2020 is off to a great start for the Saint Ignatius swimming & diving program.
To begin the new year, the Wildcats practiced twice a day and lifted with Strength & Conditioning Coach Anthony Rubino over Christmas break. The work has already paid off with two resounding victories.
After defeated St. Edward on Friday, the Wildcats notched another win on Tuesday, this time on the road. The Aqua Cats defeated University School, 179-123, at Hathaway Brown.
With the win, the Wildcats retained the team's spotless record in dual meets. The men of Ohio City have a 6-0 record against opposing squads in dual meets, with only one dual meet left on the schedule.
From start to finish, the Wildcats swam well in the 56-point victory on Tuesday. As per usual, the contest began with a win in the 200 medley relay.
Tyler Hong, Zach Toothman, Brian Johnson, and John Soeder kicked things off by claiming the gold in the event. The quartet tallied the top time of 1:37.99. Erik Seicean, Robert Gavigan, Cormac Nolan, and Will Van de Walle also produced a sterling time in the event, finishing third at 1:42.38.
The Wildcats had four representatives in the next event, the 200 free. Joe Richmond finished first amongst the Saint Ignatius contingent, earning second with a mark of 1:48.23. Thomas McIntyre and Michael Bednar swam neck-and-neck, finishing fifth and sixth with times of 1:52.50 and 1:52.55. Cam Marcie rounded out the pack with a time of 1:55.35 for seventh.
Tyler Hong returned to the pool in the 200 IM and promptly earned a victory. The junior topped the competition with a time of 1:52.44. Toothman followed with a mark of 2:05.95 for third. Kian Carmichael lit up a time of 2:08.27 for fourth. Sam Hessler tabbed a mark of 2:15.07 for sixth.
The Clevelanders also had four swimmers in the 50 free. Micah Murtha led the way for the Wildcats, tearing through the water for a time of 22.35 and second place. Soeder and Van de Walle dueled closely, taking third and fourth with times of 22.49 and 22.72. Thomas Metz closed out the group with a sixth-place mark of 23.49.
The Wildcats enjoyed a significant lead at the diving break, 58-43.
Will Claus helped to extend the lead with a nice effort in the diving. The junior tore off a score of 264.25, winning the gold for the Wildcats. Noah Keim earned the bronze, penning a score of 149.30 in the 1-meter dive.
The Wildcats kept fighting hard after the break.
The squad started out with a solid swim in the 100 butterfly. Johnson led the Saint Ignatius delegation, finishing third with a time of 56.08. Nolan nipped at his heels, penciling in a time of 56.18. Cam Marcie followed in fifth, stopping the clock at 57.44. Daniel Argalious completed the event with a sixth-place finish of 57.47.
The Wildcats swam quite well in the 100 free. Murtha defeated all challengers with a time of 49.28. Carmichael touched the wall at 50.15, earning third place. Soeder fought for a time of 50.79, catapulting to fourth. Metz snagged sixth place with a time of 52.16.
Joe Richmond locked up first place for the Wildcats in the 500 free. The star junior conquered the race in 4:55.45, a nice time. Bednar looked steady at 5:04.50 for third place. Thomas McIntyre cemented a time of 5:06.43 for fourth place. Benjamin Stavar snatched a time of 5:26.01 for seventh.
The Wildcats placed two teams in the top three of the 200 free relay. Soeder, Murtha, Hong, and Van de Walle sat on the throne with a first-place time of 1:28.88. Nolan, Carmichael, Metz, and Richmond finished not far behind, framing third with a time of 1:31.69.
Another win rolled in with the 100 backstroke. Tyler Hong did the honors, taking first with a time of 50.66. Seicean also swam well, heating up a time of 58.03 for third. Hessler followed closely with a mark of 58.85 for fifth. Stavar rounded out the bunch with a time of 1:04.49.
The Wildcats' last win of the day came in the 100 breaststroke. Toothman earned the limelight with a great time of 1:03.13. Gavigan raced to a time of 1:04.33 for a narrow second. Vincent Elmore and Jack Johannessen completed the rare 1-2-3-4 sweep with times of 1:08.64 and 1:09.18.
In the 400 free relay, the Wildcats shoehorned second and third places. Murtha, Richmond, Carmichael, and Van de Walle touched the wall in 3:23.16 for the runner-up honors. Metz, Marcie, Hessler, and Nolan tabbed a time of 3:29.57 for third.
The Wildcats also had plenty of nice efforts in the JV portion of the evening, as well.
Norman Dennert stood out in the 200 free relay. The freshman flew to a time of 2:07.55 in the event. Besides Dennert, Braeden Green (2:12.98), Will Trenta (2:15.72), and Luke Slabe (2:16.49) also performed well for the Wildcats.
Three Cats tallied nice times in the 200 IM. Daniel Anthony and Gabriel Gabrovsek fought in an epic battle for the top time in the event. Anthony emerged as the narrow winner, by just .15 seconds, 2:25.31 to 2:25.46. Neo Lopez earned third with a mark of 2:31.63.
Four Wildcats took part in the 50 free. Humbert Wirtz bested all of his teammates with a time of 24.57. CJ Navarrete Velez finished closely behind at 25.20. Brice Cerar and Charles Wilson also raced well, with times of 26.08 and 31.27.
Some familar faces hit the pool in the 100 free. John Zaky recorded a time of 1:02.59, while Anthony hit a 1:05.03, and Slabe tabbed a 1:14.40.
Bailey Detering navigated the way in the JV heat of the 100 free. The sophomore anchored the Saint Ignatius contingent with a time of 55.06. Trenta tallied a time of 1:00.50. Wilson and Cameron Philips also swam well, with marks of 1:11.37 and 1:13.63.
In the 100 backstroke, Dennert and Green did the honors. The two freshmen acquitted themselves quite well, with times of 1:05.68 and 1:06.77.
Finally in the 100 breaststroke, Kartar Vig paced the team with a time of 1:09.50. Lopez and Cerar also performed well, tabbing times of 1:16.20 and 1:17.84.
Next up for the Wildcats is the National Catholic Championships. The meet gathers top Catholic programs from across the country in Baltimore, Maryland on January 18-19. The trip is always great for team bonding and for competition in the pool, as the postseason rapidly comes into view.