• Dr. Herpy

Comet torpedoes out fish Bombers, gear for taper

Published in The Chagrin Valley Times
February 4, 2016
Tony Lange

Solon’s all-senior 200-yard medley relay team members Jason Ong, Dan Steiger, Ryan Kaplevatsky and Jared Perchinske were about to have their senior nights spoiled in the first event of a dual meet against Kenston on Friday night.

While the visiting Bomber torpedoes were in the chase, it was actually Solon’s all-junior team winning the race entering the freestyle anchor leg. But Perchinske wasn’t having any of that, as he brought home a come-from-behind victory for his class of 2016 with a winning time of 1:52.99.

The Comets’ all-junior team finished runner-up in 1:53.63, while Kenston was third in 1:53.70.

“It was clearly an opportunity to see these guys compete, and it was a lot of fun,” head coach Mike Davidson said. “To be honest with you, I wasn’t sure which one was going to come out on top. So it was very exciting to see the senior boys be able to pull that off.”

An all-senior girls medley of Anna Jones, Elizabeth Ye, Megan Gross and Tina Poduska also started the meet with a triumph in 2:02.31, defeating runner-up Kenston and an all-junior Lady Comet quartet.

By the end of the evening, the Solon girls beat Kenston, 186-128, while the Solon boys won their dual with the Bombers, 197-108.

“It was really just an opportunity to really show off our seniors and allow them to regale in all of their success that they’ve been a part of over the last four years,” Davidson said. “So it was just a really fun meet, extremely emotional, and it just gave us all, coaches, athletes, parents, the opportunity to reflect and appreciate all the sacrifice and commitment that the 10 seniors have put into the program.”

Both the Comets and Lady Comets claimed victories in five of the eight individual events, two of the three relays and the diving competitions.

While senior Ong was triumphant in the 100 backstroke in 1:01.73, the Lady Comets were led by senior Gross winning the 50 freestyle in 25.99 seconds and Jones claiming the 500 freestyle in 5:45.62.

“She was a 500 freestyler through her sophomore year, and then we transitioned her into more of a 50, 100, 200 athlete, and she hadn’t actually swam the 500 this year,” Davidson said of Jones. “Now, did I have athletes competing in some events that were deciding events in which we were trying to make a decision (for sectional entries)? Yes, I did. But we have a pretty clear game plan for Anna.”

The next day in a double-dual against Greater Cleveland Conference foes Medina and Euclid – Solon’s last competition before the Division I sectional meet on Feb. 13 – Jones swam her traditional events, including the 200 freestyle, as did the majority of her teammates.

The Solon girls defeated Medina, 164-151, and Euclid, 248-45, while the boys lost to Medina, 177-137, and defeated Euclid, 213-79.

“Definitely in these last couple of meets we wanted to try to be as smart as possible with breathing patterns, discipline in and out of our walls, all the technical stuff that we work on every single day,” coach Davidson said of the fine-tuning. “We wanted to see that stuff shine, and we had some of those things clearly show up in both meets on Friday and Saturday. It was fun to see, but we’re far from a finished product.”

Against Kenston on Friday in particular, Davidson was coaching against his Solon Stars developmental coach and former varsity swimmer Matt Wong, who took over the Bombers’ helm in October.

Wong has done a fine job incorporating his grassroots from Solon and The College of Wooster while also creating his own style at Kenston, Davidson said.

“It’s a lot of fun to watch that happen,” Davidson said. “It was fun to compete against Matt and his team. He’s doing a very nice job. The Kenston kids are very well-prepared, and they came ready to play. They had some real nice swims.”

In one of the closer races of the meet, Kenston sophomore Cara Joyce was able to out touch Solon’s Jones in the 200 individual medley, 2:21.03 to 2:21.10, while, on the boys side, Kenston senior Josh Shahidian clocked 50.77 seconds in the 100 freestyle to edge Solon junior Dane Bozsvai’s 50.96-second performance.

Shahidian also won the 50 freestyle in 22.97 seconds, while Solon junior Philip Bradshaw led the Comets as a double-event winner in the 200 individual medley in 2:09.58 and 100 butterfly in 59.91 seconds.

Solon sophomore Kyleah Gaydos was a double-event victor for the Lady Comets in the 200 freestyle in 2:05.27 and 100 freestyle in 56.96 seconds.

In the 1-meter springboard competition, meanwhile, Solon sophomore Nikki Rzepka won with a six-dive score of 245.95 points, and Solon freshman Jacob Smrdel won the boys competition with a season-best 318.35.

“The strength of our diving team is always a luxury,” Davidson said of coach Marc Cahalane’s program. “Our diving team is undefeated this year in every single competition. We have six girls and five boys, and every single one of our girl divers would be No. 1 or No. 2 on any team in Northeast Ohio. That is something I definitely don’t want to overlook.”

