Making the championship finals at the Northeast Classic is an accomplishment on any day, but doing it after competing in an emotional duel meet the night before against your archrival Cuyahoga Falls is even better. The Stow swimmers who make it to finals are basically swimming three meets in twenty-four hours. “It was exhausting, yet very rewarding when we get to swim in the finals at CT Branin Natatarium in Canton, Ohio.” said junior Cody Vantrease. “It’s the home of the swimming state championships.” Each season swimmers from across the state of Ohio look forward to the Northeast Classic. It’s a tune up for the quest to reach states because the best of the best are represented. It’s a great measuring stick as to how a swimmer is doing during their season. Stow was fortunate to send three swimmers to the finals in individual events and the boys 400 Free Relay.
By qualifying for the championship finals in the 200 Free Vantrease finished 8th place overall with a 1:51.64. Head Coach Dan Reese commented, “To finish in the top eight at the Northeast classic is a great achievement. Cody should be very excited moving forward towards the rest of the season.” Vantrease qualified for the bonus final in the 100 Fly finishing 18th place with a personal best time of 55.05. Senior Jacob Earle, who set the school record in the 100 breast stroke the week before at the conference championships, qualified for the consolation final and finished 15th overall in the 100 Breast with a 1:02.94. In the 200 IM Earle qualified for the bonus final finishing 22nd overall with a time of 2:08.60.
Any time a sophomore makes finals in a meet like the Northeast Classic, it makes a statement. Sophomore Kelsey Wenk did just that by qualifying for the bonus final and finishing 21st overall with a 56.23 in the 100 Free.
The boys 400 Free Relay team of senior Cameron Potter, junior Justin Faluotico, senior Jacob Earle and junior Cody Vantrease qualified for the consolation finals finishing 12th overall with a season best time of 3:28.53. Reese remarked, “At the Northeast classic I was really proud of the group of swimmers that went. Being able to send five swimmers to the finals is a great improvement over last year’s performance at this meet.”