The Warren G. Harding swim team is not bothered by setbacks.
The Raiders' 200-yard freestyle relay was disqualified for a false start last weekend at sectionals, a team that had hopes of even placing at the state meet in Canton.
"It was pretty heartbreaking," WGH coach Steve Lukco said.
WGH senior Sam Angelo had an event real close to the relay, the 100-yard backstroke.
Angelo qualified for this week for this Saturday's Division I districts at Cleveland State University. He is seeded 10th in the event.
"After the 200 freestyle, he gathered himself and led by example," Lukco said of Angelo. "He put it behind him and swam well in his 100 breaststroke."
- WHAT: District swimming meet
- WHERE: Cleveland State University, Robert F. Busby Natatorium
- WHEN: Today, Division I girls diving, 11:30 a.m.; Division I boys diving, 6:30 p.m. Friday, Division II girls and boys swimming, 3 p.m. Saturday, Division I girls and boys swimming, noon.
- DISTRICT QUALIFYING TO STATE MEET: Girls Division I top two from each swimming event, top seven divers, 34 at-large individual swimming, 14 at-large relay; Boys Division I top two from each swimming event, top seven divers, 24 at-large individual swimming, 14 at-large relay; Girls Division II top two from each swimming event, 24 at-large individual swimming, 14 at-large relay; Boys Division II top two from each swimming event, 24 at-large individual swimming, 14 at-large relay.
- DIVISION I BOYS: Diving Corey Butts, Warren G. Harding; Teddy Arthur, Warren G. Harding; 200 medley relay Warren G. Harding; 200 freestyle Dylan Thirion, Warren G. Harding; 200 IM Tyler Calpin, Boardman; 50 freestyle Mike Miller, Warren G. Harding; Zackary Williams, Warren G. Harding; 100 butterfly Ryan Bailey, Boardman; Miller, Warren G. Harding; 100 freestyle Thirion, Warren G. Harding; Williams, Warren G. Harding; 200 freestyle relay Boardman; 100 breaststroke Bailey, Boardman; Sam Angelo, Warren G. Harding; 400 freestyle relay Boardman.
- DIVISION I GIRLS: Diving Ally Chiu, Canfield; Lily Testa, Boardman; 200 medley relay Canfield, Boardaman; 200 freestyle Aimee Gysegem, Howland; 200 IM Olivia Williamson, Canfield; Sarah Heaven, Canfield; Sarah Gonda, Boardman; Kelsie Stutz, Boardman; Noura Azeem, Boardman; 50 freestyle Jordyn Markovitch, Boardman; Amanda Moss, Boardman; 100 butterfly
Emily Thirion, Warren G. Harding; Jessica Hilk, Boardman; Corie Kuras, Boardman; Jamie Wellham, Canfield; 100 freestyle Colleen Manning, Boardman; Markovitch, Boardman; 500 freestyle Gysegem, Howland; Mallory Allen, Canfield; 200 free relay Boardman; 100 backstroke Gaby DeAscentis, Boardman; Gonda, Boardman; 100 breaststroke Thirion, Warren G. Harding; Theresa Mikolay, Canfield; Williamson, Canfield; Stutz, Boardman; 400 freestyle relay Boardman, Canfield.
- DIVISION II BOYS: 200 medley relay Canfield; 200 freestyle relay John Tomko, Ursuline; Joe Spurio, Hubbard; Daniel Bogan, Canfield; Nicholas Preston, Lakeview; Drew Bennett, Canfield; 200 IM Kyle Anderson, Canfield; Jared Rothbauer, Canfield; 50 freestyle Nicholas Montalto, Canfield; Mike Cardone, Canfield; Joe Ray, Grand Valley; Clayton Walker, Cardinal Mooney; 100 butterfly Connor Brady, Canfield; Adam Weiss, Canfield; Spencer Ladig, Hubbard; 100 freestyle Montalto, Canfield; Bogen, Canfield; Cardone, Canfield; Ray, Grand Valley; Walker, Cardinal Mooney; 500 freestyle Tomko, Ursuline; Bennett, Canfield; Michael DiDomenico, Canfield; Anderson, Canfield; Preston, Lakeview; 200 freestyle relay Canfield; 100 backstroke Brady, Canfield; Weiss, Canfield; Alec Gaetano, Canfield; 100 breaststroke Brandon Sekanick, Howland; DiDomenico, Canfield; Matt Misko, Poland; 400 freestyle relay Canfield, Hubbard.
- DIVISION II GIRLS: Diving Celia Melillo, Poland; Nicolette Kreatsoulous, Poland; 200 medley relay Cardinal Mooney, Poland; 200 IM Jessica Morrow, Youngstown Christian; 50 freestyle Julia Castner, Hubbard; 100 butterfly Taylor Tolfi, Cardinal Mooney; Jamie Stahl, Western Reserve; 100 freestyle Castner, Hubbard; Annie Boniface, Cardinal Mooney; Maddie Evan, Poland; Mikayla Morrow, Youngstown Christian; 200 freestyle relay Hubbard; 100 backstroke Tolfi, Cardinal Mooney; Evan, Poland; Boniface, Cardinal Mooney; 100 breaststroke M. Morrow, Youngstown Christian; Maddie Leek, Cardinal Mooney; 400 freestyle relay Cardinal Mooney, Poland, Hubbard.
