HUDSON — In the rivalry between Hudson and Stow-Munroe Falls high schools, no sport has been more one-sided in recent years than swimming.
The Explorers have their eyes on making another run at the state title, while remaining an archrival, nemesis — and model program — for the Bulldogs.
Hudson showed off its team depth Friday at the Ada Cooper Miller Natatorium, handing Stow their first dual-meet losses of the season. The Explorers won 111-72 over the Bulldogs in the boys meet, while the Hudson girls cruised to a 130-56 victory.
"Obviously, we had a big performance last week at the Suburban League meet," said Explorers head coach Matt Davis, whose teams improved to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the Suburban League National Conference. "It’s good to get up and swim a backyard rival like Stow. A lot of our swimmers swim with them on HEAT (Hudson Explorers Aquatics Team). We’ve got a lot of friends over there."
Despite the losses, Stow head coach Ryan Miller said he was "really happy" with his team’s effort.
"Going against Hudson, it’s a great test of our mentality," he said. "It showed we were focusing in us and not anybody else.
"One thing I was most happy about was our finishing. Once we got to the flags, we put our heads down and went for it."
The Explorers had three highlights on the night in the form of three pool records.
While Hudson senior Jay Johnson has primarily been a sprinter in his career, The Ohio State University recruit won the 400-meter freestyle in 4 minutes, 8.22 seconds, breaking the school and pool record of 4:09.91 set by Explorers’ legend Ross Palazzo in 2014.
The record was even more impressive, considering Johnson had won the 50-meter freestyle in 24.23 seconds earlier in the meet.
"It’s pretty rare to do that, especially in a meter pool," Johnson said. "I was a little worried because I was a bit tired after the 50. But I just decided to go for it."
"He’s got a lot of range," Davis said of Johnson. "That’s something we pride ourselves on in this program: being able to go a lot of distances. I know he wanted that (400-meter record) for a long time. (Friday) may have been his last chance to get it."
Meanwhile, Hudson senior Maddie Hannan continued her dominance in the 100-meter freestyle. She won the race in 58.65 seconds, shaving down her own school (58.9 seconds) and pool (58.95) records, which she set last year.
"She just keeps getting better," Davis said. "She’s right where we want her to be."
Also setting a record was junior Paige McCormick, who swam a first-place clocking of 1:14.71 in the 100 breaststroke.
Both teams had several swimmers out of their regular events, but Stow’s boys showed early they had come to race.
While the Explorer girls swept the 200 medley (Lucy Reber, Taylor Kochanowski, Eliana Szabo and Noelle Kara, 2:06.74), 200 freestyle (Maddie Seifert, Gabrielle Loring, Peyton Binns and McCormick, 1:57.39) and 400 freestyle relays (Erin Zmich, Hannah Weldon, Szabo and Binns, 4:19.64), the boys 200 medley relay turned into one of the best races of the night.
Stow’s quartet of freshman Alex Cimera, junior Caleb Myers, senior Alex Schoenberger and sophomore Luke Novak touched out the Explorers to win the 200 medley in 1:53.91. Hudson was just .09 behind.
However, the Explorers triumphed in the other two relays.
The 200 freestyle relay team of Seth Baylor, Caleb Cosentino, Caleb Tuckerman and Mason Meyer touched the wall in 1:42.65. Hudson’s 400 freestyle relay team of Baylor, Calvin Kampman, Benjamin Martinez and Meyer posted a winning time of 3:55.57.
Novak won the 100 backstroke for the Bulldogs in 1:02.8, while Cimera won the 100 breaststroke in 1:14.55. Myers also won the 200 individual medley in 2:25.95, thanks to an excellent breaststroke leg.
"It’s really hurts not having a diving team for boys," Miller said. "Having them go one-two-three in diving pushed them away from us."
The Explorers Hunter Trautmann won the boys the 1-meter diving competition with 160.95 points.
Hudson also got individual wins in the pool from Baylor in the 200 freestyle (2:03.03), Tuckerman in the 100 butterfly (1:01.76) and Mason Meyer in the 100 freestyle (58.31).
On the girls’ side, the Explorers got individual wins from Giovanna Cappabianca in the 200 freestyle (2:15.21), Mackenzie DeWitt in the 50 freestyle (27.45 seconds), Caroline Von Ville in the 100 butterfly (1:17.41), Weldon in the 400 freestyle (4:57.68) and Szabo in the 100 backstroke (1:10.73).
Stow’s girls’ lone victory in the pool came from sophomore Evie Lewis in a bit of a surprise, as she won the 200 IM in 2:37.04. Stow also saw junior Emily Lillich win the 1-meter diving event with 166.72 points.
"This is the first time the girls have really seen a team that’s better than them," Miller said. "It should motivate them for the postseason."
Both Stow and Hudson were scheduled to compete at the Northeast Classic Saturday. Preliminaries were set to begin at 9 a.m. at Ocasek Natatorium in Akron.
Reporter Michael Leonard can be reached at 330-541-9442, firstname.lastname@example.org or @MLeonard_RPC.