Hard work and resiliency is paying off for the Nordonia High School boys and girls swimming and diving teams.
The Knights and Lady Knights are part of the National Division of the Suburban League, one of the most competitive divisions and leagues for scholastic sports in all of Northeast Ohio. Last week, the Lady Knights broke through with a victory against a division opponent.
Nordonia hosted Twinsburg at the Macedonia Recreation Center Jan. 20. The Lady Knights prevailed over the Lady Tigers by the score of 105.5-85.5. According to Nordonia head coach Claudio Costanzo, the win illustrates the progress that the squad has made since the start of the season.
"This was a big win for our girls," he said. "They (Twinsburg) beat us at the conference meet by 60 points."
Junior Christine McFarland led the way for the girls team, finishing first in a pair of individual events. She captured the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:01.04 and the 200 freestyle with an effort of 2:03.60.
McFarland was also part of two victorious relay units. The Lady Knights' 200 medley team placed first with a time of 2:01.64. The members of that contingent were McFarland, senior Claudia Gillota, junior Carmen Licht, and junior Stephanie Schueren.
The girls' 400 freestyle unit finished in first place with a time of 4:00.02. McFarland was the anchor on that squad. The other members were junior Amanda Westbrooks, Schueren, and Licht.
Like McFarland, Licht also captured a pair of individual events. She finished first in the 500 freestyle with a time of 27.15 and first in the 100 backstroke with an effort of 1:09.21.
Two other Lady Knights were first in individual events. They were Gillota in the 200 individual medley (2:37.65) and Westbrooks in the 500 freestyle (5:55.02).
Another Nordonia girls relay team finished in first place, the 200 freestyle unit (1:54.43). Among the members of that squad were sophomore Emma Kleismit, Gillota, sophomore Taylor Coppedge, and Westbrooks.
On the boys' side, the Knights fell to defeat against Twinsburg in a closely contested affair. The Tigers downed Nordonia by the score of 115-71.
Two Knights, junior Jared Toaz and sophomore Timmy Tomkovicz, finished first in a pair of individual events.
Toaz accomplished the feat in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:03.73 and the 200 individual medley with an effort of 2:00.80. Tomkovicz, on the other hand, was first in both the 100 butterfly (1:02.95) and the 100 backstroke (1:00.18).
Tomkovicz and Toaz were also part of the Knights' victorious 200 medley relay squad, which placed first with a time of 1:48.50. The other two members of that unit were junior Jared Schneider and sophomore Dominic Dasher.
Nordonia also competed in the Barberton Invitational at Barberton High School Jan. 21.
The Knights placed seventh with 204 points, while the Lady Knights finished in fourth place with 255 points. Nordonia ended up fourth in the overall standings with a combined total of 459 points.
Toaz set a new school record in the 100 backstroke at the Barberton Invitational. He finished second in the event with a time of 58.34.