Taylor Vargo came out of the pool Friday morning after her 100 breaststroke swim shaking her head.
The sophomore, a 2010 Division I state champion in the pool at C.T. Branin Natatorium, sat on a concrete bench behind the blocks, somehow knowing her time of 1 minute, 6.22 seconds wasn't a top-eight time to guarantee her return to the championship finals tonight.
Turned out it was No. 10, and Vargo missed the No. 8 qualifying spot, which went to Mason junior Morgan Etmer (1:05.93). Her top-16 finish means she'll swim in the consolation finals tonight in two events, the breaststroke and 200 freestyle.
In the warm-up pool after the race, Vargo leaned on a side wall as Sandusky coach Tommy Patterson took a knee while talking to her.
"She just became a better swimmer," Patterson said after the race. "She's going to be very, very, very good because of this."
Her splits Friday were 31.46 seconds in the first 50 yards, and 34.76 in the second half of the race -- the point at took over a year ago. In her 2010 championship swim, Vargo went 31.03 and 33.58 (1:04.61).
Vargo swam a 1:55.42 in the 200 freestyle that was the 13th overall time among the 24 swimmers.
Vargo has the bookend events of the meet today, swimming the first individual race -- the 200 free -- and the last individual event -- the breaststroke.
She was in the water for the 200 at about 9:20 a.m., then had a two-hour break before she re-entered the pool for the breaststroke at 11:27.
Rockets' coach recognized
Oak Harbor coach Andrea Sorg was honored before the start of the Division II Championship Finals with the Coaches Integrity Award from the OHSAA.
After the first meet, Sorg and assistant coach Josh Young presented medals to state-placers in the 200 medley relay. Hunting Valley University School smashed its state record from a year ago (1:34.36) and set a new standard with a meet and state record 1:31.67.
Perkins vs. Port Clinton, Part II
Fourteen of the 15 races with area swimmers in the Division II champion finals had either a Perkins or Port Clinton entry, with the Pirates and Redskins facing off in two of those.
In the 200 medley relay consolation swim, Perkins placed third in the race and 11th overall as Kim Anglin, Jillian Chapman, Camille Cremean and Sadie Ahlers posted a 1:52.25. Port Clinton's Cheyenne Meek, MacKenzie Stewart, Katelyn Zam and Allie Reynolds were 13th overall, and fifth in the race, in 1:52.85.
"We would have liked to make it back to 'A' finals," Cremean said, "but we're proud of ourselves and we had a good season."
Reynolds came right back and swam the 200 freestyle consolation to finish 10th with a 1:56.78, and was 16th in the 100 freestyle consolation (53.85).
Cremean was second in a close 100 butterfly consolation race, clocking 58.62 to the 58.49 by Cincinnati Hills freshman Kendall Hart.
"That was a good race. There's a lot of good competitors here," Cremean said. "It was a good weekend and we're having a good state meet."
Gyurke and Kim Anglin were two lanes apart in the 500 freestyle consolation, with Gyurke winning the heat in 5:07.53.
"It felt like I was on my game more," said Gyurke, who missed the championship final after clocking 5:11.46 in the prelims. "It's not anywhere near what I wanted to do, but I ended ninth."
Anglin, a sophomore, was 12th (5:14.32).
And, in the final swim for two Perkins seniors -- Gyurke and Emily Mariea -- the Pirates were fifth in the consolation heat of the 400 freestyle relay (3:40.05) and 13th overall. Both seniors, also on the fourth-place 200 freestyle relay, were the first and last leg, with junior Elizabeth Gyurke and Anglin swimming the second and third legs.
After the race, Guyrke came out of the pool and shared a hug with Mariea in a bittersweet moment.
"To be with (Gyurke), seniors together, it's a pretty sweet feeling," Mariea said.
"Everything was going through my head and I had to go out and block it and focus," said Gyurke, who posted a 53-second split. "We've been together since we were freshmen. It's said it's over. But then again, what kid doesn't want to go back to drinking pop?"
Last lap for Craig
Margaretta senior Sydney Craig swam her last lap in high school when she went 24.75 in the consolation finals of the 50 freestyle. Craig, the Sandusky Bay Conference champion this year and four-time state qualifier, finished in 14th overall.
"It is what it is, I guess," Craig said after the race. "It's been awesome. I loved every minute of it. Words can't describe this experience."
Craig was a two-time state scorer for the Polar Bears.
Rewriting the record book
Indian Hill junior Mack Rice swam a 1:51.25 to win a state title in the IM and break the Division II state record Michael Gallagher set a year ago when he won a title for St. Mary CC.
Chris Waldock's state record in the 100 butterfly fell on Friday as well. Lima Shawnee sophomore Erik Risolvato broke the Perkins graduate's record with a 49.54 to win a Division II title.
Vargo had company from Greater Buckeye Conference and Northwest Ohio Aquatic Conference swimmers from Fremont Ross in the Division I meet.
Ross senior Taylor Waggoner swam the first of three heats in the 200 freestyle, finishing in 1:58.04 for 24th. She redeemed herself in the 100 butterfly with the fifth-best time, a 57.33-second swim, to make the championship finals today.
Alex Hoffman, another Ross senior, is in the 100 butterfly consolation, tying for 14th (52.78), and the 200 freestyle consolation (15th, 1:44.02).
The girls 200 freestyle relay (Sammi Miller, Megan Hawk, Laura Duncan, Waggoner) barely missed the championship finals. Their 1:38.66 was short of the 1:38.57 from Centerville.
The boys 200 freestyle (Hoffman, Ketih Wasserman, Eric Yuhas, Luke Wilhelm) was 24th with a 1:30.08; The girls 400 freestyle (Miller, Hawk, Duncan, Waggoner) was 20th in 3:40.91; Miller was 22nd in the 50 (24.67).