CANTON — Sandusky sent one of the smallest delegations from the area to the State Swimming Championships, but the Blue Streaks are aiming high.
Two swimmers, Gus Everson and Taylor Vargo, competed in four events between them in the preliminary rounds Friday at C.T. Branin Natatorium. They swim in all four events again today.
Vargo pulled off a big surprise in the 100-yard breaststroke, finishing first overall in the preliminaries with a time of 1 minute, 4.75 seconds, earning a trip to today’s championship race. She came in as the 11th seed, logging a time of 1:06.37 at the district meet.
“It’s fantastic. I was pumped,” Vargo said. “I worked on my starts and turns a lot. I knew I was going to have to take it out faster if I wanted to make it to the finals.”
Vargo bested the top returning swimmer in the event — Rachael Dzierzak, a sophomore from Toledo Notre Dame Academy. Dzierzak finished third last year and sixth Friday. Vargo also defeated the top-seeded swimmer, Mason sophomore Morgan Etmer, who finished second overall.
Vargo also cut her time by a quarter of a second in the 200 freestyle with a mark of 1:54.99 in the prelims, good for 16th place and a trip to today’s consolation round. Vargo, a freshman, came in as the 24th seed.
“I’ve been to big meets before, and this is just another one,” she said. “You can’t let the crowd get to you.”
Everson qualified for the consolation round in both of his events — the 50 and 100 freestyles.
He finished ninth overall in the 100 freestyle in 46.82 seconds, missing the top eight and a trip to the championship heat by .05 seconds. Everson also earned a 12th-place finish in the 50 freestyle with a time of 21.49 seconds.
Last year, Everson failed to qualify for the 50 free finals.
“(The first day) was good,” he said. “Not as good as it could be, though. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.”