That was certainly the case for Wooster’s Freedlander Swim Meet, which brought in more than 700 swimmers from across Northeast Ohio and Ohio’s borders for the ultra hot July 6-8 weekend. It went off without a hitch, but the heat – which was routinely over 100 degrees July 7 – had an impact on the teams involved.
“The heat was a major factor,” said Wooster coach Rob Harrington after the meet wrapped up Sunday evening. “This was not a championship meet. Many of the meets are held indoors in much faster pools that are designed for speed. When the temperature is hot, it plays a role in kids’ performances.
“It was interesting. Some of our younger athletes, who are smaller and not as (physically) developed in the 8-under, 10-under and 11-12 (age groups) did well, in part because they were swimming in the morning. Our pool temperature was 84 and I really don’t know what the air temps got to, but it was hot. If you’re not in the shade or in a place it’s cool and not staying hydrated, your muscles tighten up and make swimming very difficult.
“The level of adversity showed as … a direct result of the heat. The kids swam last weekend and did very well. They turned around and swam average times a week apart. There is something to be said for (the heat).”
The heat impacted another critical aspect of the meet and that was the volunteers.
“With higher temperatures, you get some people who get a little more upset a little quicker, but for the most part things ran smoothly,” said Harrington. “I didn’t hear many complaints. Heat gets everyone a little more stressed, so we took some measures. We provided cold water for timers and we had shade tents to provide cover. The true champions were the people in our support network; our parents and volunteers who volunteer a lot of their time and helped us have a successful weekend.
“In my 10 years being a part of the summer program, I can never remember it running this smoothly. Part of that is because I am more involved in it this summer … but it’s a testament to the dedication of the volunteers. A lot of the focus is on the athletes, but it was great to see everyone working together so well. There are a lot of thankless jobs, like sweeping out the bleachers and the Chalet and changing toilet paper rolls – I think people go above and beyond. They hear timing or selling concessions and think that’s reasonable. Sometimes you have to do so much more.”
The end result, said Harrington, was casting a positive light on the community.
“I think what we want to accomplish with this meet is to bring people to Wooster and create more exposure for Wooster and what it has to offer as a whole, and letting the facilities speak for Wooster,” he said. “How many other people have a 50-meter facility, a public facility? Not many people are building new facilities or keeping up with them. Everyone is trying to cut.”
Wooster finished second overall to SwimStrong of Strongsville, which piled up twice the number of points to run away with the team title with 1,376. YMCA of Wooster and Rec Club (655.5) was second as it edged Lakewood (610). Vacationland was fourth with 508.5 points before Lake Shore dropped off to 363.5 for fifth.
SwimStrong was first on the girls side of the ledger with 687 points, followed by Lakewood (512) and Wooster (381.5), while the Wooster boys were second to Strongsville by a 689-274 count.
Madeline Dyer led the 10-and-under girls with a strong performance by winning both the 50 and 100 breaststrokes. Her fingerprints were all over the rest of the age group as she was third in the 200 individual medley, ninth in both the 50 and 100 free and seventh in the 50 backstroke. She was also a member of the fifth-place 200 medley relay, joining Sydney Wright, Audrey Cochran and Gracie Chelf and was on the fourth-place 200 free relay with Wright, Cochran and Abigail Mathews.
The 200 free B relay was sixth and made up of Emily Serafinchon, Emma Chelf, Hailey Mowrer and Gracie Chelf. Wright was 10th in the 100 back and Mathews was ninth in the 100 fly to round out the 10-u age group.
Julia Syme had the 11-12 age group’s top showing with a second in the 50 fly and a ninth in the 100 fly, while Fiona Davis had a strong showing as she had a sixth in the 50 free and a fourth in both the 50 and 100 breaststroke. Those two helped make up half of the runner-up 200 medley relay and the fifth-place 200 free relay, joining Sydney Graham and Min-Kyung Kim on those relays. Brittany Brinkerhoff, Lindsay Kastner, Michelle Sibilia and Holly Miller were 10th in the 200 free relay.
For the 13-14’s, Sophia Davis registered a win in the 100 breaststroke and Madison Whitman did the same in the 200 IM. Davis had a seventh in the 100 free and Hannah Rice a 10th in the 100 back, and those three joined Jessica Bonezzi to take first in the 200 medley relay and a second in the 200 free relay. Wooster also had a 10th in the 200 free relay behind the unit of Samantha Brunn, Katherine Ward, Meghan Bogner and Gillian Wenger.
Gabriella Sibilia topped the 15-16 girls charts with a third in the 50 free and a tie for sixth in the 100 back.
