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Talent and Depth on Display as Aqua Cats Crowd Podium at JV Championships

By Joe Ginley '12 , 02/03/19, 5:30PM EST


As the Saint Ignatius varsity swimming and diving team continues preparation for the Sectional Meet, the younger members of the squad were busy this weekend.

The Wildcats dominated the JV Championship Meet at the Canton McKinley Natatorium on Saturday. No team totals were kept, but if they were, the Wildcats would stand atop all others.

Every Saint Ignatius swimmer made it to the podium (top 8 finishers earn spots on the podium). In each of the three relays, the Wildcats’ A and B teams clinched spots on the podium.

Simply stated, the future of the Saint Ignatius swimming and diving program is bright. The team is loaded with young talent.

Saturday began with the 200 medley relay. The Wildcats started the day strong by placing two teams in the top three. Ryan Anthony, Jack Johannessen, Daniel Argalious, and Vincent Elmore rolled to first place, tallying a time of 1:50.53. Bailey Detering, Brice Cerar, John Zaky, and CJ Navarrete Velez tagged in just moments later for third at 1:52.51.

The Wildcats then rattled off great times in individual events. Luke Slabe and Stephen Buckles began the process with times of 2:07.97 and 2:13.03 for fifth and seventh in the 200 free. The 200 IM produced four finishers in the top seven. Elmore topped the tandem with a second-place mark of 2:12.74. Johannessen touched the wall at 2:15.03 for third. Brice Cerar followed him in fourth at 2:15.30, and Damon Durrah rounded out the group with a seventh-place time of 2:34.74.

A giant pack of Wildcats swam in the 50 free. Argalious finished first among them, earning silver at 23.20. John Giovannazzo and Detering broke the top 10 with times of 24.96 and 25.10 for ninth and tenth. Navarrete Velez (25.16), Zaky (25.21), and Ryan Anthony (25.35) wheeled in at 12th, 14th, and 16th. Brendan Kiskorna (25.68), Stefano Lopez (27.19), and William Trenta (27.81) flew into 20th, 30th, and 40th, respectively.

The 100 fly produced four top times and a podium crowded with Cats. Argalious commanded third place, clocking in at 58.63. Zaky also broke one-minute, earning fourth at 59.31. Slabe crafted a seventh-place finish at 1:06.66, while Kiskorna snagged eighth at 1:07.07.

Three Wildcats competed in the 100 free. Navarrete Velez finished foremost among them with a time of 54.70 for ninth. Detering and Trenta flew in at 11th and 28th with times of 55.86 and 1:02.07.

The Wildcats’ lone representative at 500 free did great work. Senior Stephen Buckles swam the marathon race at a good clip, taking fourth at 6:08.50.

The second relay of the afternoon, the 200 free, turned out two great finishes for the Wildcats. Zaky, Cerar, Detering, and Giovannazzo teamed up for a mark of 1:38.09 and runner-up honors. Trenta, Durrah, Slabe, and Anthony combined for seventh, a time of 1:46.17.

Ryan Anthony was the sole representative for the Wildcats in the 100 back. The sophomore did great work in the event. Anthony fired off a fifth-place effort, notching a time of 1:05.36.

A talented group of six Wildcats reached the podium in the 100 breast. Elmore charged into first among the Cats, lighting up a second-place finish of 1:07.36. Johannessen nipped at his heels, coming in third at 1:08.14. Lopez locked up fifth with a time of 1:10.75, closely followed by Cerar in sixth at 1:11.96. Giovannazzo (1:11.96) and Durrah (1:12.91) wrapped up seventh and eighth for the Wildcats in a marvelous pack of Cats.

The 400 relay concluded a remarkable day for the young Wildcats. Argalious, Johannessen, Elmore, and Navarrete Velez worked together for silver, touching in at 3:33.97. Buckles, Kiskorna, Lopez, and Slabe teamed up well for fifth, notching a time of 3:55.28.

Looking ahead, the varsity team  will compete in the familiar waters of the Robert Busbey Natatorium on Saturday. Cleveland State’s beautiful venue will provide the site for the Sectional Meet.