Canfield gets second

CANTON – Senior Nicholas Montalto said going into Friday’s Division II state swim meet finals with the fourth- and sixth-best times weren’t good enough. That the performances they had in the respective 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays were lackluster for the Cardinals during Thursday’s state preliminaries.

“We weren’t into this,” Montalto said. “I said, ‘This is it. Let’s go show these guys what we’re made of.’ “

Sophomore Connor Brady didn’t shy away from the moment as he started the 200 relay final Friday at the C.T. Branin Natatorium.

“Before everyone is nervous,” Brady said. “You step up on that block, it’s nothing. For me, everything is slow motion.

“Take your mark. Boom, you’re gone.”

It eventually led to Canfield grabbing second place in a time of 1:27.37. Sandusky Perkins took first (1:26.15).

“We felt it,” Brady said. “Everybody pulled their weight. As you can see, it paid off.”

It was a feeling senior Michael Cardone won’t soon forget.

“It was amazing,” he said. “State runner-up is a big deal. I can never outdo that in my life.”

Junior Daniel Bogen didn’t want to be outdone for second place, bring up the team’s 200 anchor leg.

“During that 200 free relay I saw three guys to my right and three guys to my left that were right on us,” said Bogen, whose team finished ninth with 77 points. “I said, ‘I’m not going to lose to these guys.’ In the water, in and out – no breaths. Just hope it came out and it did.”

The four still had the 400 relay to finish Friday’s finals. Canfield came away with fourth (3:13.80).

“We had to keep our heads down,” Bogen said. “We said we’d use the excitement from that to get greedy and go for more.

“To place as high as we did is incredible.”

The finish was a great send off for Cardone and Montalto.

“We were so excited bring a runner-up to Canfield,” Montalto said. “It’s the greatest feeling in the world. Going into this final heat and do as well as we did, I couldn’t be happier for these guys.

“To graduate on this feels so amazing.”

OTHER CANFIELD FINISHES: Montalto, 16th, 100 freestyle, 49.10; Brady, ninth, 100 butterfly, 52.17; Brady, 14th, 100 backstroke, 54.62.