Sara Reidler captured the Open 100 sprint and was sixth in the 50, while Sydney Wenger was ninth in that race. Bonezzi won the 200 fly and was fifth in the 200 IM, with Emily Cornelius placing eighth in the 200 IM as well. Bonezzi also added a silver medal to her collection in the 100 fly, a seventh in the Open 100 and a ninth in the 800. Whitman was second in the 200 breaststroke and added a third in the Open 100 and a fifth in the 400 IM. Sibilia moved up into stiffer competition and had a trio more top-10 finishes with sevenths in the 200 and 800 free races and a 10th in the 200 back.
Sibilia, Wenger, Whitman and Bonezzi placed second in the 400 free relay and Allyson Amstutz, Madison Gingery, Hannah Rice and Anna Tieche were ninth, while the 200 free relay of Tieche, Anna Kopinsky, Amstutz and Jessica Syme was seventh in that race. In the 400 medley, the team of Reidler, Whitman, Bonezzi and Sibilia was third and Rice, Sophia Davis, Tieche and Jessica Syme was seventh.
The Wooster girls had a strong showing in the 8-under group. In the 50-meter free, Wooster had four girls earn ribbons as Gracie Chelf was third in that race, followed by Emma Chelf in sixth, Serafinchon (seventh) and Mowrer (ninth). Grace Chelf was sixth in the 50 back and Mowrer eighth in that event, while Serafinchon was third in the breaststroke and sixth in the 50 butterfly. Mowrer was fifth in that race as well.
The 8-u boys had a pair of wins come from Johnny Sibilia, who won the 50 free and 50 fly. He added a fourth in the 50 back and a sixth in the 50 breaststroke as well.
For the 10-u boys, Cameron Balas had several top finishes as he was sixth in the 50 free, eighth in the 50 breast and then went 5-6 along with Thomas Matthew in the 200 free. Kyle Ward finished with a seventh in the 50 back and a ninth in the 100 back. In the 50 fly, Balas was seventh and Matthew ninth in that race. In the 200 relay, Ian Michaud, Matthew, Ward and Balas was second, while the foursome of Sibilia, Sofien Dami, Bret Skolnicki and Francis Sim was fourth in that race. In the 200 medley, Michaud, Matthew, Ward and Balas placed third and Sibilia, Dami, Skolnicki and Sim was fourth.
For the 11-12 boys, Ed Rooney was 10th in the 50 free, while a seventh came from the 200 medley of Cameron Schmidt, Benjamin Cornelius, Tyler Foster and Parker Suggs. Foster, Andrew Cochran, Suggs and Schmidt placed fourth in the 200 free relay and Matthew Brunn, Benjamin Serafinchon, Cornelius and Joshua Lantis was seventh in that event.
Aaron Cochran turned in a seventh place in the 100 breaststroke for the 13-14 boys and was part of the third-place 200 medley relay as he joined Matthew Chidsey, Nathaniel Cornelius and Samuel Schonfeld. Nathaniel Cornelius, Cochran, Chidsey and Rooney were fourth in the 200 free.
Matthew Dyer was a close second in the 15-16 200 IM. B.J. Graham and Dyer were fifth and 10th in the 50 free sprint, while Dyer was sixth and Graham eighth in the 100 free. Dyer also had a fifth in the 100 breaststroke and an eighth in the 100 back, while Graham was ninth in the 100 fly and seventh in the 100 fly.
In the open races, Hueston Holder placed ninth in the 50 free and eighth in the 100 free, while Dyer stepped up to place second in the 400 IM, added thirds in the 200 free and 800 free and had a pair of sevenths in the 200 back and 200 fly. Graham also was eighth in the 800. Holder, Dyer, Brian Easterling and Graham joined to place second in the 400 free relay; Graham, Dyer, David Goodrich and Rooney were sixth in the 200 medley, and Graham, Dyer, Goodrich and Nathaniel Cornelius was eighth in the 400 medley.
“Overall we did well and did as expected,” said Harrington. “We have been working hard. This was not a championship meet. Our summer league team is focused on the MOSL (Mid-Ohio Swim League) at the end of this month. From a training point, we would be happy if someone achieved his or her best time this meet. We’ve trained short-course yards, which is the width of the pool. This was 50-meters like the Olympics, which is aerobic (training) and more taxing.
“I’m pleased with where we are, particularly some of the younger kids. John Sibilia won a couple of events and Sunday we had a really impressive swim on the last individual swim of the meet and a great way to cap it when Sophia Davis got a zone qualifying time. She didn’t get a pool record, but she dropped five seconds in the (100) breaststroke. I was very pleased to see the weekend end like that.”
Published: July 11, 2012