CANTON, Ohio – The last time the Hawken girls swim team failed to win the OHSAA state championship, none of its current competitors was even born. The Hawks added to their run of consecutive state titles Friday night at the C.T. Branin Natatorium with a score of 305.00 to capture their 19th straight state championship.
“They just swam so well when it counted,” Hawken coach Todd Clark said. “The finals at night, they were very, very good.”
Hathaway Brown finished fourth with 143 points. Gilmour Academy scored 82 points for eighth place.
Here are some of the more notable performances from the girls Division II state championship Friday night:
* Hawken senior Crile Hart was the story of the night on the girls side. In her first individual event, Hart not only won the 200 individual medley for the fourth consecutive year, but she did so in state record-setting fashion. Her time of 1 minute, 59.58 seconds broke the previous record of 2:00.49, set by Hart just a year ago.
“When I race, I definitely try to race my competitors next to me but I also try to race against my own time,” Hart said. “I am trying to imagine myself swimming next to my last year’s self.”
Hart then went out and won the 100 backstroke with a time of 52.24, defeating the defending state champion, Payton Keiner of Cincinnati Christian, who finished in 52.34.
The senior added two more first-place finishes in team relays to give her four overall on the night.
* The Hawken 200 medley relay team repeated as state champions from last year. Despite only having one returner from last year’s team (Crile Hart), the Hawks were able to hold off Cincinnati Mariemont and also tie the state record time of 1:44.22. Hawken used a team of Hart, sophomore Libby Miller, junior Spencer Crawford and freshman Bainon Hart. Mariemont came in at 1:44.28.
* Hawken finished third and fourth in the 500 freestyle, with freshman Sylvia Stewart-Bates finishing third and junior Bella Ratino finishing fourth.
“I think our training group just works hard together,” Ratino said. “We know we have it. It just shows how much work we put in.”
After getting out of the pool, the two girls embraced numerous times and kept thanking each other for helping the other out.
“I think the team spirit has pumped up everybody,” Stewart-Bates said. “That’s a big thing because we are all so close.
* Hawken and Bay took home second and third place, respectively, in the 50 freestyle. Bainon Hart of Hawken finished with a time of 23.52, while Bay sophomore Maja Miedza finished in 23.86.
* Hawken finished the night the same way it started – on top of the podium in a relay. The team of Hart, Hart, Crawford and Portia Del Rio Brown won the 400 freestyle relay in a time of 3:28.00, besting the Columbus School for Girls by 0.99.
“We were talking about it before the race that this is the hardest event and you are dead tired,” Brown said. “I think it’s something special that we have the mental strength and determination to push through and keep going.”
* The Hathaway Brown 200 freestyle relay team finished second, losing out only to the Columbus School for Girls, which set a state meet record of 1:34.45. The Hathaway Brown team of freshman Maggie Perry, senior Helen Sun, senior Nell Bruckner and freshman Maggie Cha finished with a time of 1:38.07.
“It’s surreal,” Bruckner said. “We are really excited about it. We are a team made up of two freshmen and two seniors, so it is awesome for all of us.”
* Gilmour Academy finished third in the 200 medley relay. The team of sophomore Meadow Hynd, freshman Cate Ohaimhirgin, junior Peyton Rudman and senior Emma Meyer finished with a time of 1:48.17, narrowly edging out Lexington, which came in at 1:48.80.
Ryan Isley is a freelancer from Akron. For more high school sports news, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
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