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The Stow-Munroe Falls boys and boys swim team qualified several swimmers, who competed in the OHSAA district championships at Busbey Natatorium at Cleveland State University Feb. 14 to 16.
"It was a great day for our Stow swimmers at districts," said Stow coach Dan Reese. "Our kids have worked so hard this season and have accomplished so much. Districts was a chance to go out swimming best or close to best times and having a lot of fun. Our boys medley relay set the tone for our entire district meet. Right off the bat, we were swimming our fastest times."
Senior Jacob Earle came into the meet hoping to break the minute barrier in the 100 breaststroke and make it to the state meet. Earle swam to a time of 59.95 seconds and finished in sixth place.
After the results were in from the other district meets, Earle's time was the 25th fastest in Ohio in Division I. The top 24 go to the state meet.
"Jacob was the first person in our school's history to break a minute in the 100 breaststroke," said coach Reese. "This is a terrific accomplishment. His time put him 25th in the state, with the top 24 getting a chance to compete in Canton at the state meet. A 59 will get you out most years, but this year proved to be a very fast year in the state of Ohio." Earle had a goggle malfunction during his start, as his goggles filled with water during his race.
"Under those conditions and to still have your best swim ever says a lot about Jacob," stated Coach Reese. "He's a great kid and a competitor and he didn't want to lose this opportunity to do his best."
Earle plans on swimming at the collegiate level, but is still undecided as to where.
Junior Cody Vantrease came into the district championships with two goals in the 200 freestyle. One was to make podium and the other was to get to states. Vantrease finished in seventh place, but came up short on his run for the state meet.
"The southwest district is loaded with fast 200 freestylers, so I knew it would be tough to make states, " said Vantrease. "I dropped 4 seconds and amazed even myself so I was pretty excited. After the race I looked up into the stands and saw my mom and dad. My mom was in tears so that made my day to see her happy for me."
"I was very excited for Cody to have success at this meet, he attacked all of his races aggressively and it paid off," Reese said.
Vantrease also swam in the 100 freestyle finishing 11th with a time of 48.49.
Stow's 400 freestyle relay team came in looking to surprise some teams.
With several of the swimmers having their best splits of the season they finished in eighth place and earned a medal. The team of Vantrease, senior Cameron Potter, junior Justine Faluotico and Earle hammered home their best time of 3:19.97.
"Our boys 400 free relay swam great, getting on the podium at the northeast district meet is an incredible accomplishment," Reese said.
Faluotico swam in the 200 freestyle finishing 28th with a 1:54.62.
Potter swam the 100 freestyle finishing 22nd with a 50.89 and in the 50 freestyle finishing 16th with a 22.71.
The 200 medley relay team of sophomore Shane Riddle, Earle, Vantrease and Potter finished 11th with a time of 1:43.05.
Meanwhile, the Stow girls team sent seven swimmers to the district meet.
The 400 freestyle relay team of sophomore Kelsey Wenk, junior Tori McCauley, sophomore Kelly Vantrease and junior Lindsey Adkins earned a top ten finish placing 9th with a time of 3:45.52.
"Each swimmer had terrific splits and fast turns to finish with their best time of the season," said Reese.
The 200 freestyle relay finished 12th overall with a time of 1:41.99.
"Our girls 200 free relay swam terrific," said coach Reese. "That relay really came together late in the season."
Wenk finished in 14th place in the 100 freestyle with a 54.94 seconds and in 15th place in the 100 backstroke with a 1:01.56. Junior Jenni Heid went a 1:11.31 in the 100 breaststroke placing 17th. Heid also swam the 100 butterfly finishing 22nd with a time of 1:03.64.
Junior Ainsley Wilbur finished 20th with a 2:19.92 in the 200 individual medley and placed 24th in the 500 freestyle with a 5:30.76.
Vantrease finished 30th in the 500 freestyle with a 5:34.10 and 37th in the 200 IM with a 2:25.49.
McCauley finished 23rd in the 100 freestyle with a 55.71 and 21st in the 200 freestyle with a 2:01.35.
The 200 freestyle relay team of Heid, McCauley, Vantrease and Wenk went a 1:41.91 to finish 12th place.
"I am so proud of this district team. It isn't easy to keep swimming when half of the team is already done, but they stayed focused and it showed," Resse said.