Just like a year ago, Sandusky piled up first-place finishes, and after the points were tallied that was enough to give the Blue Streaks' girls a third-straight win Saturday at the A-Behr Classic IX at Sandusky High School.
Margaretta's depth, however, was the trump card as the Polar Bears amassed 363 points to win their first boys title at the A-Behr.
"I'm very happy. Don't know what else I can say," Margaretta coach Joe Groscost said. "It was a good test to see what we had. We've got young swimmers who seemed to do very well."
The Polar Bears also have a deep roster on the boys side, which allowed them to score points with places in the 5-12 range.
That was a luxury the Blue Streaks didn't have.
"We're swimming 13 boys, and we were in it until the last event," Sandusky coach Tommy Paterson said. "It's tough to go three against five, three against six.
"They weren't the greatest times, but as a team we swam well."
The Sandusky girls collected 400 points -- 82 points more than second-place Margaretta -- on the day. The margin between the Polar Bears and the third-place team, Shelby (134), was 184 points.
"The girls swam well. They kept the pressure on all meet," Patterson said. "We knew who the top teams and the top swimmers were."
Returning Division I state-champion Taylor Vargo, a Blue Streak sophomore, won the 200 freestyle in 2:01.18, setting a new meet record in the process, and was first in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.75), the event in which she won a state title.
The Streaks picked up first-placed finishes in the 200 medley relay (Sarah Miller, Mary Murray, Sammy Smith, Ashley Ahlers) in 2:04.71, which broke the old meet mark of 2:06.39. The 200 freestyle relay (Ahlers, Holly Lippus, Helen Smith, Vargo) clocked 1:46.25 to set a new meet record (1:47.84 in 2009).
The Blue Streaks won the 400 freestyle relay (Lippus, Murray, Miller, Vargo) in 4:00.54.
Murray won the 200 individual medley (2:27.10), Ahlers was first in the 100 freestyle (59.04), Miller won the 100 backstroke (1:09.16).
Margaretta's returning state qualifier, Sydney Craig, didn't compete in the two events she swam at the state finals February in Canton.
"We couldn't use Sydney Craig in her best events, the 50 and the 100, because she was taking the ACT," Groscost said. "The other one we had out of the lineup for the same reason was Shelby Mapus."
Margaretta still may not have made up the difference between first and second with Craig -- who holds the A-Behr record she set in 2008 (25.87) and Mapus, Groscost said.
Polar Bear junior Rachel Patten swam a 5:55.49 to win the 500 freestyle.
Needing to take first and second place overall in the 400 freestyle relay to win the boys meet and sweep the event for a third straight year, Patterson opted to split his relay teams up, but Norwalk had the top finish (Amos Albright, Logan Bruchter, Ryan Cook, Nate Kaczor) in 3:46.68. The Blue Streaks had the third and fourth best times, though the b-heat race featured a photo-finish.
"When you go for things like that, sometimes your're successful. But (Margaretta) is a good team," Paterson said.
Asked if fans got their money's worth in the final event, said Patterson, "I think so. There are a lot of knowledgeable people following the results."
Sandusky's 200 medley relay (Jack Stauffer, Brock Cremean, Jeremy White, Treven Flynn) finished first in 1:55.34, its 20 freestyle relay (Brock Cremean, Bondarenko, Lucas Widman, Zach Waddington) won in 1:38.12.
Waddington was first in the 200 freestyle (2:01.43), Stauffer won the 200 IM (2:15.24) and 100 backstroke (1:01.47), Bondarenko the 50 (23.82) and 100 (52.27), and White won the 100 butterfly (1:00.22) and 500 freestyle (5:30.31).
In Thursday's diving competition at Margaretta High School, Sandusky's Eve London (160.10) and Margaretta's Tyler Beekman (204.30), a state qualifier, each scored a first-place performance. London's point-total also established a new meet mark.
With just two seniors on the roster, Patterson plans to use the holiday training period to improve his squads when January arrives.