Freshmen shine at sectionals for Nordonia girls swimming

Roger Gordon
Correspondent

Two Nordonia freshmen who have been doing it all season qualified for districts with strong performances Feb. 12 in a Division I sectional meet at the Wooster YMCA.

In the 100-yard backstroke Arijana Smajilovic finished 10th with a time of 1 minute, 6.3 seconds, and Reanna Turk finished 12th with a time of 1:07.23. Turk also placed 11th in the 100 freestyle with a clocking of 58.13.

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“I knew at the beginning of the year that Reanna and Ari were going to be impressive,” Knights head coach Glenn Yorkievitz said. “However, their hard work and determination allowed them to exceed my expectations for them. I could not be happier to see them advance to districts.”

Also in the 100 backstroke, freshman Mallory Ralls finished 22nd with a time of 1:11.59 and sophomore Bridget Larsen was 29th with a time of 1:16.48.

In the 100 freestyle sophomore Emma McCabe finished 37th with a time of 1:10.95, freshman Gabrielle Simpson finished 39th with a time of 1:11.47 and sophomore Ella Grossmyer placed 40th with a clocking of 1:13.34.

Also qualifying for districts was sophomore Emily Schonauer in the one-meter diving, which was held Feb. 9 at the Massillon Perry Aquatic Center.

Overall, Nordonia finished ninth out of 14 teams with 79 points. Hudson won the meet with 510 points. Akron Firestone finished second with 359 points and Brecksville-Broadview Heights was third with 217 points.

Turk, Smajilovic, Ralls and senior Maddie Fiorucci teamed to finish sixth in the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 4:06.44. The same four girls combined to finish eighth in the 200 medley relay with a time of 2:03.29.

Sophomores Ella Pendleton and Alex Stalzer and freshmen Allison Schlueter and Sophia Fiorucci, Maddie’s sister, joined forces to place 11th in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 2:00.29.

Smajilovic finished 16th in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:30.71. Stalzer finished 21st with a time of 2:41.68, junior Nina Marcoguiseppe finished 28th with a time of 2:56.09 and sophomore Olivia Leephart placed 30th with a clocking of 3:07.41.

Ralls finished 17th in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:17.78. Pendleton finished 20th with a time of 2:20.1, sophomore Cammie Becker finished 30th with a time of 2:29.41 and Schlueter placed 31st with a clocking of 2:31.31.

“Every year, someone comes to this meet and just blows your mind away,” said Yorkievitz. “Mallory was that athlete this year. She dropped more than 10 seconds in her 200 freestyle and had massive drops in both her relay splits as well as in her 100 backstroke. It truly was an eye-opening performance.”

Maddie Fiorucci finished 18th in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:10.19. Larsen finished 31st with a time of 1:22.29, Marcoguiseppe finished 32nd with a time of 1:26.38 and sophomore Grace Riley was 37th with a time of 1:43.68.

Stalzer finished 19th in the 500 freestyle with a time of 6:20.01. Pendleton finished 23rd with a time of 6:31.79, junior Faith Hart finished 31st with a time of 6:58.27 and senior Myracle Rice placed 36th with a clocking of 8:42.83.

In the 100 breaststroke Schlueter finished 22nd with a time of 1:26.26. Hart finished 26th with a time of 1:29.96, freshman Shyann Gale finished 37th with a time of 1:41.77 and sophomore Emma Dutter placed 44th with a time of 1:47.09.

Maddie Fiorucci finished 24th in the 50 freestyle with a time of 27.93. Freshman Kyla Geiger finished 31st with a time of 29.68, Sophia Fiorucci finished 34th with a time of 30.23 and Jacie Soltis, her classmate, placed 49th with a clocking of 39.5.

“Maddie ended her high-school career with an impressive personal best in the 100 butterfly along with some great relay swims,” Yorkievitz said. “She has been a major part of this team rebuild, and I am really going to miss her leadership and personality.”

The district meet for swimming is scheduled to be held at the Spire Sports Institute in Geneva Feb. 20 at 10 a.m. The diving events are set to be held at the Perry Aquatic Center Feb. 18 at 11 a.m.