Hudson girls swimmers and divers roll to district title

by Frank Aceto | Associate Sports Editor

Published:

So many talented swimmers and divers have swam at Hudson High School over the years.

But the 2013-14 girls' senior class may go down in history when it's all said and done.

"We have great senior leaders," Lady Explorers head coach Matt Davis said. "We knew coming into this year that we lost some superstars.

"They have eased the burden for our younger kids. This senior class could be the best we've ever had."

Those seniors, along with a bevy of talented underclassmen, certainly proved it.

Hudson easily won the 34-team Division I competition with 364 points. The meet, which concluded Feb. 15, took place at Cleveland State University's Busbey Natatorium.

RELATED: Boys swim team win district championship as well.

Walsh Jesuit (217) and Brecksville-Broadview Heights (205) finished second and third, respectively.

"The girls have been focused and have been training hard all season," Davis said.

All of three of the Lady Explorers' relay teams qualified for the state meet, which is scheduled for Feb. 21 and 22 at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton.

Swimming is set to begin at 9 a.m. both days.

Two of those relays set school records.

The 200 freestyle team of Jillian Saccogna, Paige Kelly, Stephanie Boyd and Caitlin Weigel won with a school-record time of 1 minute, 37.35 seconds.

The 400 freestyle unit of Saccogna, Sarah Wolanske, Boyd and Kelly captured first with a school-record clocking of 3:31.58.

Also advancing to the state meet was the 200 medley relay team of Kristin Dagley, Gina Saxon, Caitlin Weigel and Macy Trattner (second, 1:47.8).

Kelly plans to swim in two other events in Canton.

She won the 500 freestyle in 4:56.61 and placed second in the 200 freestyle (1:53.41).

Wolanske advanced to the state meet in two other events too.

She captured second in the 500 freestyle (5:04.71) and third in the 200 freestyle (1:53.92).

Also advancing to the state meet for Hudson were Weigel in the 50 freestyle (third, 24.2), Boyd in the 100 freestyle (third, 53.26) and Saxon in the 100 breaststroke (eighth, 1:06.81).

Walsh Jesuit diver Kailey Francetic, a Hudson resident, won the diving competition with 438.25 points.

Other Lady Explorers who competed were:

• Diving: Brittany Seibert, 10th, 338.75 points; and Abby Villenauve, 12th, 315.8

• 200 freestyle: Boyd, sixth, 1:55.46; and Natalie Gundling, seventh, 1:55.55

• 200 individual medley: Maggie Haas, seventh, 2:12.47; Gaby Palazzo, ninth, 2:13.72; Saxon, 11th, 2:15.75; and Leah Ambroziak, 31st, 2:22.45

• 50 freestyle: Saccogna, 11th, 24.81; Macy Trattner, 14th, 25.1; and Brittan Ham, 40th, 26.57

• 100 butterfly: Weigel, sixth, 58.77; Palazzo, 13th, 59.87; Dagley, 30th, 1:04.24; and Leah Ambroziak, 39th, 1:05.45

• 100 freestyle: Saccogna, 10th, 53.86; Gundling, 12th, 54.2; and Trattner, 14th, 54.68

• 500 freestyle: Kensie Schumacker, 10th, 5:19.1

• 100 backstroke: Maggie Haas, fifth, 59.14; Kristin Dagley, eighth, 1:00.42; and Megan Girvin, 20th, 1:02.92; and Renee Agnor, 30th, 1:04.96

• 100 breaststroke: Rachael Johnson, 20th, 1:10.09; Ana Mathers, 26th, 1:12.63; and Elizabeth Fulco, 34th, 1:13.71

Davis believes his team can finish in the top five at the state meet.

"Our goal is to go down there and compete," he said. "We're not going to go in there wide-eyed."

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