2024 News-Herald girls swimming and diving all-stars


Sarah Pophal

Hawken, senior

Pophal showed the last two postseasons her mastery of peaking in her signature 500-yard freestyle. And just like last year, the Hawken senior adds one more honor to her body of work as the 2024 News-Herald girls swimmer of the year in a repeat. Pophal captured her second straight D-II 500 free state crown with a 4:54.91, never wavering from her back-half game plan despite Cincinnati Hills Christian's Taylor Bacher turning in a 4:50 in prelims. She was also third in 200 free (1:53.04) and swam a 29.89 breaststroke split on the Hawks' runner-up 200 medley relay and a 52.99 on the second-place 400 free quartet. Hawken is known for its penchant of producing outstanding distance freestylers, and as a two-time state champion, Pophal is embedded in Hawks' lore.


Colin Kelly, Mentor

Kelly does laudable work year after year with the Cardinals, but the postseason output on the girls side stood out more than usual. Mentor got longtime standout Annie Berrow to Canton in both sprint frees, as well as Juliana Slaninka in 500 free with a massive time drop sectional-over-district and its 200 free and 200 medley relays. The 200 free relay had quite a ride at Branin Natatorium, having to go to a swimoff for the 16th and final qualifying spot from Day 1 prelims and winning that before capturing the 'B' heat on Day 2 to take ninth overall. Coach and student-athletes alike, that's good work all the way around.


(in alphabetical order; S: state; D: district)

Annie Berrow, Sr., Mentor

S (D1): 9th 200FR, 18th 50 free, 18th 200MR, 19th 100 free

Laina Collis, Sr., Gilmour

S (D2): 4th 200MR, 4th 400FR, 8th 50 free, 14th 100 free

Carys Edgar, Sr., Hawken

S (D2): 2nd 400FR, 6th 500 free, 11th 200 free; D: 4th 500 free

Danielle Grande, Sr., Mayfield

S (D1): 14th 500 free, 16th 200 free; D: 2nd 500 free, 5th 200 free

Briella Hewitt, So., Chardon

S (D1): 20th 100 breast, 29th 100 fly; D: 4th 100 breast, 5th 100 fly

Savannah Hirsch, Sr., Hawken

S (D2): 2nd 200MR, 2nd 200FR, 2nd 400FR, 21st 100 free

Samantha Holtz, Sr., Chagrin Falls

S (D2): 1st diving; D: 1st diving

Nina Newton, So., Hawken

S (D2): 2nd 200MR, 2nd 200FR, 3rd 100 breast, 4th 100 free

Addy Pruce, Jr., Hawken

S (D2): 2nd 200FR, 2nd 400FR, 12th 200 free, 21st 100 fly

Maddie Sammut, Sr., Gilmour

S (D2): 4th 200MR, 4th 400FR, 8th 200 free, 12th 100 breast


(in alphabetical order; S: state; D: district)

Riley Becker, Sr., Beaumont: S — 12th diving; D: 3rd diving

Ruthie Gemmen, Sr., Mentor: S — 9th 200FR, 18th 200MR

Chloe Gustin, Fr., Hawken: S — 11th 500 free; D — 9th 100 back

Gianna Minotas, Jr., Gilmour: S — 4th 200MR, 4th 400FR

Daniela Perez, Sr., Andrews Osborne: S — 17th 100 breast, 23rd 200 IM

Zoe Pesek, Sr., Lake Catholic: S — 9th 200FR, 11th 400FR

Emma Salerno, So., Hawken: S — 2nd 200FR, 19th 50 free

Alexandra Scharpf, Sr., Chagrin Falls: S — 11th 200 IM, 16th 100 breast

Juliana Slaninka, Sr., Mentor: S — 9th 200FR, 23rd 500 free

Tinsley Zhang, So., Gilmour: S — 4th 200MR, 13th 200 IM


(in alphabetical order; S: state; D: district)

Madison Andres, Sr., Mentor: S — 18th 200MR; D — 8th 200 IM

Cecilija Dautovic, Jr., Beaumont: S — 18th 200FR; D — 10th 50 free

Carley Dondorfer, Sr., Lake Catholic: S — 9th 200FR, 11th 400FR

Brooke Dynes, So., NDCL: S — 18th 100 breast; D — 7th 100 breast

Anna Johannessen, Jr., Gilmour: S — 26th 100 fly; D — 6th 100 fly

Grace Kitchen, Sr., Perry: S — 27th 100 fly, 32nd 500 free

Peyton Koballa, Jr., Mayfield: D — 7th 500 free, 26th 100 back

Alaina Pizarro, Sr., Hawken: S — 2nd 200MR, 25th 100 back

Cilka Rowane, Sr., Beaumont: S — 18th 200FR, 21st 500 free

Holly Suponcic, Jr., Lake Catholic: S — 11th 400FR; D — 8th 100 back


Andrews Osborne: Neziah Kinniard, Beachwood: Nina Mayers, Beaumont: Madeline Ondrejka, Berkshire: Grace Toth, Brush: Eliana Sypniewski, Chagrin Falls: Gracie Ryan, Chardon: Janet Rockenberger, Euclid: Maddy Greenway, Geneva: Abigail Griffiths, Gilmour: Lizzie Covington, Hawken: Beth Halloran, Kenston: Hannah Cooper, Kirtland: Claire Dumstorff, Lake Catholic: Theresa Lazanich, Madison: Hailey DeWalt, Mayfield: Julia Malatesta, Mentor: Marlena Childs, NDCL: Lexi Laven, North: Anna Miller, Perry: Noelle Griffith, Riverside: Maddie Fleischer, South: Ava Shearer, VASJ: Sophia Stachnik, West Geauga: Mackenzie Hensel, Wickliffe: Ella Huffstutler