The coronavirus pandemic may be keeping the Hudson Explorers Aquatics Team out of the pool, but it hasn’t kept them off the awards podium.
Well, maybe in a virtual sense, at least.
Although the COVID-19 crisis forced Lake Erie Swimming Inc. to cancel its annual in-person awards banquet, Northeast Ohio’s governing swimming body still announced its winners from a distance. Three of the biggest awards went to HEAT.
The Explorers took home the association’s biggest award for Club of the Year. It’s the second time in the past three years that HEAT has claimed the top prize.
HEAT team manager Lori Baylor won Lake Erie Swimming’s Service Award. Baylor, who lives in Hudson with her husband, Dan, and three children, is a ubiquitous presence in the local swimming community. When she’s not cheering for her kids from the stands, she’s usually on the pool deck running meets or officiating.
Hudson senior Paige McCormick had her last hurrah on the local awards podium too, winning Lake Erie Senior Swimmer of the Year. McCormick, a Hudson High School senior who is planning to continue her academic and swimming careers at the University of Louisville, also was honored as a Scholastic All-American.
Each team in Northeast Ohio also honors one of its own with a Coaches Merit Award. Nicholas Hoover, 12, took home that honor for HEAT.
In addition, the following HEAT swimmers received awards for their performances in and out of the pool during the season:
Girls IMX (I aM eXtreme);
• Sara Baylor, 13, short-course runner-up (age 13);
• Giovanna Cappabianca, 18, long-course champion (age 18); and short-course champion (age 18);
• Gigi Falke, 11, long-course champion (age 10); and short-course runner-Up (age 11);
• Olivia Pisano, 16, short course, third place (age 15);
• Lucy Reber, 16, long-course runner-Up (age 15); and short-course champion (age 16);
• Aiyana Womack, 10, short-course champion (age 9);
• Amiya Womack, 12, short course, third (age 11);
• Justin Barzelotto, 15, long course, third (age 15);
• Vittorio Cappabianca, 15, long-course champion (age 15); and short-course champion (age 15);
• Alex Gallagher, 14, long-course runner-up (age 13); and short-course champion (age 14);
• Andrew Ketler, 15, long course, third (age 14); and short-course, third (age 15);
• Aiden Luczywo, 12, long-course champion (age 11);
• Roman Sawicki, 16, short-course champion (age 16);
• Caleb Tuckerman, 18, short-course champion (age 18);
• Zone honorees: Sara Baylor, Vittorio Cappabianca, Ian Cho, Iason Cho, Mia Dezelic, Falke, Gallagher, Ketler, Luczywo, Cameron Oddenino, Alaina Pizarro, Ava Sawicki, Marisa Schenkenberger, Ruben Szabo and Emily Yorkievitz;
• Mid-States All-Star honorees: Sara Baylor, Natalie Brindley, Ian Cho, Iason Cho, Gallagher, Maya Metzler, Pizarro and Ava Sawicki
• Junior National honorees: Giovanna Cappabianca, Mackenzie DeWitt and Paige McCormick;
• Long-course All Stars: Vittorio Cappabianca, Alex Cimera, DeWitt, Mija Drobnjak, Gallagher, Jay Johnson, Ketler, McCormick, Pisano, Schenkenberger and Tuckerman;
• Short-course All Stars: Seth Baylor, Noah Bartlett, Vittorio Cappabianca, Ian Cho, Cimera, DeWitt, Gallagher, Luczywo, McCormick, Reber and Ava Sawicki; and
• Scholastic All-Americans: DeWitt, McCormick and Jay Johnson.