Gonzalez breaks out as Falls boys swimming loses twice

Roger Gordon
Correspondent
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Cristian Gonzalez had a breakout meet during the Cuyahoga Falls boys swimming and diving team’s double-dual Jan. 9 against Suburban League National Conference rival, and host, Twinsburg and league crossover rival Tallmadge.

The Black Tiger sophomore captured the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2 minutes, 10.97 seconds. He also finished third in the 500 freestyle with a time of 6:05.06.

“This is Cristian’s first year putting his all into the distance events, and he does it with a lot of heart,” Cuyahoga Falls head coach Will Turnbull said. “He came from behind to win the 200 freestyle and was a couple strokes away from completing a three-body length comeback in the 500 freestyle.

"He told the coaches afterwards, ‘I should have won [the 500 freestyle]. I need to work harder for next time.’ And that is exactly the kind of attitude his team needs from him.”

Overall, Cuyahoga Falls lost 68-45 to Twinsburg and fell 90-44 to Tallmadge. The Black Tigers are now 0-3 overall and 0-2 in the National Conference.

“This was an intensely competitive meet for our team,” said Turnbull. “The boys all stepped up, dropped time in their events and scored big points. They grow closer each day as brothers, and a meet like this tests how great this group can really be.”

Also for Cuyahoga Falls, sophomore Lucas Ulbricht finished second in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:09.98 and third in the 100 freestyle with a clocking of 1:00.52.

Freshman Andrew Wegner finished third in the 50 freestyle with a time of 29.43, while junior Nathan Lowe placed third in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:50.35.

“Andrew continues to shine in the sprint events,” Turnbull said. “After making a couple of technical tweaks last week in practice, he dropped under the 30-second barrier in the 50 freestyle. More impressive than that, he lost his goggles on the start of his leg in the 400 freestyle relay and still was able to make it a close race. He has a bright future in the pool.

“Nathan stepped out of his comfort zone when stepping up onto the blocks for the 200 IM and 500 freestyle. He is the definition of a team player and left it all in the pool for his team.”

Cuyahoga Falls is set to oppose conference rivals North Royalton, the host, and Brecksville-Broadview Heights Jan. 23 at 2 p.m.