Dylan Holmes is having quite a season for himself and his team.
The latest conquests for the Cuyahoga Falls senior swimmer came Jan. 3 in an 81-80 loss at home to Suburban League National Conference rival Twinsburg.
Holmes won both the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.18 seconds and the 100 freestyle with a time of 52.93. Nathan Lowe finished third in the latter with a clocking of 1:08.99.
"Dylan has been a workhorse for us," Black Tigers head coach Richard Vaughn said. "He consistently improves each week. Every practice he’s asking, ‘How can I do better,’ ‘What do you think about this?’ and ‘What do you think about that?’ He records a lot of his races and practices so he can go back and find what he can fine tune."
Holmes also combined with Lowe, senior Zach Langbein and Jacob Carleton to win the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:45.1. Holmes also joined forces with Langbein, Christian Gonzalez and Luke Ulbricht to claim the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 4:09.72.
Holmes was the final leg in both relays – and came through with flying colors.
"We were behind in both relays until Dylan jumped in the water," said Vaughn. "He really just reeled them in. In fact, in the 400 freestyle relay he was actually a full length of the pool behind but was able to pull it off."
Overall, Vaughn was pleased with his team’s performance that nearly gave it its first win of the season in three meets.
"We were going back and forth through the whole meet, and it came down to the last few events," he said. "Twinsburg started out ahead, we caught up and took the lead and then they overtook us. We won the 400 freestyle relay, the last event, but it wasn’t enough.
Langbein also captured the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:07.54.
"Zach provides great senior leadership," said Vaughn. "We really started to gain some momentum with this event. Zach has been dealing with some injuries, so to be able to have a strong swim was definitely beneficial."
Van Strausser won the one-meter diving with a score of 150.6. Senior Tyler Johnson was second with 148.73 points.
"Van and Tyler are just two reliable point getters," the coach said. "There are not a lot of teams that have the divers of their quality. There are always eight, nine or 10 points that we can count on from Van and Tyler."
Carleton finished second in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:20.19. Also placing second were Langbein in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:10.45 and Gonzalez in the 200 individual medley with a clocking of 2:46.25.
Gonzalez finished third in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:19.2, and Kyle DeRemer placed third in the 500 freestyle with a time of 7:42.75.
On Jan. 4 Cuyahoga Falls finished seventh out of eight teams with 123 points in the National Conference of the Suburban League at the University of Akron’s Ocasek Natatorium.
Hudson won the competition with 527 points, Brecksville-Broadview Heights finished second with 361 points and Stow-Munroe Falls was third with 355 points.
"We’re definitely starting to move up the tier in the National Conference," said Vaughn. "There are a lot of powerhouses in the conference like Hudson and Brecksville. Our boys are starting to get noticed."
Holmes finished third in the 50 freestyle with a time of 23.4.
Johnson finished sixth in the one-meter diving with 212.9 points. Strausser was right behind in seventh with 207.5 points.
Langbein, Ulbricht, Gonzalez and Holmes teamed to finish sixth in the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 4:09.59.
Holmes placed eighth in the 100 freestyle with a clocking of 52.74.
Ulbricht, Carleton, DeRemer and Lowe combined to finish eighth in the 200 medley relay with a time of 2:18.77.
Lowe, Carleton, Langbein and Holmes joined forces to finish eighth in the 200 freestyle relay with a clocking of 1:46.71.
Carleton finished 16th in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:18.39.
The Cuyahoga Falls girls team fell 117-79 to Twinsburg to drop to 0-3 on the season.
"The girls don’t quit and they fight to the end," said Vaughn, also the girls’ head coach. "You’ve got some pieces in place there with Lainey McDaniels, a freshman, and Olivia Smith, a sophomore, where people are starting to get noticed."
McDaniels won the 50 freestyle with a time of 27.39. Smith finished second with a time of 28.74.
"Lainey is showing that she can compete," Vaughn said.
Smith also captured the 100 freestyle with a time of 1:03.47.
Junior Lucy Ulbricht won the one-meter diving with 138.9 points and finished second in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:17.59.
"Lucy is a competitor every week," said Vaughn. "It’s rare to have someone who swims and dives and competes at such a high level in both at that level. She’s really spent some time going for those more difficult dives."
Senior Bryce Matolyak won the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:19.45. She finished second in the 200 IM with a clocking of 2:36.3.
"Bryce is someone who we’ve leaned on for that senior leadership," Vaughn said. "We’ve had some injuries and some issues with personnel. She’ll swim any event that you want her to swim. She really worked hard in the offseason to improve her strength and conditioning, so being able to see her go out there and perform well is a great thing."
Smith, Ulbricht, Matolyak and McDaniels teamed to win the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:55.4.
The same four girls combined to capture the 400 freestyle relay with a clocking of 4:22.58.
"Because out junior varsity swimmers stepped up in the 200 medley relay at the beginning of the meet," said the coach, "we were able to stack the back two relays and free up some of those swimmers."
Katie Howard finished third in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:20.16.
At the Suburban League Meet, the Black Tigers finished seventh out of eight teams in the National Conference with 119 points.
Hudson won the competition with 668 points, Brecksville-Broadview Heights finished second with 350.5 points and Stow-Munroe Falls was third with 299 points.
"Lainey, Olivia, Bryce and Lucy are really stepping up," Vaughn said. "They’re moving up a little each week in terms of the level of talent and performances we’re getting out of the athletes."
Matolyak, Smith, Ulbricht and McDaniels teamed to finish fifth in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:57.6.
Ulbricht finished sixth in the one-meter diving with 186.6 points.
McDaniels, Ulbricht, Matolyak and Smith combined to place sixth in the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 4:18.68.
Kirstie Fontancz, Rebecca Johnston, Lisey Erhard and Rylee Bennett joined forces to finish eighth in the 200 medley relay with a time of 3:06.35.
McDaniels finished ninth in the 50 freestyle with a time of 27.38. Matolyak was 14th with a time of 28.45.
Matolyak finished ninth in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:18.18.
McDaniels finished 13th in the 100 freestyle with a time of 1:03.96. Smith placed 16th with a time of 1:05.39.
Ulbricht was 13th in the 100 backstroke with a clocking of 1:13.02.
Both the boys and girls teams are scheduled to host National Conference rival Wadsworth Friday at 5 p.m.