They were missing some of their top swimmers due to a very important obligation.

They also were missing several other athletes due to illness.

But Nordonia head boys and girls swimming and diving coach Claudio Costanzo said it best when it comes to the Explorers and Lady Explorers.

"They're a powerhouse," Costanzo said.

Both Hudson teams improved to 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the Suburban League National Conference after posting convincing victories over Nordonia Thursday at East Woods Elementary School's Ada Cooper Miller Natatorium in Hudson.

The girls cruised to a 124-59 win and the boys posted a 122-62 win.

The Nordonia boys dropped to 1-1 overall and 1-1 in the conference and the Lady Knights dropped to 0-2 overall and 0-2 in the conference.

What made Hudson's wins even more impressive was that both teams were missing several talented athletes.

Team members Paige McCormick, Maddie Hannan, Mackenzie DeWitt, Giovanna Cappabianca, Jay Johnson, Jacob Tuckerman, Caleb Tuckerman and Liam Clarke did not attend the meet because they competed at the Junior Nationals in Knoxville, Tenn. Head coach Matt Davis also was in Knoxville.

"They always have depth," Costanzo said of his teams' rivals. "We won some events, but it's hard to compete when they're taking second, third and fourth.

"We just wanted our kids to have good swims and they did."

The most competitive race was the boys 200 freestyle. Nordonia senior Jared Toaz edged out Hudson senior Dylan Ruscin by a nose.

Toaz, a returning state qualifier, took first in 2 minutes, 4.36 seconds and Ruscin placed second in 2:04.56.

Toaz also won the 100 backstroke by more than three seconds (1:04.09) and joined juniors Tommy Tomkovicz and Dominic Dasher and senior Jared Schneider on the winning 200 medley relay (1:58.42).

Schneider added a victory in the 50 freestyle (26.94).

Senior Christina McFarland, a returning state qualifier, won two events for the Lady Knights.

She triumphed in the 200 individual medley (2:31.1) and the 400 freestyle (4:53.06).

"We're expecting Jared and Christina to get back to state," Costanzo said. "We're hoping a boys relay and maybe a few other individuals can get there, too."

Senior Amanda Westbrooks captured first in the 100 butterfly in 1:14.67 and junior diver Harlequinn Bodziony placed first with 172.2 points for Nordonia.

Tomkowicz took second in the 200 IM (2:27.32) and the 400 freestyle (4:40.75).

The Lady Knights got second-place times from senior Stephanie Schueren in the 50 freestyle (32.17) and junior Taylor Coppedge in the 100 breaststroke (1:35.22).

Taking third for the Nordonia boys were Schneider in the 100 freestyle (1:00.13), junior Jason Lewicki in the diving competition (138.97), Dasher in the 100 backstroke (1:10.56) and senior Matt Crawford in the 100 breaststroke (1:20.59).

Schueren captured third in the 100 freestyle (1:10.42) and junior Melanie Laviano added a third in the 200 freestyle (2:43.28).

Both teams are scheduled to compete at the Viking Invitational Dec. 8 at Cleveland State University.

They are set to host National Conference rival Stow-Munroe Falls Dec. 15 at 6 p.m.


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