As of Jan. 29, Rzepka’s 11-dive resume was second best among Division I divers statewide, while senior Selin Yenibahar was fifth best. And on the boys side, Smrdel was ranked third, senior Antony Styrt was 11th, and sophomore Dalton Shevlin was 12th.

For Solon swimmers, the three-week tapering process in Solon’s eight-lane pool has already begun, Davidson said.

“We’ll have three different workouts per group going on starting this week,” he said about distance swimmers and sprinters within each of his junior varsity-, sectional- and district-oriented tapers.

“So we’re getting our 500, 200 people prepared to compete at the best level and then also our 100, 50 people to be sharp and crisp,” he said. “We’ll do a fair amount of start work and then, of course, race repetition, trying to get them to swim at their goal race speeds. So we do that via broken swims in various race-prep-type work. As we go through this process, things get pretty individualistic.”

Following are top-three relay and top-four individual finishes for Friday’s dual meet between Solon and Kenston:

Team standings (girls): 1. Solon, 186; Kenston, 128.
200 medley relay: 1. Solon (Anna Jones, 30.45; Elizabeth Ye, 33.23; Megan Gross, 29.01; Tina Poduska, 29.62) 2:02.31; 2. Kenston (Kate Stavnicky, 32.74; Sofija Raudins, 32.68; Jenna Korenowski, 32.48; Jennah Gruver, 28.69) 2:06.59; 3. Solon (Dana Blank, n/a; Julia Poduska, n/a; Karen Dong, 29.91; 27.68) 2:08.24.
200 freestyle: 1. Kyleah Gaydos, So., Solon, 2:05.27; 2. Maria Kloboves, So., Solon, 2:10.06; 3. Makena Maurer, So., Kenston, 2:10.25; 4. Karlee Schultz, Jr., Kenston, 2:11.58.
200 individual medley: 1. Cara Joyce, So., Kenston, 2:21.03; 2. Anna Jones, Sr., Solon, 2:21.10; 3. Dana Blank, Jr., Solon, 2:29.68; 4. Sofija Raudins, Fr., Kenston, 2:29.96.
50 freestyle: 1. Megan Gross, Sr., Solon, 25.99; 2. Erica Abbarno, Sr., Kenston, 27.53; 3. Taylor Shene, Fr., Solon, 29.20; 4. Jennah Gruver, Jr., Kenston, 29.94.
1-meter diving: 1. Nikki Rzpeka, So., Solon, 245.95; 2. Selin Yenibahar, Sr., Solon, 221.35; 3. Sarah Neese, Jr., Solon, 183.75; 4. Maggie Krause, Sr., Kenston, 158.85.
100 butterfly: 1. Karlee Schultz, Jr., Kenston, 1:08.04; 2. Maria Kloboves, So., Solon, 1:12.44; 3. Elizabeth Ye, Sr., Solon, 1:12.54; 4. Jenna Korenowski, So., Kenston, 1:13.24.
100 freestyle: 1. Kyleah Gaydos, So., Solon, 56.96; 2. Makena Maurer, So., Kenston, 59.21; 3. Hailey Erkkila, So., Solon, 59.81; 4. Dana Blank, Jr., Solon, 1:01.42.
500 freestyle: 1. Anna Jones, Sr., Solon, 5:46.62; 2. Kate Stavnicky, Fr., Kenston, 6:04.95; 3. Alana Faranda, So., Solon, 6:22.86; 4. Karen Dong, Jr., Solon, 6:27.38.
200 freestyle relay: 1. Kenston (Cara Joyce, 26.93; Erica Abbarno, 27.26; Karlee Schultz, 28.05; Makena Maurer, 27.15) 1:49.39; 2. Solon (Hailey Erkkila, 27.61; Maria Kloboves, 29.30; Gena Leib, 27.79; Kyleah Gaydos, 25.23) 1:49.93; 3. Solon (Tina Poduska, 30.74; Taylor Shene, 30.01; Elizabeth Ye, 29.03; Deandra Sargeant, 28.52) 1:58.30.
100 backstroke: 1. Hailey Erkkila, So., Solon, 1:05.26; 2. Cara Joyce, So., Kenston, 1:05.69; 3. Gena Leib, So., Solon, 1:07.49; 4. Haleigh Shafer, Fr., Kenston, 1:13.09.
