Just how much faster would area swimmers be on Thursday and Friday with an extra day's rest -- the way it was when the preliminaries were on Friday and championships Saturday at the state championships in Canton? No one knows for sure.
What is known is the the Northwest District had its Division I finals last Friday, and its Division II finals on Saturday. The other districts alternated the format, so swimmers from Perkins, Port Clinton, Oak Harbor and Margaretta had one less day of rest.
It partly showed through the first half, with preliminary times behind the district pace.
"It just feels different. I'm not sure how, but it does feel different," one swimmer said.
One coach said, "We knew it would be challenging getting up here so early and with the new format we have to adjust to. If we had one day later, maybe we're a little faster."
Perkins vs. Port Clinton
With 13 swimmers and divers each, the Pirates and Redskins make up most of the area's competitors.
There are several races in today's consolation heats that pit the two schools against each other:
n In the girls 200 medley relay, Port Clinton (Cheyenne Meek, MacKenzie Stewart, Katelyn Zam, Allie Reynolds) had the 11th best qualifier Thursday, a 1:52.42. Perkins (Kim Anglin, Jillian Chapman, Camille Cremean and Sadie Ahlers) is 12th, with a 1:52.44.
"It was good. We put in all our effort to make it back to finals," Cremean said.
Allie Reynolds, a senior at Port Clinton, just missed out on the championship finals in the 200 freestyle (1:55.88) with the No. 9 time. Napoleon's Erika Vocke was eighth in 1:55.65).
"I wanted to do better than I did," said Reynolds, also 13th in the 100 freestyle (53.24). "But the coaches told me to look at the bigger picture. I'm still swimming a final, and I'l have fun with it since it's my senior year."
Perkins' Emily Mariea, a senior, was 22nd overall in the 200, with a 2:00.41.
"It's the last one," said Mariea. "You've got to do what you've got to do."
Mariea, who said her legs feel dead and she wasn't sure there's anything left in them, also swam on the 400 freestyle relay, which was 10th (3:38.06).
Perkins senior Stephanie Gyurke didn't qualify for the 500-yard freestyle finals, finishing ninth in 5:11.46. Gyurke, a three-time state placer in the event, was fourth a year ago in the 500.
Anglin was 13th with a 5:16.31.
Cremean swam a 59.95 in the 100 butterfly to gain the No. 10 time and earn another swim today. She was 24th in the 500 (5:28.96).
Perkins junior Beth Gyurke was 21st in the 200 IM (2:16.90), and Chapman, a sophomore, was 23rd in the breaststroke (1:09.43).
Meek was 17th in the 50 (24.85), just missing the final cut to the consolation final that went to Dayton Oakwood's Natasha Wahl (24.79).
The Long-est yard
The way Michael Long described the thrill of swimming at the state meet, you'd have thought he won Olympic gold.
Long may have finished last, 24th overall, in the 200IM preliminaries (2:06.73) and must wait a year to try to make the second day, but the junior was exhilarated with swimming an individual event.
"It was awesome. I was so excited because this is something I always wanted," said Long, who swam on Port Clinton's relays a year ago. "It's such a proud accomplishment for me -- very exciting."
Teammate Josh Scott swam a 50.55 in the 100 for 24th place, and both Scott and Long swam relays; The 200 freestyle relay (Long, Christian Raff, Cody Gray, Scott) was 23rd (1:33.35), the 400 freestyle relay (Long, Raff, Tyler Scott, Josh Scott) had the same placement with a 3:31.53.
Margaretta senior Sydney Craig will swim in the consolation heat today in the 50-yard freestyle after she turned in a 24.68 in the preliminary.
"It was all I could do. We'll see where it gets me," Craig said.
Craig, the only swimmer for the Polar Bears -- Tyler Beekman competed Wednesday in diving -- is a four-time state qualifier. This marks the second consecutive year she will swim the consolation heat.
"It was about what she went last year," coach Joe Groscost said. "I was pleased we're coming back."
Dive on in
The sports proverb "You perform how you practice" need not apply to Perkins junior Rachel Mulvin, who was 10th in the Division II diving competition on Wednesday.
"It was bad in warmups. But I pulled it together for my dives," Mulvin said.
She went to coach Steve Cremean and said, "I promise I'll do better."
And Mulvin did better with each dive, Cremean said, and Mulvin kept moving up the board.
"I nailed the first dive and after that I knew I could do it," said Mulvin, who entered as the No. 12 seed. "I think me and Kori (Penrod) did a nice job."
Penrod, a senior for the Pirates, finished 15th (319.20).
"Kori pushed me with all my dives. She tells me to go higher and harder," Mulvin said.
The 10th-place finish shows the improvement Mulvin, who was sixth at the district meet, has made this year, Cremean said.
"I'm very happy for her," Cremean said. "Obviously, we had one of the best diving districts here wtih six kids placing in the top 10."
The girls in green
Oak Harbor didn't advance any of its swimmers to the second day of competition.
The 200 medley relay (Bethany McNutt, Danielle Franck, Marlee Carpenter, Allie Dombrowsky) was 19th in 1:54.75, not far off the 1:54.41 seed time.
Franck was 22nd in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.41).