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Aqua Cats Earn Historic Win over Toledo St. Francis, Win Comet Relays

By Joe Ginley '12 , 12/03/18, 4:45PM EST


For the first time in 22 years, the Saint Ignatius swimming & diving squad defeated Toledo's powerhouse program, St. Francis. 

The Wildcats scratched and clawed their way to a 159-155 victory on Friday, a remarkable victory for a young, promising Saint Ignatius program.

As if that weren't enough, the Wildcats represented the school well at the Swim for the Cure on Saturday at University School and won the Comet Relays on Saturday at Solon. 


Defeating Toledo St. Francis is no easy feat.

The Knights have won 50+ District Championships and contend each year at the State Meet. St. Francis is a powerhouse program. 

That didn't matter to a young Wildcats team on Friday in Toledo. The Aqua Cats earned victories across the board to claim the huge win for the program, one that could be a bellweather of great things to come. 

One of the banner wins that made the memorable evening possible occurred in the 200 Medley relay. 

Tyler Hong, Nick Hong, Joe Richmond, and John Soeder combined for a time of 1:39.06 for first place. The win proved to be critical for the Wildcats. The third-place team of John Libertin, Zach Toothman, Gerald Johnson, and William Van De Walle helped plenty, too. 

The Wildcats did not win the two other relays, but still earned valuable points.

In the 200 free, Soeder, Micah Murtha, Kian Carmichael, and Van De Walle combined for a nice second-place time of 1:33.28. Robert Gavigan, Toothman, Nick Hong, and Cormac Nolan also chipped in a solid third-place time of 1:37.35. 

In the 400 free, the Wildcats did great work with a second-place tally. Tyler Hong, Soeder, Richmond, and Carmichael teamed up for a time of 3:22.51. 

Individually, the Wildcats claimed a critical victory in the 100 breaststroke. The Aqua Cats captured a 1-2 finish in clutch fashion. Nick Hong clocked in at first (1:00.63) and Toothman followed closely behind (1:03.03). Gavigan also fought into the top five, tallying a time of 1:04.29. 

Tyler Hong worked his magic in two other races – the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke. Hong won the 100 fly with a time of 52.70 and the 100 back with a mark of 53.13. Hong is on fire to start the year. Libertin (58.43) and Johnson (1:00.44) followed his lead in the 100 fly with third and fourth place finishes, respectively. Libertin also worked into the leaderboard with a third-place finish of 1:00.25 in the 100 back. 

Richmond also experienced a great day. In addition to his work in the relays, the sophomore won the 500 free. Richmond captured the title by clocking in at 4:50.84. Christian Wolke (5:07.59) and Michael Bednar (5:13.79) aided the effort with third and fifth place efforts. 

Richmond and Bednar also did well in the 200 free. The two sophomores grabbed second (1:48.45) and fifth (1:58.04), respectively. 

Nick Hong added a second place finish in the other 200 event – the individual medley. The senior snagged a time of 2:02.12 for nice points. Toothman followed up in 2:05.07 for fourth and Wolke touched in at 2:09.07 for fifth. 

The Wildcats added some points in the sprints, too. Soeder (22.87), Murtha (23.22), and Van De Walle (23.59) claimed third, fourth, and fifth in the 50 free. Murtha staked out fourth (52.31) and Carmichael claimed fifth (52.66) in the 100 free. 

In decisive fashion, the Wildcats triumphed in the 1-meter diving. Carrying critical points, the Wildcats captured both first and second. The talented sophomore William Claus won with an exceptional score of 273.80. Promising junior Noah Keim earned second with a score of 172.55. 

All in all, not a bad night to be a Wildcat. 


The Wildcats did not show any signs of fatigue on Saturday after swimming furiously in Toledo on Friday.

In fact, the Wildcats rose to the top in a talented pool at Solon. The Wildcats overcame Hudson and Brecksville-Broadview Heights, who tied for second, and fourth-place Solon. 

In the exclusive relay meet, the Wildcats collectively won four relays. Not bad at all!

In the 200 breaststroke relay, Toothman, Gavigan, Carmichael, Nick Hong took care of business. Tyler Hong, Nick Hong, Libertin, Soeder combined to win the 200 Medley Relay. Tyler Hong, Marcie, Johnson, and Richmond did the job in the 200 butterfly relay. And in the 400 medley (4x100 IM), Tyler Hong, Toothman, Nick Hong, and Bednar brought home the gold for the Wildcats. 

The Wildcats claimed second-place in three varsity relays in great displays by young groups. Soeder, Murtha '22, Daemyen Haywood, and Van de Walle showed off nice speed in the 200 freestyle relay. Murtha, Haywood, Thomas McIntyre, and Libertin clocked in quickly in the 200 backstroke relay. And finally, Soeder, Richmond, Marcie, and Carmichael took silver in the 400 freestyle relay. 

The Wildcats also notched one third-place finishing squad – Nolan, Van De Walle, Wolke, and Richmond in the Crescendo Relay (50/100/200/500).

In addition, the Wildcats won a JV race –  Johnson, Wolke, McIntyre, and Nolan in the 200 free. 

In the diving portion, Claus claimed fourth. 

Such a strong effort in the relays should lead to success this weekend and beyond for the Wildcats. 


Besides the Solon Relays, the Swim for A Cure also drew a number of Saint Ignatius swimmers.

Several young Wildcats notched great times at University School's early-season meet. 

Brice Cerar tabbed one of the best individual times with a fourth-place effort in the 50 Breaststroke. Cerar also had a hand in several relays. 

Other nice finishers include: Sam Hessler (6th, 100 back), Bailey Detering (6th, 100 breast), Daniel Argalious (6th, 50 back / 12th, 50 fly), Vincent Elmore (14th, 50 free), Will Trenta (27th, 100 free)

In the relays, Detering, Brendan Kiskorna, Elmore, and Cerar earned fourth in the 400 free. Sam Hessler, Cerar, Argalious, Stephen Buckles combined for a sixth-place effort in the 200 medley. Stefano Lopez, Cristian Navarrete Velez, John Giovannazzo, Kartar Vig rounded out the day with a 10th place spotter in the 200 free.