100 breaststroke: 1. Sofija Raudins, Fr., Kenston, 1:12.97; 2. Erica Abbarno, Sr., Kenston, 1:14.89; 3. Rayna Klugherz, Fr., Solon, 1:16.31; 4. Megan Gross, Sr., Solon, 1:19.36.
400 freestyle relay: 1. Solon (Gena Leib, 1:01.79; Karen Dong, 1:00.64; Anna Jones, 56.80; Megan Gross, 59.08) 3:58.31; 2. Kenston (Makena Maurer, 1:00.52; Karlee Schultz, 1:00.45; Cara Joyce, 58.65; Erica Abbarno, 1:04.10) 4:03.78; 3. Solon (Maria Kloboves, n/a; Dana Blank, n/a; Kyleah Gaydos, n/a; Hailey Erkkila, n/a) 4:07.28.
Team standings (boys): 1. Solon, 197; 2. Kenston, 108.
200 medley relay: 1. Solon (Jason Ong, 28.64; Dan Steiger, 30.66; Ryan Kaplevatsky, 27.54; Jared Perchinske, 26.15) 1:52.99; 2. Solon (Philip Bradshaw, 27.93; Connor Johnson, 32.65; Dane Bozsvai, 25.68; Brad Bowling, 27.37) 1:53.63; 3. Kenston (Billy Glime, 29.65; Will Toth, 33.54; Josh Shahidian, 26.10; Brad Toth, 24.41) 1:53.70.
200 freestyle: 1. Dane Bozsvai, Jr., Solon, 1:53.04; 2. Forrest Campbell, So., Solon, 1:59.77; 3. Will Toth, Fr., Kenston, 2:09.56; 4. Matthew Stanonis, Jr., Kenston, 2:12.92.
200 individual medley: 1. Philip Bradshaw, Jr., Solon, 2:09.58; 2. Sean Finnerty, Fr., Solon, 2:15.66; 3. Dan Steiger, Sr., Solon, 2:19.31; 4. Billy Glime, Fr., Kenston, 2:21.93.
50 freestyle: 1. Josh Shahidian, Sr., Kenston, 22.97; 2. Ryan Kaplevatsky, Sr., Solon, 24.95; 3. Adam Gross, So., Solon, 25.04; 4. Jaren Perchinske, Sr., Solon, 25.95.
1-meter diving: 1. Jacob Smrdel, Fr., Solon, 318.35; 2. Antony Styrt, Sr., Solon, 275.75; 3. Dalton Shevlin, So., Solon, 233.20; 4. Alex Hubert, Fr., Kenston, 166.15.
100 butterfly: 1. Philip Bradshaw, Jr., Solon, 59.91; 2. Jason Ong, Sr., Solon, 1:01.32; 3. Ryan Kaplevatsky, Sr., Solon, 1:03.65; 4. Zack Nemeth, Fr., Kenston, 1:04.59.
100 freestyle: 1. Josh Shahidian, Sr., Kenston, 50.77; 2. Dane Bozsvai, Jr., Solon, 50.96; 3. Adam Gross, So., Solon, 53.73; 4. Zach Skala, So., Kenston, 57.08.
500 freestyle: 1. Garrett Demeyer, Jr., Solon, 5:28.80; 2. Will Toth, Fr., Kenston, 5:31.21; 3. Dan Steiger, Sr., Solon, 5:40.50; 4. Matthew Stanonis, Jr., Kenston, 6:06.98.
200 freestyle relay: 1. Kenston (Brad Toth, 24.72; Nate McKnight, 25.18; Zach Skala, 25.43; Josh Shahidian, 22.89) 1:38.22; 2. Solon (Adam Gross, 24.91; Garrett Demeyer, 23.60; Sean Finnerty, 25.79; Connor Johnson, 27.04) 1:41.34; 3. Solon (Jason Ong, 25.08; Ryan Kaplevatsky, 24.69; Jaren Perchinske, 26.42; Dan Steiger, 25.64) 1:41.83.
100 backstroke: 1. Jason Ong, Sr., Solon, 1:01.73; 2. Sean Finnerty, Fr., Solon, 1:02.19; 3. Billy Glime, Fr., Kenston, 1:02.89; 4. Garrett Demeyer, Jr., Solon, 1:05.68.
100 breaststroke: 1. Brad Toth, Sr., Kenston, 1:10.72; 2. Malcolm Golias, Fr., Solon, 1:14.77; 3. Roger Poduska, Fr., Solon, 1:18.70; 4. Payton Allen, Fr., Solon, 1:20.90.
400 freestyle relay: 1. Solon (Philip Bradshaw, 54.20; Garrett Demeyer, 52.66; Dane Bozsvai, 52.50; Adam Gross, 54.28) 3:33.64; 2. Kenston (Billy Glime, 58.74; Nate McKnight, 1:03.5; Zach Skala, 58.49; Will Toth, 59.71) 4:00.44; 3. Solon (Sean Finnerty, 56.67; Roger Poduska, 1:04.1; Payton Allen; 1:04.76; Malcolm Golias, 1:02.95) 4:08.48.