Fueled by four school records, the Twinsburg boys and girls swimming and diving teams had a breakthrough sectional meet to open up post season action.
The Tigers competed well at the Akron North Division I Sectional Championships at the University of Akron’s Ocasek Natatorium, which finished Saturday.
"We have 15 athletes advancing to districts, the most in the history of the program," said Tigers coach Kirtis Huelsman.
The boys were sixth out of 14 schools in the Akron North standings with 175 points. For the girls, Twinsburg was seventh overall out of 15 teams with 147 points.
The top 22 finishers in the combined sectionals advanced to the district championships, which take place Thursday to Saturday at Cleveland State University’s Busbey Natatorium.
Girls district qualifiers: Alyssa McKenzie (1-meter diving), Katie McCoy (200, 500 free, 200 free relay, 400 free relay), Sam Giardino (50 and 100 free races, plus the 200 and 400 free relays), Sam Magyar (200 free relay), Angela DeFabio (200 and 400 relays), Allison Porach (100 breaststroke and 400 free relay), and Madison Zelenka (100 backstroke).
The boys had two district qualifiers in diving: Brad Yates and Mikey Strong.
Reaching districts for the boys swimmers were: Colin Martin (200 free, 100 butterfly, 200 and 400 free relays), Brad Bierworth (50 free, 200 and 400 relays), Mitch Govang (500 free, 100 backstroke, 200 and 400 relays), Jacob Atienza (200 and 400 relays), Zack Dobrski (100 breaststroke), and Evan Bartel (100 backstroke).
"We seemed to hit the correct amount of overload to rest ratio for this meet better than previous years," pointed out Huelsman.
Govang helped break three of the four school records by the Tigers’ boys squad.
With a school record time of 4 minutes, 55.0 seconds, Govang captured fifth place in the 500-freestyle race. The talented Govang also broke the record in the 100 backstroke with a time of 57.25 seconds, which was 10th overall at UA.
"The team broke four school records," said Huelsman, who also saw new marks in the 200 and 400 free relays.
Swimming in the relays were Martin, Govang, Atienza and Bierworth.
Martin, Bierworth, Govang and Atienza finished fourth in the 200 relay and broke the school record with a time of 1:30.26. The 400 crew of Martin, Atienza, Govang and Bierworth snagged sixth place and established a new school mark of 3:22.70.
Yates placed ninth overall in diving and Strong was 11th to secure district berths.
Yates was fifth with 285.00 points in the finals and a strong semifinal round (234.00). Strong finished with a mark of 272.45, which was seventh in the North section.
Thanks to McKenzie, sectional diving experience is strong at Twinsburg. She reached districts again with a veteran effort Feb. 7.
McKenzie, a multiple season district qualifier, had a score of 305.85 to finish eighth overall. She was sixth in the North section.
Martin also excelled for the boys swimmers as he had a big fourth-place finish in the 100 butterfly with a time of 52.52. He also was fifth in the 200 free with a clocking of 1:47.70.
In girls relay action, the 200-freestyle relay swam fourth with McCoy, DeFabio, Magyar and Giardino. Their time was 1:44.97. The 400 team was sixth in 3:50.75 with McCoy, DeFabio, Giardino and Porach.
Giardino took sixth in the 100 free (54.1 seconds) and ninth in the 50 free (25.19).
McCoy grabbed a sixth-place finish in the 200 free in 2:01.34. She also was ninth in the 500 free in 5:29.41.
Porach snagged eighth-place in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:11.09. She was 14th in the 100 free.
DeFabio touched 13th in the 200 free and Zelenka took 13th in the 100 backstroke.
In girls team action, Hudson captured its 11th straight sectional title.
For the boys, Hudson edged Brecksville for team honors in Akron.
Bartel contributed as did Bierworth, and a host of other Tiger athletes at AU. With a solid effort. Bartel finished eighth in the 500 free in 5:02.20 and 16th in the 100 back.
Bierworth excelled as he took 10th in the 50 free (22.88) and 16th place in the deep 100 free field.
Dobrski took 14th place in the 100 breaststroke, Blayney was 15th in the 200 IM, and the boys 200 medley grabbed ninth (1:46.86) with Bartel, Dobrski, Peter Abrams and Blayney.
Reporter Michael Leonard can be reached at 330-541-9442, email@example.com or @MLeonard_RPC