The Stow Munroe Falls swimming and diving squads ended their dual meet season with wins over Medina Highland and a spilt decision with North Royalton.
In its final home meet Jan. 24 Stow scored two big victories, as the girls defeated the Hornets 111-71, while the boys scored a 248-118 victory.
"It was nice to finish out last home meet with a victory on both sides." said Stow head coach Dan Reese
"The swimmers did a lot more weight conditioning this year, which has paid off later in our season," said Bulldog assistant coach Jen Wintrow. "They have improved throughout the season, posting many personal bests along the way."
In the girls' meet, freshman Elysia Gabbas planned her first-place winning 100 butterfly.
"We were told that Highland's top flier won her last race by a length," Gabbas said. "I decided to pace myself and spread out my effort. I kept close to her for three lengths. In the final 25 yards, I start to gain. The race was close, but I came out ahead."
Sophomore Kayla Engle won the 200-yard individual medley and placed second in the 100 breaststroke. She was upbeat about the season's effort.
"Putting in the work every day at practice has made this one of our better seasons. Everyone has worked hard and it showed," Engle said.
Also taking firsts were Samantha Houk in both the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke and Amy Vober in the 100 free. Amanda Kimble placed first in 1-meter diving.
Winning the 200 free relay was the quartet of Vober, Engle, Lizzie Cole and Samantha Huddleston.
In the boys' races, the Bulldogs began the meet with a solid win in the 200 medley relay with the team of Cory Cremer, Simon Lumley, Jason Walsh and Matt Johnson-Smyth.
Stow also dominated the 200 free relay (Cremer, Kyle Banner, Johnson-Smyth, Lumley) and the 400 free relay (Johnson-Smyth, Justin Sparr, Banner, Walsh).
Cremer won both the 200- and 500-yard free, while Walsh collected top prize in the 100 fly. Lumley placed first in both the 50 free and 100 free. Isaiah Rahe won the one-meter diving.
Freshman Caleb Myers won the 200 individual medley, followed by Banner and Justin Dyer, second and third, respectively.
"I wanted to swim well because it was our last home meet. I was seeded high, so I was determined to go faster for the win," Myers said.
In their last dual meet of the season Jan. 27 at North Royalton, Stow's girls lost a tight one 117-111, while the Bulldog boys outpaced the opposing Bears 147-139.
"the team did a good job overall, with lots of fast times to finish out the season," Reese said.
Amy Vober once again captured first place in the 100 free plus took first in the 200 free.
Also in the girls' competition, Huddleston clocked the win in the 50 free and a respectable second in the 500 free.
Numbers mattered in this meet, as the Bulldog ladies captured many seconds and thirds to add to the score. Stow was second in two relays; Houk, Engle, Vober and Huddleston in the 200 medley; and Vober, Engle, Rachel Lumley and Huddleston in the 200-yard free relay.
The boys team was paced by Alex Schoenberg, first in the 50 free and second in the 100 fly.
Schoenberg, who has submitted strong performances throughout the season, explained his work strategy. "A lot of hard work has gone into my season. Every day, I look for another swimmer who is close in speed to me and try to outswim him."
Also turning in a strong effort was Cremer, first in the 100 free and second in the 200 free.
The Bulldog boys scored second-place points in all three relays; the 200 medley (Cremer, Banner, Schoenberg, Johnson-Smyth); the 200 free (Cremer, Johnson-Smyth, Walsh, Schoenberg); and 400 free (Kevin Houk, Myers, Sparr, Banner).
Stow opens the postseason at the Division I sectional meet this week at the University of Akron. Diving competition will be Feb. 8 and 9 with swimming on Feb. 11 at the University of Akron's Ocasek Natatorium.
"Sectionals will be bigger times drops for our swimmers than they have ever seen. I'm proud of them," Winhrow said.