Tallmadge sophomore swimmer Jack Markley won MVP honors at the 26-team Cloverleaf Stampede Invitational last Saturday at Wooster High School.
Markley finished eighth in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2 minutes, 29.94 seconds. He also finished 10th in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:03.94.
The Blue Devils finished 15th with 17 points. Pataskala Watkins Memorial won the 18-team competition with 205 points and New Philadelphia (172) and St. Clairsville (162) placed second and third, respectively.
Nick Archer, Markey’s classmate, finished 10th in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:07.28. Senior Trent Wade placed 26th with a clocking of 1:38.71.
The 200 medley relay team of Archer, Markley, Wade and sophomore Joe Sabetta finished 10th in 2:20.65.
"As Joe led the breaststroke leg of the relay, the triangular, the foot starting piece of the fancy blocks flew off and landed directly on Jack’s foot," Tallmadge first-year head coach Kaela Long said. "Joe and I watched and were under the impression that the piece fell in front of Jack. He swam his leg of the relay, the butterfly, difficult in and of itself, normally.
"After the relay, Jack hobbled over to Joe. His foot, ankle and toes were blue and swollen. He was a trooper, though, telling me over and over that he was okay, but I made him ice that foot throughout the meet and he swam all of his events. Once the meet ended and the adrenaline wore off, he admitted that he was in pain."
Archer placed 13th in the 50 freestyle with a time of 26.28. Sabetta finished 23rd with a time of 28.37 and freshman Eli Luedke captured 37th with a clocking of 32.3.
Archer, Wade, Sabetta and Markley joined forces to finish 15th in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:55.82. Sabetta finished 27th in the 100 breaststroke with a clocking of 1:39.71.
Freshman Chris Fergus placed 30th in the 200 freestyle with a time of 3:00.87 and 46th in the 100 freestyle with a time of 1:21.38. Also in the 100 freestyle, Wade finished 32nd with a time of 1:13.33, and Luedke placed 37th, clocking in at 1:15.71.
In the girls’ competition, the Blue Devils finished in a tie for 17th with Bellville Clear Fork. Tallmadge scored seven points.
St. Clairsville won the 19-team invitational with 228. Gates Mills Gilmour Academy (192) was the runner-up and Shelby (167) took third.
Junior Hannah Fiume led the way for the Blue Devils. She finished ninth in the 200 IM with a time of 2:43.71 and 10th in the 100 breaststroke (1:23.41).
Fiume, senior Angelina Norris, junior Cassie Jeffries and sophomore Lauren Tan combined to finish 14th in the 200 medley relay with a time of 2:22.21.
The same four girls teamed to finish 15th in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 2:06.97.
Tan finished 18th in the 500 freestyle (7:01.82) and Norris placed 22nd in 7:15.34.
Norris finished 18th in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:15.98. Tan was 28th in 1:23.78.
Jeffries finished 22nd in the 100 freestyle with a time of 1:08.75. Junior Mia DiVencenzo finished 49th in 1:28.03.
Jeffries finished 33rd in the 50 freestyle in 30.89 and DiVencenzo placed 72nd in 37.77.
"One of our seniors, Sandra DeBlasio, was unable to swim in the meet due to a shoulder injury, but she cheered for every single teammate throughout the entirety of the meet," Long said.
Overall, Long was pleased with the performances.
"For some swimmers, it was a great meet and time was dropped," Long said. "For others, time was gained or maintained. What made this meet great in my opinion was the great sportsmanship and camaraderie displayed by our swimmers."
Both the boys and girls teams are scheduled to compete in the Suburban League Meet Jan. 4 at the University of Akron’s Ocasek Natatorium.