FREMONT — Thirteen schools and 377 swimmers began their quest Friday and Saturday for the State Swimming and Diving Championships.
The bonus was a handful of new sectional records at the Fremont Ross Natatorium.
Perkins junior Stephanie Gyurke was at the front of the pack, setting four sectional marks in her four wins.
This weekend’s sectional meet was the first step on that road. The top finisher in each division earned an automatic berth to the district meet at Bowling Green, while the rest of the field will be filled out among the top times from the sectional this afternoon.
The Division II meet is Thursday and Saturday, and the Division II meet is Wednesday and Friday.
Official standings listed Fremont Ross as champs in both meets, with the Pirates — who are in Division II — in second place and Sandusky in third. Marion Harding was the only other Division I school at the Fremont sectional with Ross and Sandusky.
“It was a very good day,” said Perkins coach Steve Cremean, who has two goals in mind with a postseason meet. The first is to advance as many swimmers to the next round, and the second is to position some swimmers to score points.
“The kids did a very good job attacking both of those angles,” he said. The times for the Pirates, like most of the teams, were down and should drop more next week with more rest.
Gyurke swam a 2:10.27 in the 200 individual medley — beating her own record of 2:11.52 from 2009 — and posted a 5:13.99 in the 500 freestyle.
The Pirates’ 200 medley relay (Kimberly Anglin, Katie Quinn, Camille Cremean, Jillian Chapman) went 1:52.80, while the 200 freestyle group of Chapman, Emily Mariea, Sadie Ahlers and Gyurke had a meet-record 1:42.60. The old records were a 1:57.16 in the medley and a 1:45.88.
The 400 freestyle relay made it three-for-three with its 3:45.02 from Mariea, Anglin, Beth Gyurke and Stephanie Gyruke, besting the old 3:46.96 the Pirates set a year ago.
Sandusky freshman Taylor Vargo also set a meet record in the 200 freestyle with her 1:57.83. Port Clinton’s Allie Reynolds had the top Div. II time, a 1:58.93, to secure a district berth.
Reynolds came back with a sectional-record 54.61 in the 100 freestyle to top the 56.42 from 2009.
The meet’s most exciting rave might have been the narrow win for Port Clinton’s MacKenzie Stewart in the breaststroke with her record 1:07.51. Vargo was right behind with a 1:07.56 to earn a Division I seed,
Gus Everson’s 21.52 in the 50 freestyle and meet-record 47.36 in the 100 earned him another trip to the district meet.
“This was our best meet of the year,” Sandusky coach Tommy Patterson said. “The kids showed up rested and swam incredible.”
Perkins sophomore Camille Cremean set a meet record in the 100 butterfly with a 1:00.14, and Anglin’s 1:02.49 also set a new mark in the backstroke.
The Pirate boys started the day exactly the way they did a year ago, when they set a meet record in the 200 medley relay — the event they eventually won at state — as Michael Kessler, Kevin Bressler, Kevin Ebert and Jonathan Harris combined for a 1:46.03. The previous record, set by Perkins in 2007, was a 1:46.90.
The Pirates’ 200 freestyle (Waldock, Ebert, Harris, Mulvin) went 1:30.28, and the 400 freestyle of Waldock, Mulvin, Kessler and Bressler swam a 3:23.33.
Mulvin swam a 1:48.96 in the 200 and a 4:53.01 in the 500, while Waldock won the 200 individual medley in a sectional-record 1:59.17, and was first in the 100 butterfly in 53.40.
Bressler broke the breaststroke meet record (a 1:04.33 from 2009) with his 1:03.94.
Jack Stauffer had the top Div. I finishes in the 200 medley (2:09.37) and backstroke (59.45), while Brock Cremean moved on in the breaststroke (1:10.46).
The Blue Streaks had the top qualifying time in the 200 medley relay (Stauffer, Brock Cremean, Jeremy White, Zach Waddington) in 1:49.46, with in the 200 freestyle relay (Waddington, Eric Bondarenko, Jack Stauffer, Everson) in 1:31.38 and 400 freestyle relay (Bondarenko, White, Nolan Murray, Everson) in 3:25.14.
“We couldn’t have it go any better,” Patterson said. “We didn’t sacrifice training and got them out (to district). That’s important.”
White clinched a spot in the 500 (5:15.51) and the girls 400 freestyle relay (Holly Lippus, Britana Cremean, Mary Murray, Vargo) had the top Div. I time with 3:50.19.
St. Mary CC senior Michael Gallagher swam a 55.67 in the backstroke to move on to the district phase.
Margaretta junior Sydney Craig, a state qualifier a year ago in the 50 freestyle, won the event Saturday with her 25.30, while Perkins’ Kevin Ebert earned a Div. II spot with his 22.52. Ebert also had a 49.68 in the 100.Rachel Patton was third in the 500 freestyle for the Polar Bears in 5:36.68, setting a school record in the process.
Friday’s diving competition saw Perkins’ Kori Penrod (363.20) beat her own sectional record of 358.30, while Chris Wiehe scored 323.70 points in Div. 2 boys.
“Step One is complete,” Cremean said. “It’s a job well done by the swimmers and divers. We should have good morale and a good feeling about what we can accomplish.”