2019 Speedo Sectionals Cleveland: Ohio State Swim Club Strikes Back

Photo Courtesy: Danny Whirlow

By Danny Whirlow, Swimming World College Intern. 

The ABBA hit “Dancing Queen” resounded through the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium as day two of Speedo Sectionals Cleveland began. The evening saw old records shattered, and unlikely champions emerged. All the while, the Ohio State Swim Club pulled ahead with a combined point total of 749. Club Wolverine trails them with 681 total points.

Women’s 50 Backstroke

Casey Chung of Club Wolverine narrowly won gold after a tightly contested race. Her time was a 28.97, a new meet record. In second place, Nyah Funderburke of Ohio State Swim Club would finish at 29.32; her teammate, Rebekah Bradley, finished third with a 29.49.

Close behind them would be Firestone Akron Swim Team’s Lauren Cooper in fourth place, clocking in at 29.74. Crile Hart of the Cleveland Swimming Institute would finish in fifth place at 29.83. Wolverine Alexandra Nelson would finish in sixth place at 30.27, and her teammate Claire Young took seventh with a 30.52. Utica Shelby Swim Club’s Rhian Russell would take eight place with a 30.90.

Men’s 50 Backstroke

Joseph Armstrong of Canton City School got in on the record-breaking action as well. His first place finish at 25.66 also set a new pool record. Ohio State Swim Club’s Colin McDermott (26.08) and Robert Kondalski (26.46) would secure second and third place, respectively.

The unattached Brett Spires took fourth place, with a time of 26.55. Armstrong’s teammate Christopher O’Connor finished fifth at 26.60. Michigan Lakeshore Aquatics’ Joey Wachter hit the wall at 26.86, notching him sixth place. Finally, Ohio State Swim Club’s Evan Stapp was able to out touch Eric Storms of Club Wolverine to take seventh place at 27.15. Storms’ eighth place finish would clock in at 27.38.


Photo Courtesy: Danny Whirlow

Women’s 200 Freestyle

A trio of Ohio State Swim Club swimmers would dominate the podium of the Women’s 200 free. Georgia White (2:01.86) received the gold medal, Lucija Jurkovic-Persia (2:03.52) got the silver, and Nicole Fye (2:04.21) got the bronze.

Motor City Aquatics’ Gwenyth Woodbury finished fourth with a time of 2:04.52, while SwimStrongville’s Felicia Pasadyn would finish close behind in fifth place with a 2:04.60. Hannah Bellard of Club Wolverine touched at 2:05.65, taking sixth place. In seventh would be Firestone Akron Swim Club’s Sarah Watson with a time of 2:05.83. Club Wolverine’s Sydney Stricklin would round out the top eight with a 2:06.28.

Men’s 200 Freestyle

Ruslan Gaziev of the Ohio State Swim Club was able to sneak into first place with a time of 1:52.73. He beat out Bearcat Din Selmanovic by a hair; Selmanovic had to settle for second with a 1:52.74. And at 1:53.06, Oly’s Rodolfo Aguilar-Fernandez would secure third place.

Jay Johnson of Hudson Explorers Aquatic’s fourth place finish would clock in at 1:53.76, and Kyriakos Peristeridis of Southwest Y Michigan Swimming finished just behind him in fifth at 1:53.87. Ohio State Swim Club’s Daniel Gloude would take fifth with a 1:53.87, and his teammate John Sampson would finish after him in sixth with a 1:54.73. Aaron Sequeira of Club Wolverine would take eighth with a 1:55.85 finish.

Women’s 100 Butterfly

Bearcat Swimming’s Anhelina Kutsko would shrug off her competitors to take the gold medal with a time of 1:01.07. Hot on her trail was Ohio State Swim Club’s Katherine Trace, whose second-place finish clocked in at 1:01.89. Even closer behind her was Club Wolverine’s Emma Cleason, who came in third at 1:01.91.

Ohio Clippers’ Allison Piccirillo would come in fourth place at 1:02.27, with Cleason’s teammates Hannah Bellard (1:02.44) and Rhianna Hensler (1:02.92) finishing in fifth and sixth place, respectively. Seventh place would go to Clarice Fisherof of the Grosse Pointe Gators, who hit the wall at 1:03.81. Wolverine Mia Keranen took eighth place with a 1:04.14.

Men’s 100 Butterfly

An unlikely tie for first place graced swimmers Michael Schwers (Unattached) and Alex Dillmann (Ohio State Swim Club). Both went a time of 54.42. When asked about how they felt, each expressed satisfaction with their performances despite what might seem as loss; both achieved national cuts. The plot further thickened when Schwers and Dillmann revealed that they used to swim for rival clubs back in Illinois. Happy to see each other succeed, they were all smiles.


