Hudson HEAT finishes in 4th place at Lake Erie Short Course Junior Olympic Championships

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Kent Weeklies
Members of the Hudson Explorers Aquatic Team show off their face masks before the Lake Erie Junior Olympic Championships, held March 12-14 at Geneva’s Spire Institute. Front row: Cora Taylor; back row, left to right: Casey Curry, Rachel Porter, Alex Taylor, Gigi Falke, and Aiyana Womack.

The 2020-2021 season has been a challenge for members of the Hudson Explorers Aquatic Team. But when the time to shine arrived at the end of the season, these swimmers proved more than up to that challenge.

HEAT swam to a fourth-place team finish in the 2021 Lake Erie Short Course Junior Olympic Championships. The meet, which was held March 12-14 is typically held at Cleveland State University’s Busbey Natatorium; however, that facility is closed for renovations, so the meet was moved to Geneva’s Spire Institute.

“So much has been asked of these kids since this pandemic has began. They've had their childhoods flipped upside-down by something totally out of their control,” said HEAT Age Group Head Coach Josh Forsythe. “It was so inspiring to see so many of our athletes improve at their craft this year. It was even more inspiring to watch the kids support each other. If a HEAT swimmer was in the water, they had teammates cheering them on.”

Two HEAT swimmers had especially impressive performances. Ava Sawicki, 13, took home first place finishes in five of her six events. Her biggest accomplishment, however, was earning USA Sectional times in three of those events: the 100 butterfly (58.99 seconds), 100 freestyle (53.04 seconds), and 200 freestyle (1 minute 55.09 seconds). Sectional time standards are set by USA Swimming, the sport’s national governing body, and represent the first stepping stone to national-level competition.

On the younger end, Alex Taylor, 12, took home the high point runner-up award in the 11-12 year old girls’ division. Taylor won six of her seven events, scoring 165 points along the way. 

The following HEAT swimmers earned top-10 finishes in individual events, by age group:

Girls

7 & Under Age Division

Zoe Badziong, 7, 100 freestyle, first, 1:45.48; 25 breaststroke, first, 28.18; 25 butterfly, second, 29.00; 25 backstroke, fourth, 26.31

8 Year Old Age Division

Amelia Wojnowski, 8, 100 freestyle, fifth, 1:44.64; 25 backstroke, eighth, 24.49

Saini Nimrit, 8, 25 butterfly, eighth, 33.49; 25 freestyle, eighth, 22.96; 25 breaststroke, ninth, 35.51

11-12 Age Division

Gigi Falke, 12, 100 backstroke, first, 1:04.35; 200 backstroke, first, 2:17.27; 100 butterfly, second, 1:04.93; 200 freestyle, second, 2:07.42; 400 individual medley, third, 5:02.93; 500 freestyle, sixth, 5:47.85; 50 butterfly, seventh, 29.52

Rachel Porter, 11, 50 freestyle, tenth, 28.22; 200 freestyle, tenth, 2:14.87

Alex Taylor, 12, 50 freestyle, first, 25.97; 100 freestyle, first, 56.36; 200 freestyle, first, 2:03.13; 500 freestyle, first, 5:29.90; 100 butterfly, first, 1:02.38; 50 backstroke, first, 29.14; 400 individual medley, second, 5:00.63

Aiyana Womack, 11, 50 backstroke, fourth, 30.95; 50 freestyle, ninth, 28.20; 100 backstroke, tenth, 1:08.64

Amiya Womack, 12, 50 breaststroke, 34.81; 100 breaststroke, 1:17.80; 100 backstroke, fifth, 1:06.34; 200 individual medley, sixth, 2:31.87; 200 backstroke, seventh, 2:28.02; 100 individual medley, eighth, 1:09.12; 400 individual medley, ninth, 5:27.57

13-14 Age Division

Ava Sawicki, 13, 50 freestyle, first, 24.80; 100 freestyle, first, 53.04; 200 freestyle, first, 1:55.09; 50 butterfly, first, 27.10; 100 butterfly, first, 58.99; 500 freestyle, sixth, 5:25.72

Sara Baylor, 14, 200 individual medley, second, 2:17.56; 100 backstroke, third, 1:00.84; 100 butterfly, fourth, 1:00.54; 200 freestyle, sixth, 2:00.63; 400 individual medley, seventh, 4:57.34

Emily Yorkievitz, 14, 100 freestyle, second, 54.40; 1650 freestyle, second, 18:35.82; 200 butterfly, second, 2:19.12; 200 freestyle, third, 1:58.60; 200 backstroke, third, 2:14.70; 50 freestyle, fourth, 25.61; 500 freestyle, seventh, 5:30.27

Boys

8 Year Old Age Division

Jackson Hoover, 8, 50 breaststroke, second, 1:02.22; 50 freestyle, fourth, 42.53; 25 freestyle, fourth, 19.00; 50 backstroke, fifth, 53.04

August Liu, 8, 25 butterfly, third, 42.49; 25 backstroke, seventh, 32.27; 25 freestyle, ninth, 24.23

Lee Rivkin, 8, 25 backstroke, sixth, 32.23; 50 backstroke, eighth, 1:11.53

10 & Under Age Division

Tyler Badziong, 10, 50 backstroke, fifth, 37.29; 100 backstroke, sixth, 1:21.79; 200 freestyle, sixth, 2:42.66; 200 individual medley, eighth, 3:06.03; 100 butterfly, ninth, 1:35.81; 100 freestyle, ninth, 1:13.09

Ryan Bonomo, 9, 50 backstroke, first, 34.04; 100 backstroke, second, 1:14.81; 100 breaststroke, second, 1:25.35; 50 freestyle, second, 29.06; 100 individual medley, third, 1:15.63; 100 butterfly, fourth, 1:20.37

Isaac Cho, 9, 100 backstroke, fifth, 1:21.62; 50 backstroke, seventh, 38.12

Charlie Falke, 9, 200 freestyle, ninth, 3:03.73; 100 backstroke, tenth, 1:26.29

11-12 Age Division

Ben Ackerman, 11, 200 breaststroke, fourth, 2:56.43; 500 freestyle, seventh, 6:03.92; 200 backstroke, tenth, 2:33.80

13-14 Age Division

Aiden Luczywo, 13, 200 butterfly, third, 2:11.09; 200 individual medley, fourth, 2:10.30; 400 individual medley, fifth, 4:33.40; 50 breaststroke, fifth, 30.97; 200 breaststroke, seventh, 2:27.60; 200 backstroke, eighth, 2:09.09; 500 freestyle, tenth, 5:17.93

Noah Holtz, 14, 500 freestyle, third, 5:11.34; 1650 freestyle, fourth, 18:00.07

Paul Yorkievitz, 14, 200 butterfly, eighth, 2:18.37