When Sarah Gellott gathered her team together, she didn’t prepare a riveting speech.
"I was at a loss for words," the first-year head Aurora girls swimming and diving coach admitted.
Thus, Gellot decided to keep it short and sweet. Her talented squad had its biggest meet of the season against a formidable rival.
Therefore, actions and not words would determine the Greenmen’s eventual fate.
"I started with something I thought represented them," Gellott said. "Champions don't just show up to get everything they want. They show up to give everything they have."
As it turned out, Gellott’s crew "showed up." Aurora gave "everything" it had too.
In the long run, Gellott’s words of wisdom may not have the same ring as the immortal statements made by legendary coaches like Knute Rockne, John Wooden or Vince Lombardi.
However, the Greenmen hung on every syllable of their coach’s words when they dove into the pool against Highland.
When they wiped the chlorine off their faces not long after the meet was completed, the Aurora swimmers and divers may have tugged on their coach’s shoulder one last time before they called it a night.
Let’s just say their coach was more than happy to oblige. After all, what’s better than hearing yet another victory speech?
The Greenmen boys and girls teams remained unbeaten in the Suburban League American Conference after topping the Hornets Thursday at the Twinsburg Fitness Center.
The Aurora boys improved to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the conference after earning a 104-79 victory. The girls team moved to 6-1 overall and 4-0 in the conference after posting a 103-78 win.
If both squads defeat Revere and Copley next week, they will capture outright American Conference titles for the first time in school history.
Yes, more work has to be done. Nevertheless, if Gellott had her way, she would have been delighted to hand out trophies regardless of what happened next week.
"I am proud to say that my champions showed up and gave everything they had to win," Gellott said. "Every member of the team contributed to our success. Every dive, every cheer, every timekeeper and every swimmer showed our opponents that we are willing to work for it.
"While we did not come in first every event, we swam one event or dive at a time and fought for every other point we could. These swimmers walked the walk and talked the talk of true champions. They gave it all for their team and it took them to victory again."
The following Greenmen relays won and the following Aurora individuals placed in the top three in their respective events:
• 200-yard medley relay: Jacob Good, Jon Hybil, Connor Zamary and Nate Meyer, first, 1 minute, 46.41 seconds;
• 200 freestyle: Nate New, second, 2:02.95; and Nate Meyer, third, 2:03.3;
• 200 individual medley: Zamary, second, 2:08.61; and Good, third, 2:15.59;
• 50 freestyle: Adam Killian, third, 24.98;
• Diving: Schafer Eckerle, first, 196.42 points; and Donovan Picone, second, 134.85;
• 100 butterfly: Zamary, first, 57.1; Alex Bailey, second, 1:01.45; and Andy Ploskunak, third, 1:14.65;
• 100 freestyle: Hybil, first, 52.62; and Nate Ruehr, third, 54.85;
• 500 freestyle: Max Bailey, second, 5:37.09;
• 200 freestyle relay: Zamary, Ruehr, Meyer and Hybil, first, 1:35.19;
• 100 backstroke: Good, second, 1:01.06;
• 100 breaststroke: Hybil, first, 1:09.51; and Collin Sapochetti, second, 1:09.68;
• 200 freestyle: Molly Russell, second, 2:14.53; and Lilly Bates, third, 2:24.64;
• 200 IM: Alayna Brooker, first, 2:19.85; and Maeve Russell, third, 2:31.68;
• 50 freestyle: Elizabeth Barto, second, 27.47; and Mackenzie Roy, third, 27.72;
• Diving: Kylie Palian, second, 208.5; and Victoria Blechschmid, third, 197.92;
• 100 butterfly: Maeve Russell, first, 1:10.83; and Annalise Bender, second, 1:15.31;
• 100 freestyle: Barto, first, 59.51; and Jane Puzder, third, 1:02.35;
• 500 freestyle: Molly Russell, third, 5:57.34;
• 100 backstroke: Roy, second, 1:12.77; and Gabby Elsas, third, 1:13; and
• 100 breaststroke: Brooker, first, 1:09.31; and Ava Lovell, third, 1:20.83.