Nordonia swimmer Christina McFarland came within a whisker of being a double winner in the Suburban League Championships Jan. 6 at The University of Akron. The 1-meter diving was held the day before at Twinsburg.
McFarland, a senior, won the National Conference’s 100-yard backstroke with a time of 59.08 seconds. She was the only swimmer to break the minute mark.
In the 100 butterfly, McFarland led the entire way except for the last stroke, finishing second with a time of 57.95, just .07 behind Hudson’s Giovanna Cappabianca. Amanda Westbrooks, McFarland’s classmate, finished 11th (1:06.33).
"Christina had a good swim in the 100 backstroke. It wasn’t her best time ever, but it was good enough to win," said Nordonia head coach Claudio Costanzo. "She probably could have won the 100 butterfly as well. She just got punched out at the end.
"It’s hard to say why she lost without seeing some kind of replay. It looked like she probably won, but when they go under water, you can’t really see. I don’t know if she took one too many breaths or just didn’t finish hard enough.
"Christina actually wasn’t real happy with either of her times. She was a little disappointed that she wasn’t feeling well with a sore back, but we’re happy with where she is. She’s working hard."
Overall, Nordonia finished eighth with 136 points.
Hudson won the meet with 517.50 points. Brecksville-Broadview Heights was second (421) and North Royalton came in third (251).
"The girls did about as well as they could," Costanzo said. "We brought a lot of young kids with us. We had a few girls who were just outside of scoring points, and some of them probably had some of the best times they’ve ever had. So we’re seeing a lot of improvement."
Junior Harlequinn Bodziony finished fifth (257.25) in the 1-meter diving.
McFarland teamed with her classmate, Stephanie Schueren, and juniors Taylor Coppedge and Emma Kleismit to place seventh (2:07.06) in the 200 medley relay.
McFarland, Westbrooks, Kleismit and Schueren combined to take seventh (4:07.04) in the 400 freestyle relay.
Also finishing seventh (1:55.53) was the team of Westbrooks, Coppedge, Schueren and freshman Caroline Orzechowski in the 200 freestyle relay.
Westbrooks placed 10th (2:14.74) in the 200 freestyle.
"Amanda has been swimming real strong," said the coach. "She’s ahead of where she was last year at this point. She should have a good month-and-a-half coming up."
The Knights’ boys team finished fifth with 202 points.
Hudson won the meet with 493 points. Brecksville-Broadview Heights was runner-up (474) and Stow-Munroe Falls was third (268).
"We were real happy with the boys’ overall finish," Costanzo said. "We’ve got a really small team when it comes to numbers, so those guys scoring that many points is great.
"The boys had a nice, solid meet. They’ve worked real hard over the last two weeks with two-a-day practices and a lot of time in the water. To see them swim as well as they did, we were pretty happy."
Senior Jared Toaz set a school record in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:56.72. Matt Crawford, his classmate, finished 16th (5:32.99).
"Jared swam really well," said Costanzo. "He’d been a little sick the last couple of weeks, but he overcame and had a solid performance."
Toaz also placed sixth (1:50.69) in the 200 freestyle.
Junior Timmy Tomkovicz finished fourth (2:08.50) in the 200 individual medley. He also placed sixth (57.50) in the 100 backstroke. Senior Jared Schneider was 10th (1:00.61).
"Timmy is really stepping up this year, way ahead of where he was last year at this point," Costanzo said. "Seeing him come out with a lot of points was real nice to see."
Tomkovicz, Toaz and Schneider teamed with junior Dominic Dasher to finish fourth (1:44.61) in the 200 medley relay.
In the 1-meter diving, senior Matthew Gerhart finished sixth (277.40), junior Jason Lewicki placed seventh (251.15), freshman Joey Wahl was 14th (129.90) and junior Tyler Mosher took 15th (129.00).
Dasher finished sixth in both the 50 freestyle (23.07) and 100 freestyle (51.28). Schneider was 12th (23.99) in the 50 freestyle.
Dasher, Tomkovicz, Toaz and senior Matt Crawford finished sixth (3:33.43) in the 400 freestyle relay.
Crawford and Schneider combined with senior Alex Gruszka and freshman Robert Wright to place eighth (1:47.49) in the 200 freestyle relay.
Both the boys and girls teams are scheduled to host Cuyahoga Falls Jan. 12 at 6 p.m.
The Knights are set to compete in the Northeast Classic Jan. 13 at The University of Akron at 9 a.m.