The girls came into this meet still searching for their identity and they found it with a gutzy win over the Medina Bees 98-88. The team is 2-1 over all and 1-1 in the conference. After the first meet the girls had their work cut out for them and knew they needed strong performances from their veterans. The loss to Brunswick two weeks ago sent a strong message to the team that they had to come out strong. This past week they took a positive step in the right direction with a win over Western Reserve Academy, but they new that Medina was going to be a much tougher opponent. The girls knew they needed some great swims to win and Coach Dan Reese was hoping this would be the meet that would turn the corner as a team. Stow didn’t have too many first places, but in a sport where placing 2nd through 5th can rack up points, Stow took advantage.
Sophomore Kelsey Wenk led off the 200 Medley Relay in the backstroke and team veterans sophomore Jennie Heid, breaststroke, and Ainsley Wilbur, butterfly, built a slight lead for the last leg. It was up to sophomore Kelly Vantrease to bring it home as she anchored the relay and kept the lead to a .52 advantage for the win. That set the tone for the meet and Medina knew they were in for a long night. Coach Reese said, “This was a great effort by the girl's team. Every swimmer made a contribution and the meet was decided on our quality finishes and outstanding turns.”
Heid, Vantrease and Wenk took that momentum into their individual events. The girls scored first place finishes in 100 Free, 500 Free and 100 Breast. Wenk won the 100 Free with a 56.82 and Vantrease won the 500 Free with a 5:43.49 dropping almost 10 seconds off her time for a new personal record. Heid took first in the 100 Breast with a time of 1:15.28. “Jenni was outstanding setting season bests on the relay as well as in the 100 fly and 100 breaststroke.” said Coach Reese.
Wenk again led off the 200 Free Relay followed by sophomore Tori McCauley and junior Lindsey Adkins. Heid then anchored the relay to a first place time of 1:46.66.
Wenk came right back in the 100 Backstroke with a first place time of 1:06.38 out touching Medina by just over a second. Coach Reese commented, “Kelsey really stepped up and got two huge wins.”
With the outcome in the balance and only a few points in the lead going into the final event of the night the 400 Free Relay team of McCauley, Adkins, Vanrease and senior captian, Racheal Moretti had to push hard to bring home victory for the Lady Bulldogs. AGMC was rockin’ as the home crowd was cheering loud and proud. This was Moretti’s first meet back after a knee injury and she didn’t disappoint. The girls handed Moretti the lead. Moretti said, “I was so determined not to give it up. I knew that the Medina girl was right next to me.” Moretti out touched Medina by .63 for the win with a time of 3:56.59. When the final score was announced the team and fans erupted into a frenzy.
Head Coach Dan Reese said, “Our relays and depth is where we won this meet.”
In the 200 Medley Relay the team of Moretti, freshman Gretchen Evan, Junior Maddie Dyer, and senior Hannah Evan took third 2:08.98.
In the 200 Free Adkins 2:07.86 took second and Dyer 2:12.86 took third.
In the 200 IM Wilbur 2:26.18 finished second and Vantrease 2:29.29 finished fourth.
In the 50 Free junior Tori McCauley 26.36 finished second and Moretti finished fourth with a 27.85.
Junior diver Sierra Clark 104.77 and freshman diver Erika Delker 89.25 finished third and fifth.
In the 100 Fly Heid 1:04.83, Wilbur 1:07.47 and sophomore Kristen Earle 1:13.01 finished second, third and fifth respectively.
In the 100 Free Adkins 58.37 and McCauley 58.52 finished third and fourth.
In the 500 Free Dyer finished third with a 5:50.39.
In the 200 Free Relay the team of Moretti, Wilbur Dyer and Evan finished third with a time of 1:53.56
Sophomores Taylor Lewis 1:16.39, a personal record, and Erin Fenwick 1:18.33 finished fourth and fifth.
In the 100 Breast G. Evan took third with at time of 1:17.40
Coach Reese remarked, “The Medina meet marked the end of a tough week of meets and practices for our team, it is clear we are a much better team at the end of this week than even a month ago.”
Next up for the Bulldogs is St. Eds at Lakewood High School on Saturday, Dec. 22 at 1:00pm.