By Dan Woodlock
Times-Junction Sports Editor
Willard didn’t take long in chasing the Sharks right out of their own pool, as the Waves opened their summer swim season with a decisive 317-148 victory at Shelly Acres.
The Waves swept all 10 relays on the evening, broke three team records, and likely could have produced even more, had the event not been cut short due to darkness.
Paxton Gibson set two of the three records on the day, and was sizzling to the level that he even jumped up an age division and came away with a win.
Gibson took down the team record in the 11-12 boys 100 IM (swimming a 1:27.14) and also established a new mark in the 11-12 boys 50 Free (31.38 seconds). Both records were previously held by Blake Thompson, at 1:27.41 and 33.05, respectively.
He also joined Max Dawson, Bennett Visser and Cam Robinson on the winning 11-12 boys 200 Medley Relay (3:02.95), before bumping up to compete in the 13-14 boys 50 Backstroke. His 41.67-second win in that race came by more than a 13-second margin.
Aubrey Falter snapped the girls 11-12 50 Backstroke record of 47.24, set by Macey Compton. Falter swam a 42.15-second winning time against Shelly Acres. She also won the 50 Fly (45.72) and joined Kelsey Lykins, Emily Danhoff and Aryana Ruckman on a first place swim in the 11-12 girls 200 Medley Relay (3:13.71).
Payne Flores had a big night for the Waves, as he was part of four first place finishes. He led everyone in the 13-14 boys 100 IM (1:35.51), 50 Free (32.71) and 50 Fly (39.64) and swam with Mason Carnahan, Jayson Bruner and Owen Feichtner in the 200 Medley Relay (2:52.73).
Morgan Lofland and Harry Meisner led the way for Willard in the 9-10 division. Lofland won the 25 Fly (33.06) and the 25 Back (24.23), just ahead of teammate Cora Clark’s 24.44. Clark (who won the 25 Free at 18.82 seconds) joined Lofland, Maddie Whetstone and Katie Chachko for a win in the 100 Medley Relay (1:46.34). Chachko tacked on a first place time in the 100 IM (2:06.14).
Meisner took the measure of the field in the 25 Free (17.8) and the 25 Back (24.81) and also swam on a winning 100 Medley Relay team with Levi Schag, Paxton Flores and Mason Dawson (1:33.53). Flores also notched first place points in the 25 Fly (24.0).
In 15-18 competition against the Sharks, Willard’s Alyssa Strayer stepped up with a win in the 50 Fly (32.76), as did Mckenzie Danhoff in the 100 Free (1:22.5). Both swimmers combined with Brianna Montgomery and Hannah Eitle for first place in the 200 Medley Relay (2:48.26).
Nick Bauer picked up wins in the boys 15-18 50 Free (28.06) and 100 Free (1:03.4), as well as the 200 Medley Relay (2:13.57) with Blake Thompson, Charlie Slone and Blake Smith. Thompson won the 50 back (34.73) and only trailed teammate, Blake Smith, 32.19-to-32.58 in the 50 Fly.
Amara Rodriguez won both the 25 Free (23.26) and 25 Backstroke in the 8U girls division. Also bringing home wins for the Waves were the following: 6U Girls--25 Free: Zoe Badziong (1:03.82); 6U Boys--25 Free: Quinxie Medina (46.57); 8U Girls--100 Medley Relay: NA (2:30.23), 25 Fly: Kelsie Chachko (29.21); 8U Boys--100 Medley Relay: Tyler Badziong, Jaxson Strickland, Lucas Winans, Nash Feichtner (2:11.74), 25 Fly: Winans (33.0); 11-12 Boys--50 Fly: Robinson (50.24), 50 Back: Dawson (51.43); 13-14 Girls--200 Medley Relay: Macey Compton, Kamdyn Polachek, Drea Rodriguez, Addie Stephens (2:52.05), 50 Back: Compton (45.33).
Colonel Crawford 514, Willard 266
The Waves found some success in the 11-12 boys and 15-18 boys divisions, but Colonel Crawford was stingy with the points pretty much everywhere else in downing Willard in a non-conference meet.
The Waves garnered six wins out of the 11-12 boys, led by Paxton Gibson in the 50 Free (27.84), 100 Free (1:05.23) and 50 Back (35.54), as well as anchoring the 200 Medley Relay (2:40.67) and 200 Free Relay (2:11.54). Max Dawson and Cam Robinson were on both relays, while Bennett Visser and Mason Carnahan competed in the Medley and Free, respectively. Carnahan was also a winner in the 50 Breaststroke (50.05).
Nick Bauer took both the 200 IM (2:22.23) and the 100 Breaststroke (1:08.68) in the 15-18 boys division. He also swam with Blake Smith, Charlie Slone and Blake Thompson on the winning 200 Medley (1:58.49) and 200 Free Relays (1:44.23).
Payne Flores won the 13-14 boys 50 Free (28.37) and 50 Fly (31.24), while Quinxie Medina was first in the 6U 25 Free.
Mckenzie Danhoff had the lone first place finish for the Willard girls, as she took the 15-18 200 Free (2:46.07), with Keylee McCready close behind at 2:46.34.