in the 100 fly (1:01.85) and third in the 200 free (2:03.01), John Aston placed second in the 200 free (2:01.26), Sherman was third in the 100 free (55.30) and fourth in the 50 free (24.79), Malachi Kennedy took third in the 100 fly (1:03.23) and fourth in the 100 backstroke (1:01.32), Keegan Witt was third in the 100 breaststroke (1:11.22), Spencer Heintz took fourth in two events — the 500 free (5:45.00) and the 100 breaststroke (1:15.30) — and Brady Wallerman was fourth in the 100 free (57.70).
“We’re at the point, the same as with the girls, where we’ve gotta figure out and finalize what events everyone is going to go to at the end of the season. We have a strong group that is working toward the goal of getting to the next level at districts or state,” said Sorg. “We did lose a number of senior boys, but they have stepped up nicely.”
The Redskin boys took second in the Lake Division behind Perkins. The Pirates won with 222 points, and Port Clinton finished with 173 points. Sandusky was third with 66 points, followed by Norwalk (60), Vermilion (44), Tiffin Columbian (25) and Clyde (14).
Logan Brown had the best showing of any Redskin, winning two individual events and helping the 200 free relay team come in first as well. Brown won the 200 free in 1:48.64 and the 500 free in 4:57.58, and teamed with Noah Shaw, Carter Blaesing, and Garrett Hirt to win the 200 free relay in 1:31.07. Shaw had a good showing in individual events as well, coming in first in the 100 backstroke (59.99) and second in the 500 free (5:07.44). Hirt was second in the 50 free (23.17) and third in the 100 free (51.03) and Blaesing was second in the 200 IM (2:13.63).
“I thought it was a phenomenal accomplishment. Perkins has an amazing program,” said Diaz. “Our boys swam their hearts out, and I’m very proud of our guys. Logan Brown set a few meet records, including a new 500 free record for the program. It was an old record, and it was the last record we needed to break on the boys side.
“The boys team, I think they’re in a very similar position to the girls. We’re training them and tapering them. The SBC meet is a very good indicator for us as we look forward to the end of the season. We can tell the kids that the morning practices and the three-hour afternoon practices, the hard work pays off. Let’s buckle down and finish strong.”