Angelo, junior Zackary Williams, sophomore Dylan Thirion and freshman Mike Miller did push the 200 medley relay through to districts, an event that barely got to state last year. Lukco said this year's team is running a second faster than last season.
Speaking of fast, Thirion has rolled along by qualifying in the 100 and 200 freestyle events. He's seeded sixth in the 100 and 11th in the 200.
"He's at great spot mentally," Lukco said. "His 100 and 200 freestyle looks really good."
So does Miller, who is 27th in the 100 butterfly but 10th in the 50 freestyle.
"As well as he's swam in the 50, Canton is not out of the question," Lukco said.
Williams is 14th in the 50 and 29th in the 100 freestyle.
"He's right about where we wanted," Lukco said. "We hope to improve what we did at Akron and see what happens."
As for sophomore Emily Thirion, Lukco saw a swimmer go through more than competition at sectionals.
"Emily was suffering from bronchitis Saturday," Lukco said. "She sucked it up and performed great. She swam one of her fastest times of the year. We just want her to be healthy and continue swimming fast.
"We're looking for a nice big weekend out of her."
She's third in the 100 butterfly, with one of the three district qualifying times less than a minute, and seventh in the 100 breaststroke.
Howland sophomore Aimee Gysegem and junior Brandon Sekanick each have good shots of qualifying out of districts.
Gysegem is fifth in the 200 and second in the 500 in Division I, while Sekanick is fifth in the Division II 100 breaststroke. Division II swimming starts Friday at 3 p.m.
Both are independent swimmers and are with Penguin Swimming out of Youngstown State University with assistant coach Frank Supancic.
"We have swam very, very well all season," Supancic said. "Both Brandon and Aimee have been pretty close to their lifetime bests in every meet."
"We didn't shave or taper for sectionals. We didn't have take that move. Their first shave or taper is this week for the district meet."
Brandon is doing well in the breaststroke after reaching districts last season.
"He's got an extra year of maturity," Supancic said. "His performance was kind of shocking to him. This year, he feels as if he can go faster."
As for Gysegem, she has been just a great swimmer, Supancic said.
"I as a coach don't feel I have to speak for her," he said. "Her times speak for themselves. I don't."
Supancic also has Lakeview senior Nick Preston is in the 200 and 500 freestyle.
"This could be his last shot," Supancic said. "I'm sure he will have some outstanding performances. I know he wants to go out as a winner."
Grand Valley junior Joey Ray, who is top 20 in both the 50 and 100 freestyle, has a tough task ahead.
"He can bring it at any time you want to," Supancic said. "He's in those races where the slightest hiccup or pause in that situation can cost you."
Meanwhile, Hubbard is paced by a couple of Division II swimmers that have a shot at the state meet in junior Julia Castner and senior Joey Spurio, who qualified in the 100 butterfly last season.
Spurio is seeded third in that event for districts and seventh in the 200 freestyle.
Castner is second in the 50 freestyle and fifth in the 100 freestyle.
Spencer Ladig qualified in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly, along with Hubbard's girls 200 freestyle relay. Both the boys and girls advanced a 400 freestyle relay.
Hubbard native and Ursuline senior John Tomko is third in the 200 freestyle and second in the 500 freestyle. Tomko advanced to state in both Division II events last season.
Canfield's boys 200 and 400 freestyle relays are seeded first heading into Division II districts.
Sophomore Connor Brady is second in the 100 butterfly, while teammate and senior Nicholas Montalto is third in the 50 and 100 freestyle events.
"They're a nice group of boys that motivate each other," Canfield coach Andrea Linelli said. "Seniors from last year's state relay graduated. There was a void to fill. I had several boys step it up.
"That's nice because that competition helps."
In Division I, the Canfield girls had a couple of relays and individuals advance - led by junior Mallory Allen, who is fourth in the 100 butterfly.
As for Boardman, they have all three relays heading to districts with Gaby DeAscentis, Brooke Bailey, Colleen Manning, Jordyn Markovitch, Amanda Moss, Sarah Gonda as the team's mainstays.
"Most of the girls in the relays on in one individual event so that we could go strong in all three relays," Boardman coach Terry O'Halloran said. "That's sometime a big sacrifice to give up that other individual event. But when it comes to participating at the district level, having three relays can have a lot of positive effects too when you're working with your teammates to reach a goal. I think all the girls benefit from that type of strategy."
"It's very useful if you have four girls that work well together. We're working with a combination of six girls for all six relays. They're all interchangeable."
One thing that is for sure for Boardman is senior Ryan Bailey, who is going to the United States Naval Academy in the fall. His is first in the 100 butterfly and second in the 100 breaststroke.
"He's not swimming his fastest times," O'Halloran said. "That's because he's not rested. He was not rested. He'll be going into districts a little more rested than he was at sectionals. We're expecting solid swims at the district meet. Our goal is to get into the state meet. There, he'll be totally rested."