The Cuyahoga Falls girls swimming and diving team finished second with 110 points at the six-team Walsh Jesuit Warrior Relay Meet Dec. 29 at the University of Akron's Ocasek Natatorium.

Walsh won the competition and Copley placed third (team scores were not available).

The host Lady Black Tigers also earned a hard-fought 97-86 victory over Northeast Ohio Conference River Division rival Brunswick Dec. 28. With the win, Falls improved to 2-0 in the division.

"We led from start to finish, but every single race was a fight," Lady Black Tigers head coach Peter Nauman said. "It was within a point or two all the way. Brunswick is the best team in our division. We had practice that morning and the kids came ready to swim."

At the Walsh Relays, two Falls' relay teams triumphed. The 200 medley team of Madison Marshall, Sam Nockengost, Abby Stratton and Dayanna Brunst placed first with a time of 2 minutes, 2.78 seconds.

Also winning was the 200 butterfly unit of Brunst, Erika Nockengost, Anna Nold and Stratton (2:01.84). Stratton and senior captain Ivy Brosch were named the team's performers of the meet.

"We had a tremendous meet," Nauman said. "Ivy stepped up and is a tremendous team leader. We had a lot of personal-best times. They swam like champions."

Against Brunswick, the Lady Black Tigers set 23 personal records. The 200 medley relay team got Falls off and running with a first-place time of 1:58.81. That team consisted of Marshall, Sam Nockengost, Brunst and Jenna Kassinger.

"The medley relay set the tone," Nauman said. "It gave us the lead we never lost. Brunswick had a lot of the better swimmers, but we had more depth."

The following Lady Black Tigers' swimmers and divers finished in the top three and the following Falls' relay teams won:

200 medley relay: Marshall, Sam Nockengost, Brunst and Kassinger, first, 1:58.81

200 freestyle: Marcy Spann, first, 2:01.84

200 individual medley: Natalie Hillyer, first, 2:23.64; and Sam Nockengost, second, 2:24.45

50 freestyle: Kassinger, second, 26.38

Diving: Erika Shane, first, 342.3 points; and Nicole Rozsa, second, 334.28

100 butterfly: Kassinger, first, 1:05.43; and Abby Stratton, second, 1:08.74

100 freestyle: Nold, third, 1:02.36

500 freestyle: Spann, first, 5:31.97; and Hillyer, second, 5:39.02

100 backstroke: Marshall, second, 1:09.64

"Allie Nockengost and Anna Nold had their best times ever in the 100 free," Nauman said. "In the 100 back, we took second, fourth and fifth. Marcy Spann swam her best time in the 200 free. Sam got her personal best in the 100 breast and had her best time by six seconds in the 200 IM. That's fast enough to make it to districts.

"Brunswick decided to go with 11 dives instead of six dives. It gave us a chance to get more experience in the championship format. Diving is always going to be our strength."

Nauman also believes his team got a huge boost from the boys team.

"[Falls head boys coach] Mike [McDonald] and the boys team really supported us, which was kind of neat," he said. "We wouldn't have won without their support."

Falls was scheduled to compete at the Northeast Ohio Conference Tournament Jan. 2 to 5 at Cleveland State University's Busbey Natatorium. Results were not available at press time.

The Black Tigers are set to visit NOC River Division rival Stow-Munroe Falls Jan. 11 at 6 p.m. They are scheduled to compete at the Northeast Ohio Classic Invitational Jan. 12 at Ocasek Natatorium. The action is set to begin at 9 a.m.


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