Archer leads Tallmadge boys swimmers in opener

Roger Gordon
Correspondent

Nick Archer had quite a meet despite the Tallmadge boys swimming and diving team’s season-opening 89-73 loss Jan. 6 at Suburban League American Conference rival Kent Roosevelt.

The Blue Devils’ junior won both the 100-yard freestyle with a personal-best time of 56.88 seconds and the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:07.08.

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“Nick just had an incredible swim in the 100 freestyle,” Tallmadge head coach Kaela Long said. “He’s put in a lot of work at practice. I wasn’t expecting that time from him with all the craziness and crazy nature of practicing with COVID going on. It was better than I could’ve expected.

“That time in the 100 backstroke was very close to his personal best, about two seconds off. But it was still a very, very good time. He was just on fire in this meet.”

Sophomore Eli Luedke finished third in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:28.88.

Archer teamed with junior Jack Markley and freshmen Bryce Hurley and Drew Vecchio to capture the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 3:59.55.

“That relay is going to go very far this season,” said Long. “That is going to be the most competitive event we have. It’s going to be one to watch.”

Overall, Long thought her team performed phenomenally.

“The season has been crazy with COVID,” she said. “The boys haven’t had as much pool time, so endurance-wise and technique-wise they have to get that back. But they definitely showed up for this meet. They gave Kent Roosevelt a run for their money.”

Vecchio finished second in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:24.95. Hurley placed third with a time of 2:26.78.

Freshman Tanner Markley, Jack’s brother, finished second in the 500 freestyle with a time of 7:19.79. Sophomore Chris Fergus was third with a clocking of 7:25.81.

Jack Markley placed second in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:04.02.

Placing third were Vecchio in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:11.90 and Tanner Markley in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:40.58.

Tallmadge is scheduled to compete in a double-dual meet against league crossover rivals Cuyahoga Falls and host Twinsburg Saturday.

The Blue Devils are set to travel to conference foe Copley Jan. 13.