Early in the season, the Stow-Munroe Falls swim team seem to have taken on coach Ryan Miller's personality: Smiles mixed with a lot of speed.
Stow opened the season Friday with a split against North Royalton at its home pool at Akron General Heath and Wellness-North. The boys defeated North Royalton 105-78, while the girls fell by a score of 105-78.
On Saturday, Miller took the Bulldogs to the Solon Relays, which was a meet he said primarily was "for fun." Facing a field that included state powers Hudson, Brecksville-Broadview Heights and St. Ignatius, Stow’s boys finished sixth in the eight-team meet with 70 points. Stow’s girls finished eighth with 50 points.
Finally, Stow closed out the opening week of the season with a trip to Wadsworth Wednesday. The Bulldog boys won the meet going away by a score of 127-58, while the girls meet finished in a 93-93 tie.
Stow’s boys record stands at 2-0, while the girls are 0-1-1.
"Overall, I’m really satisfied with the way we swam tonight," Miller said after the North Royalton meet. "I know we are just starting to work on some things. We have a lot of swimmers where this was their first meet at the high school level."
Bears coach Mike Milliken has some high praise for the Bulldogs after the meet.
"I’ve never seen a Stow team with this much speed this early in the season," Milliken said. "If they keep this up, they’re going to have a lot of guys at states. I wish we had a little bit more depth on the boys side of things.
The key to the Bulldog boys’ victory over North Royalton was depth and diving. While Stow won only three individual events vs. the Bears, the Bulldogs routinely scored second and third place finishes to limit the damage.
Stow also swept the diving scores, as North Royalton does not have any divers. Senior Isaiah Rahe won the boys diving even with 153.15 points. Stow’s Emily Schmidt won the girls diving event with 143.85 points.
Stow’s boys started well versus the Bears, as the team of Luke Novak, Simon Lumley, Alex Schoenberg and Matthew Johnson-Smyth won the 200-yard medley relay in 1:45.35.
Lumley also won the 100-yard breaststroke for Stow in 1:04.84.
"Overall, I could not be happier with the guys," Miller said. "We had some PRs [personal records] in the first week of the season, which is insane. We have so much support and so much potential."
In the girls races versus the Bears, Stow got a first-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle from senior Amy Vober in 25.27 seconds.
Freshman Evie Lewis scored her first high school win in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:33.22.
Against Wadworth, Stow made a bit of history. Senior Cornelius Cremer won the 500-yard freestyle in a time of 4:55.78, setting a new pool record in the 500 at the Wadsworth YMCA. Cremer also won the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:57.54.
Lewis also scored wins the 200 and 500 freestyle for the Bulldogs. She won the 200 in 2:04.07 and then set a pool record in the 500 in a time of 5:25.85.
Stow was set to swim at the Northwest Classic Saturday at 9 a.m. at Bowling Green State University.
The Bulldogs will face Nordonia next Friday at the Macedonia Recreation Center at 6 p.m.