At the beginning of the year, there was a debate how the second division for boys swimming would "water down" the competition for the state meet.
After Saturday's conclusion of the first Division II state swimming championships, it really wasn't at the forefront as Perkins and St. Mary CC crowned what seemed like a dozen state placers.
The Pirates had a state championship relay in the medley and were third in the 400 free relay, Perkins Jimmy Chapman was second in the breaststroke and SMCC's Michael Gallagher was runner-up in the
200 IM — and that was only the boys.
Fab frosh MacKenzie Stewart took second in the breaststroke. The girls have used the two-division format for a decade. Now no one seems to mind the difference between Division I and II — it's become the norm for the girls.
Swimming used to hold that single boys division in high regard – and why not, when you can say you competed against the best the state has to offer.
But now, swimming joins the likes of every other sport that has multiple divisions: Football, basketball, baseball, soccer, track, wrestling... etc., etc.
In time, like the above-mentioned sports, more "watered-down" swimmers will filter through the state meet, which becomes a state-wide wake-up call on what type of performance you need to make an impact in Canton.
Take wrestling for example... Three of the best wrestlers in the country — not the state, the country — wrestle Division III.
The other point to validate the two-division argument: Ten years from now, no one will care the divisions were split up.
Quote of the Weekend
"Can you unzip me?"
Said to me Friday by random swimmer (male, if you wondered) on the pool deck, who needed help with the back of his speedsuit.
(I obliged, if you wondered)
The rat pack
Before leaving Canton, Perkins stopped at Chuck E. Cheese's in North Canton, an annual shin-dig after the state meet in hopes everyone returns home high-spirited.
"We finish with something fun so the whole trip is (enjoyable)," coach Steve Cremean said.
No word on whether the swimmers and parents were allowed into the pit of plastic balls or not.