Tallmadge senior Nick Sabetta qualified for a Division II district swimming and diving meet in two individual events and as part of a relay team Feb. 8 in a sectional meet at the University of Akron’s Oliver Ocasek Natatorium.
The top 30 swimmers in each event combined with the Geneva sectional qualified for the district competition. The top 20 relay teams in each event advanced to a district meet, which is scheduled to take place Feb. 15 at Cleveland State University’s Robert F. Busbey Natatorium. Racing is set to begin at 3 p.m.
Sabetta finished in fifth place (14th combined) in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.95 seconds. He placed eighth (17th combined) in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:57.63.
"Nick barely missed getting a personal best in the 100 butterfly because districts will be his best swim," Blue Devils’ first-year head coach Henry Strawn said. "He’d need about a four- or five-second drop to qualify for state.
"He definitely earned the team points. He was one of the main reasons we got the ranking we did. It was a really competitive meet, and he swam well."
Sabetta combined with his classmate Alex Krukemeyer and freshmen Nick Archer and Jack Markley to qualify for the district competition in the 400 freestyle relay with a ninth-place (16th combined) time of 3:46.06.
"We had a lot of concerns with this relay. It’s a relay in which we haven’t really done much with it all season for various reasons," said Strawn. "But, considering those four guys haven’t swam together in the relays very much, they performed really well."
Overall, Tallmadge finished 13th out of 22 teams with 56 points. Canfield won the competition with 306 points. Rocky River finished second with 260 points and Akron Archbishop Hoban was third with 199.5 points.
Krukemeyer also advanced by capturing 13th (24th combined) in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:13.57. He finished 15th in the 100 butterfly with a clocking of 1:00.3.
"Alex is trying to beat the school record in the 200 IM, which is 2:10.27," Strawn said. "We’re going to try to break that record at districts. We’re tapering down his practice this week for his best swim being this Friday instead of last Friday. We were just trying to qualify for districts."
Archer added a 16th-place time of 1:04.84 in the 100 backstroke. He placed 24th in the 100 freestyle with a time of 56.61.
Markley finished 25th in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:13.09.
The Tallmadge girls team finished 20th out of 27 teams with 28 points. Hoban won the title with 260 points. Bay Village Bay finished second with 236 points and Elyria Catholic was third with 198 points.
Sophomore Hannah Fiume qualified for the district meet by finishing 11th (26th combined) in the 200 IM with a time of 2:31.81. She finished 15th in the 100 breaststroke with a clocking of 1:17.32.
"The breaststroke is kind of the highlight of Hannah’s 200 IM swim," Strawn said. "We’ve been working on her getting through the whole race, especially the backstroke, which is not her favorite part of it. But she’s been doing better lately."
Junior Isabelle Garrett placed 14th in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:17.64.