Swimmers eye state berths as postseason begins

WARREN – The Warren G. Harding boys swim team doesn’t want to relive last year’s Division I sectional competition.

Last season, the 200-yard freestyle relay team experienced a false start and was disqualified. The WGH times were on par with those competing for state.

Senior Zackary Williams, sophomore Michael Miller, junior Dylan Thirion and sophomore Nathan Marchek are part of this year’s 200 freestyle relay.

“Our mindset is redemption and we want it really bad,” said Thirion, whose 200 relay has the second best time coming into today’s Division I South Sectional in Akron.

Thirion, who advanced to state last year in the 100 freestyle, has some of the best times in northeast Ohio in the 50 and 100 freestyle events.

WGH coach Steve Lukco said he hopes all his swimmers, can swim lifetime bests.

Junior Emily Thirion, a state qualifier last year in the 100 butterfly, swims well in the 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke. She has the top time coming into Saturday’s Division I South Sectional in the breaststroke, while her freestyle ranks fourth.

She said the WGH girls have some added firepower with swimmers like freshman Isabella Orr and Anistasia Chernaya.

EYE OF THE TIGERS: Howland junior Emilee Gysegem has the region’s top times as well in the 200 and 500 freestyle. Gysegem advanced to state in the 500 last year, placing 21st in Division I. This year, she hopes to make state in both the 200 and 500 freestyle.

She swims Saturday at the Division I sectional in Mayfield.

Her senior teammate, Brandon Sekanick, made state in the 100 breaststroke last season. He has the best time heading into tonight’s Division II sectional at Akron.

ON EAGLES WINGS: Hubbard freshman Alex Fox, sophomore Robbie Dixon, sophomore Hunter Herzberger and senior Spencer Ladig look to take a relay and some individual events to this year’s districts at Cleveland State.

Ladig comes into Friday’s Division II sectional at Akron, leading the Eagles. He has the fourth best time heading into the 100 butterfly.

Meanwhile, senior Julia Castner has put up some good times in the 50 and 100 freestyle, heading into Saturday’s Division II sectional in Akron.

OTHER AREA SWIMMERS TO WATCH: Division I Boardman’s Brooke Bailey (100 butterfly, 100 breaststroke), Canfield’s Mallory Allen (100 butterfly), Boardman’s Sarah Gonda (100 backstroke), Canfield’s 200 medley relay. Division II Canfield’ 200 freestyle, 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays, Drew Bennett (200, 500 freestyle), Kyle Anderson (200 IM, 500 freestyle), Daniel Bogan (50, 100 freestyles), Connor Brady (100 butterfly, 100 backstroke), Michael DiDomenico (100 breaststroke).

QUALIFYING FOR DISTRICTS: Division I Top two in each swimming event automatically advance to Cleveland State University district. The next 24 fastest from the sectionals for the boys and 34 for the girls in individual events and 14 at-large berths for relays advance. At-large berths are announced on Sunday. In Division II, top four in each swimming event and relays advance with 26 individual and 16 relay at-large berths for each events advance to CSU.