It came down to the very end, but Tallmadge sophomore Alex Krukemeyer edged out Gunnar Meyer, one of Aurora's top swimmers, by a little more than a half second to win the 200-meter individual medley Jan. 25 in a Suburban League American Conference meet at Hiram College.
Krukemeyer's time was 2 minutes, 46.33 seconds.
"Alex had an amazing race," Tallmadge head boys and girls coach Ryan Miller. "You could tell he was hurting, but on that last 25, he just put his head down, toughed it out and really brought it home."
Team-wise, the Blue Devils defeated the Greenmen 116-47 in finishing the regular season with a 7-3 overall record and a 3-3 American Conference mark. The Tallmadge girls finished 3-7 overall and 0-6 in the conference after suffering a 131-52 defeat.
Krukemeyer had a stellar meet. He finished third in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:19.14. Sophomore Nick Sabetta won the event with a time of 1:09.41.
Krukemeyer and Sabetta joined senior Keith Oyler and junior Ryan Riter to win the 200 medley relay with a time of 2:12.54. Krukemeyer also combined with Stevenor, junior Kyle Wilbur and sophomore Jarod Shumaker to win the 400 freestyle relay, clocking in at 4:58.89.
Sabetta won the 400 freestyle with a time of 5:01.33. Freshman Andrew Nelson finished third (5:49.46).
Oyler won the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:23.84. Sophomore Cole Neupert placed third (2:34.83). Oyler also won the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:14.58. Shumaker was second (1:20.58).
Riter won the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:21.19. Nelson finished third (1:38.76).
In the 100 freestyle, Wilbur finished first with a time of 1:04.82. Neupert placed third (1:08.75).
Riter, Oyler, Wilbur and Sabetta won the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:57.39.
Shumaker won the 50 freestyle, clocking in at 29.67. Wilbur took third (30.19).
Riter was runner-up in the 1-meter diving competition with a score of 172.95 points. Junior Nathan Blaser finished third (104.1) and Josh Stevenor placed third (3:06.04) in the 200 IM.
On the girls' side, freshman Isabelle Davis won the 200 freestyle in a photo finish, edging out Aurora's Elizabeth Barto by little more than a half second. Davis' time was 2:47.29.
"Isabelle showed a lot of heart," said Miller.
Sophomore Maddie Parry finished second in the 200 IM with a time of 3:19.95. Freshman Angelina Norris placed third (3:27.91). Parry also was runner-up in the 100 freestyle with a time of 1:19.72.
Norris finished second in the 100 backstroke, clocking in at 1:30.26.
In the 50 freestyle, senior Alyssa Yamokoski placed third with a time of 31.9.
Sophomore Miranda Sally took third in the 1-meter diving with a score of 125.62.
Four days earlier, on January 21, Tallmadge competed in the 10-team Barberton Invitational at the University of Akron's Ocasek Natatorium.
The Blue Devil boys finished fifth with 214.5 points.
Walsh Jesuit won the meet with 400.5 points. Stow-Munroe Falls was second with 371 points and Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy was third with 258 points.
Senior Justyn Rhine won the 100 butterfly with a time of 56.73. Sabetta finished sixth (1:00.89). Rhine also placed third in the 50 freestyle with a time of 23.7.
Rhine and Sabetta joined Oyler and Riter to finished sixth in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:51.47. The same four swimmers combined to also finish sixth in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:39.82.
Riter finished fifth in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:00.17. He was eighth in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:11.08.
Oyler placed seventh in the 100 backstroke, clocking in at 1:05.15.
In the 200 IM, Sabetta took eighth with a time of 2:23.04.
The Lady Blue Devils finished ninth with 41 points.
Walsh Jesuit won the meet with 447 points. Stow-Munroe Falls was second with 349 points and Highland took third with 286 points.
Both the boys and girls swimmers are off for a while and will be training for the Akron Division II sectional meet Feb. 10 at noon in Ocasek Natatorium. The divers are off until the district meet a week later at Cleveland State University.