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The Aqua Cats Hoist a 12th District Championship Trophy

By Saint Ignatius Athletics, 02/18/24, 12:45PM EST


11 Wildcats have qualified for the State Meet in Canton and many receive All-American honors after a program and meet setting day.

BOWLING GREEN, OH - For the 12th time in program history, the Aqua Cats have won the District Championship. It is the first time since the 2021-22 season that the Cats hoisted the Northwest District Title, dethroning Toledo St. Francis de Sales, and qualified 11 Wildcats to the State Meet. 

The Wildcats made the trip out west to Bowling Green State University for the Northwest District Title on Saturday, February 17. What has been a motto for the Aqua Cats in the last month is shattering program and meet records, which continued on Saturday afternoon.

Senior Josh Toothman broke his program record in the 100-yard Free with a time of 44.45. Toothman owned the record after the Sectional Meet, previously held by Tyler Hong '21. Toothman wasn't finished; he would set a new Northwest District Meet record that has not been touched since 2012 in the 50-yard Free. With his time of 20.13, he would break Erik Risolvato's meet record and set a NW Division I record previously set by Micah Murtha '22. 

In the 100-yard Free, Toothman broke a 15-year-old record that was set by Roman Willets in 2009.

The records continued to be shattered by the Wildcats with the 200-yard Free Relay team of Toothman, Max Santora, Jude Banks and Tyler Williams. The relay team would set a new NW District Meet record with a time of 1:23.61, which Toledo St. Francis held from the 2013-14 season. 

All-American honors were given to all three Wildcat Relay Teams at the District Meet, including the 200-yard Medley, 200-yard Free, and 400-yard Free. Along with Toothman in the 50-yard and 100-yard Free, they were named to the NISCA All-American Team for the 2023-24 season. 

In total, 11 Aqua Cats will be heading to Canton next weekend for the OHSAA State Championship. Below are those that qualified and for which events. 

Josh Toothman (50 Free, 100 Free, 200 Free Relay, 400 Free Relay)

Tyler Williams (200 Free, 100 Free, 200 Free Relay, 400 Free Relay)

Max Santoro (200 Free, 200 Free Relay, 400 Free Relay)

Luke Murtha (200 Medley Relay, 50 Free, 100 back)

Anthony McIntyre (100 Free)

Connor Fitzgerald (200 Medley Relay, 100 Fly)

Jaimeson Hong (200 Medley Relay, 200 IM, 100 back, 400 Free Relay)

Thor Johannessen (200 IM, 100Breast)

Christopher Saxon (100 Breast)

Jude Banks (200 Medley Relay, 200 IM, 200 Free Relay, 100 Breast)

Isaac Chernisky (Alternate)

The Cats will compete at C.T. Branin Natatorium at Canton McKinley High School. The program has never won a State Championship but will be well-represented in Canton next weekend for a shot at the crown. 

Full event recap below of the District Meet:

200 Medley Relay:

2nd- Hong, Banks, Fitzgerald, Murtha 1:32.37

200 Freestyle:

2nd- Williams 1:40.71

4th- Santoro 1:44.11

9th- McIntyre 1:47.85

10th- Ormiston 1:58.40

200 Individual Medley:

1st- Hong 1:52.75

4th- Johannessen 1:57.09

9th- Fitzgerald 2:02.72

50 Freestyle:

1st- Toothman 20.13

3rd- Murtha 21.61

9th- Saxon 22.06

100 Butterfly:

1st- Banks 50.86

3rd- Fitzgerald 51.73

100 Freestyle:

1st- Toothman 44.45

2nd- Williams 45.84

3rd- McIntyre 48.09

200 Freestyle Relay:

1st- Williams, Santoro, Toothman, Banks 1:23.61

100 Backstroke:

1st- Hong 50.04

4th- Murtha 52.60

8th- I. Chernisky 55.75

100 Breaststroke:

2nd- Banks 57.18

5th- Johannessen 58.67

6th- Saxon 59.20

400 Freestyle Relay:

1st- Toothman, Santoro, Hong, Williams 3:05.35