All smiles from the victors/Photo Courtesy: Danny Whirlow

Dillman’s teammate Noah Lense would receive the bronze medal. His time was a 55.14. Michael Balcerak of Bearcat Swimming took fourth place with a 55.53. SwimStrongville’s David Madej came in fifth place with a 55.96. Another Bearcat, Dominic Polling, would finish at 56.11, netting him sixth place. Lain Weaver, also of the Ohio State Swim Club, took seventh with a time of 56.19. Finally, in eighth place would be Matthew Sims of the Ohio Clippers with a time of 56.50.

Women’s 400 IM

Felicia Pasadyn of SwimStrongville was ecstatic after she won the 400 IM. She said of her performance:

“Its one of those events where I just recently started to excel in; I used to just be a backstroker, and now that my breaststroke has been improving, I’ve started to work on it more and more in practice. It was shocking, I’m really happy with it.”

Her time was a 4:52.11. She successfully held off a surging Molly Kowal, of Ohio State Swim Club fame; Kowal herself made a remarkable comeback, coming in second after being down in fifth. Her time was a 4:53.80. Hannah Schlegal of the Bobcat Swim Club got the bronze medal with a time of 4:59.32.


An unlikely champion/Photo Courtesy: Danny Whirlow

Bearcat Swimmings’ Camryn Shield would follow in fourth, clocking in at 4:59.69. Kowal’s teammate Natatlia Jaspeado would come in fifth at 5:00.27. Katherine Garrity of Bobcat Swim Club finished with a 5:00.41, a finish which net her sixth place. Lake Eerie Silver Dolphins swimmer Sylvia Stewart-Bates came in seventh place at 5:01.42, and Ohio State Swim Club’s Veronica Tafuto came in eighth with a time of 5:10.68.

Men’s 400 IM

Club Wolverine’s Bora Unalmis and David Cleason would be the dynamic duo atop the podium after the men’s 400 IM. Unalmis’ 4:28.37 secured him the gold medal, while Cleason took silver with a 4:28.92. The bronze medal would go Bearcat Blake Hanna, who returned to the podium with a time of 4:33.15.

Another Wolverine, Zane Rosely, would take fourth place. His time was a 4:35.53. Cleveland Swimming Institute’s Eric Chimes touched the wall at 4:36.64, finishing fifth in the heat. Kyriakos Peristeridis of Southwest Y Michigan Swimming would find sixth place; he clocked in at 4:38.01. Mark Lang of Lakeview Aquatic Club took seventh with a 4:40.04, and Great Lakes Sailfish Swimming’s Tyler Hong would find with eighth place at 4:40.68.

Women’s 400 Freestyle Relay

The Ohio State Swim Club was not done putting up remarkable results. The team of Taylor Petrak, Georgia White, Freya Rayner, and Lucija Jurkovic-Persia set a new pool record with a time of 3:48.16, wining them gold in the process. Club Wolverine’s A (Sydney Stricklin, Mia Keranen, Abigail Ketslakh, and Casey Chung) and B (Vivian Vanrenterghem, Sophia Tuinman, Lucy Mehraban, and Elizabeth Spears) relays weren’t far behind, clocking in at 3:51.34 and 3:53.77, respectively.

Ohio State Swim Club’s B relay came in fourth with a time of 3:54.48. The A relay representing Oly Swimming clocked in at 3:57.42, finishing in fifth place. In sixth place was the Hudson Explorer Aquatic A team (3:58.74), and seventh place would go to Ohio State Swim Club’s C relay (3:58.91). The A team of Cincinnati Marlin swimmers would find eighth place at 3:59.14.

Men’s 400 Freestyle Relay

The Ohio State Swim Club men would emerge victorious as well in the relays. The A team consisting of Andrew Loy, Josef Pohlmann, Paul Delakis, and Ruslan Gaziev clocked in at 3:27.81, over two seconds ahead of the next relay. Second place would go to the A relay representing Canton City Schools, filled out by Joseph Armstrong, Mason Romstadt, Aiden Neuman, and William Rose. There time was a 3:29.41. Third place would be taken by another Ohio State Swim Club relay, their C team (Colin McDermott, Colin Roy, Jason Matthews, and Evan Stapp) touching the wall at 3:31.95.

Club Wolverine’s A relay would finish in fourth place, with a time of 3:32.60. Ohio State Swim Club’s B relay secured fifth place at 3:32.78, and Hudson Explorer Aquatic’s A relay finished after them in sixth with a 3:34.35. The A team representing the Cincinnati Marlins took seventh place at 3:35.20. The top 8 would be rounded out by Oly Swimming’s A relay, whose time was a 3:35.51.

All the action will resume at 9 a.m. tomorrow EST.

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Annabelle Ancheta
4 years ago

It’s a wonderful experience and my son I’m proud for being part of this swim meets. ??

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