The Stow-Munroe Falls swimming teams did battle with a pair of Catholic school powers from the west side of Cleveland Dec. 22.
Swimming at Lakewood High School, the Stow boys lost a 127-57 to the Eagles. However, the girls were able to score a decisive win over Cleveland St. Joseph Academy 130-55.
As a result, both teams had records of 3-1 as of press time.
When Stow Coach Dan Reese added St. Edward to the schedule this season many of the boys turned their heads in bewilderment. Coach said,
"If you want to be one of the big boys you have to play with the big boys," Reese said. "This was a tough match-up for us. St. Eds has incredible talent and depth, but our men stepped up, had several great swims and showed incredible resilience in the meet."
First and second place finishes where hard to come by, but junior Cody Vantrease, senior Will Sheppard and senior Jacob Earle were up to the challenge.
"Cody Vantrease continues to look stronger and stronger each meet and he is looking strong heading into our league championship meet," Reese said.
Vantrease took first in the 100 butterfly with a (57.73) and second in the 200 freestyle (1:53.83).
"My 200 free wasn't the greatest and I knew I needed to put it behind me for the 100 butterfly," Vantrease said. "I felt strong and controlled throughout the entire race. It's not where I need to be at the end of the season, but it was still a great time."
Sheppard scored with his first place finish a score of 172.50 in one-meter diving.
Earle took second in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:06.55.
"Even though we were all very tired and sore we were able to get some very good swims in." Earle said. "Though we had lost the meet halfway through us guys still had fun and cheered each other on. It was nice to see everyone still going out and giving it their all."
In other scoring, the 200 freestyle Medley Relay of Vantrease, Earle, senior Cameron Potter, and junior Curtis Henry took third with a 1:50.39. Earle took third in the 200 freestyle (1:58.21).
Sophomore Shane Riddle (2:30.26) took fourth in the 200 IM. Potter (24.23) and Henry (25.07) took third and fifth respectively.
In diving, seniors Parker Gabriel (129.30 points) and Jeff Bryrne (101.25) took third and fourth.
Junior Calub Studt took fifth with a 1:16.90 in the 100 butterfly.
Potter went a 53.59 in the 100 freestyle, taking third.
Riddle (5:43.49) and junior Justin Faluotico (5:45.20) took fourth and fifth in the 500 freestyle.
The 200 freestyle Relay team of Vantrease, Henry, Earle and Potter took second (1:36.97).
Finishing out the scoring for the Bulldogs in the 400 freestyle relay (4:01.61) were Riddle, junior Schuyler Morris, senior Ethan Schur and Faluotico.
Meanwhile, the girls put forward one of their best efforts of the season vs. the Jaguars.
Junior Jenni Heid led the Bulldogs with two first-place finishes.
Heid took first in the 50 freestyle (26.55) and in the 100 freestyle (59.51).
Juniors Tori McCauley and Ainsley Wilbur and sophomores Kelly Vantrease and Kelsey Wenk scored first and second place finishes.
McCauley won the 100 breaststroke with a 1:17.67 and took second in the 100 freestyle with a 1:00.15. Wilbur took first in the 200 IM (2:26.54) and second in the 200 freestyle with a 1:08.73.
Vantrease took first with a personal record 2:08.52 in the 200 freestyle and second in the 500 freestyle with a 5:42.31.
Wenk took first in the 500 freestyle with a 5:40.57 and second in the 200 IM (2:27.68).
"Outstanding swims by Kelly Vantrease, every time she swims right now she is showing improvement, their is no limit on her ability," Reese said. "Kelsey Wenk continues to be a great leader in the pool, giving our team quality swim after quality swim."
Junior Maddie Dyer recorded a first-place finish in the 100 butterfly (1:06.82) and a third-place finish in the 50 freestyle (28.19).
Junior Lindsey Adkins scored two-second place finishes. She earned a 2:09.64 in the 200 freestyle and a 1:10.38 in the 100 backstroke.
In the 100 breaststroke, freshman Gretchen Evan 1:19.63 took second and freshman Becca Luketich took third with a 1:22.17.
Stow swept first place finishes in all three relays.
Wenk, Wilbur, Heid and McCauley took first in the 200 medley relay with a 2:01.17.
Heid, Wilbur, Vantrease and McCauley took first in the 200 freestyle relay with a 1:54.05 and Wenk, Adkins, Vantrease and Earle took first in the 400 freestyle Relay with a time of 4:10.10.
"Our relays are improving every meet, no matter whom we put in them; the girls step up and do a great job," Reese said. "This time a year our focus is on our training, our swimmers are tired, worn down and sore, but we still found a way to have several personal best swims today. The leadership of our team captains, Maddie Dyer and Rachael Moretti, has been vital for success this past week and it will continue to be over the next few weeks. We are in a great position to have a lot of success at our league championship meet on January 5."
Stow was set to take on Normandy in Parma Dec. 27, but the meet was postponed due to inclement weather.
The NOC Championship Meet will take place Jan. 5 at Busby Natatorium on the campus of Cleveland State University. First race is set for 10 a.m.