West Side News

Swimming

Swordfish secure SESL varsity championship

By BRAD FRIEDMAN
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The Eastmoor Swordfish made a big splash July 24 and 25 at Gahanna Swim Club, winning the Suburban East Swim League varsity championship.

The Swordfish scored 658 points and finished first in 12 varsity events. The varsity competition featured athletes ages 11-18.

Reynoldsburg placed second (613), followed by Hunters Ridge (561), New Albany (87), Foxboro (44) and London (18).

Eastmoor coach Tony Phillips admitted that at the beginning of the season, he didn't expect his team would take the varsity title.

"Depth and having multiple swimmers in each event was key for us," he said. "When they announced that we had won the varsity competition, we were pleasantly surprised."

En route to their championship, Eastmoor swimmers broke three SESL records.

After New Albany's Brendan Murphy set the boys 15-18 100-yard individual medley record during the preliminaries with a time of 59.09 seconds, Eastmoor's Patrick Lawrence broke the record with a 58.52 in the final.

The 11-12 girls 200 freestyle relay of Kayla Williams, Mia Phillips, Tommie Lipp and Meg Samuel finished in 1:59.9, breaking a 13-year-old record by .2 of a second.

Phillips said the four were looking to break their team record, not swim the first sub-two minute 11-12 200 free relay in league history.

"Those girls felt like they were on top of the world after that race," Phillips said.

The 13-14 girls 200 free relay of Tyler Mansfield, Maggie Phillips, Lauren Carmon and Nicole Narcross finished in 1:49.45, breaking a record set last year by 2.25 seconds.

In the junior varsity competition, which was for swimmers ages 5-10, Reynoldsburg edged Eastmoor for first place, 367-345. The Marlins placed first in 12 j.v. events.

"We've won a lot of races and championships (during my tenure) ... but we're here to have a good time," Reynoldsburg coach Erik Lindquist said. "Everybody appreciates that because we can all look forward to not only being successful as swimmers, but also having way too much fun in the process."

Two Marlins swimmers broke three j.v. league records.

In the 9-10 boys 25 butterfly, Nate Gaver's 14.16 broke a three-year-old record by .44 of a second. In the 50 breaststroke, Gaver's 37.74 broke a 39-year-old record by 1.26 seconds.

Vincent Mampieri broke a seven-year-old record in the 6-and-under boys 25 backstroke by .41 of a second, swimming a 25.68.

Foxboro (307), New Albany (258), Hunters Ridge (87) and Hilltop (2) rounded out the j.v. standings.

While Reynoldsburg's Evan Alioto didn't set any records, his performance drew a standing ovation from spectators.

Alioto, who is blind, relies on the lane markers to ensure he swims in a straight line. His mother walks along the pool, holding a long pole with a tennis ball attached to the end. When Alioto approaches the wall, his mother taps him on the head with the ball.

"I'm so glad that I got the chance to meet (Alioto). ... Every meet, I hear somebody say, 'Wow, that kid is brave' or 'Wow, that kid is amazing,'" Lindquist said. "He never complains. He always brightens up everybody's day. It's a treat and an honor to have a kid like that on the team."

Young athletes pace Foxboro

Foxboro got a boost from its young athletes.

The 8-and-under girls 100 medley relay of Eliza Brofford, Stella Brofford, Ellie Long and Katelyn Micko won the first event of the meet in 1:29.8.

Tuckor Lambert won the 8-and-under boys 25 fly (18.29) on a judge's decision, defeating Reynoldsburg's Freddie Culbert by .02 of a second.

"These kids never cease to amaze me," coach Rob Roll said.

Bellis stand out for Hunters Ridge

Marie Belli of Hunters Ridge swam the girls 8-and-under 25 fly in 16.05 in the preliminaries, breaking a 41-year-old meet record. She then broke her own record with a 15.58 in the final.

But Belli didn't stop there, breaking another 41-year-old record with an 18.62 in the 25 back preliminaries.

Her brother, Major, also had a record-setting performance, breaking a 35-year-old record in the 13-14 50 breast with a 30.15 that was .05 faster than the previous mark.

The Hunters Ridge boys 13-14 200 medley and 200 free relays also set league records. The 200 medley relay of Major Belli, Pin Li, Dylan Warren and Alex Saccocio won in 1:52.81 and the 200 free relay of Ryan Shaw, Major Belli, Li and Warren won in 1:40.45.

Murphy leads New Albany

In addition to his short-lived record in the 100 IM, Murphy broke his own year-old record of 25.52 in the boys 15-18 50 fly, winning in 25.48.

Murphy also took first in the 100 free (56.4).

Eisel competes for Hilltop

Hilltop had only one swimmer compete. Sophia Eisel placed seventh in the girls 7-8 25 back (24.9).

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