Eagles boys, Dragons girls lead way at all-county swim meet

Jan. 8—Depth is not only good for winning an event such as Friday night's Ashtabula All-County Swim Meet at SPIRE Academy, it can also help the record book keeper.

The Geneva 200 medley relay team of Alex Lee, Tyler Lee, Nathan Reigle and Isaiah Rose broke the meet record also set by Geneva in 2022 with a time of 1:54.94, beating the previous record of 1:57.73.

"That was huge for those guys," Eagles coach Jamie Lee said. "They had it in their mind that they were on pace to do it. It was already in their heads and they all swam great. That record will be there for a while."

The relay teams has been swimming together for a long time.

Geneva has a good mix of young and veteran swimmers in the pool, but the experience of their top guys is what set them apart.

"That's the thing with smaller teams like us, is finding that depth," Lee explained. "We've been very fortunate in that our main four [Alex Lee, Tyler Lee, Caiden Collins and Reigle] all swam together when they were younger.

"Just having that early start in swimming really shows when you get to this level. We've made a lot of progress with our younger swimmers, but just having the depth there with those four or five kids, that's very helpful to the overall team."

Reigle, a state qualifier a year ago, also took first place and also set a new county meet record in the 100 butterfly with a time of 58.6, beating the record of 59.74 set by Jordan Dille a year ago.

Reigle also won the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:07.76, which was just off the meet record time of 2:06.58 set in 2018.

The Eagles also received first-place finishes from Collins in the 200 freestyle, Tyler Lee 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke and Alex Lee 100 freestyle.

Other first-place finishers on the boys side included: Edgewood returning state qualifier Tyler Hill in the 500 freestyle and the 100 backstroke for a second year in a row.

On the girls side, Lakeside's Mary Grace Miklacic led the way.

The senior swimmer was part of the Dragons' first-place 200 yard medley relay team and also took first place in the 100 and 200 freestyle events.

Lakeside coach Maureen Surbella said that Miklacic leads the way and the rest of her team knows how to follow.

"Mary Grace is a staple to our girls team," Surbella said. "She always swims with grit and her competitive nature is the glue to our program. The girls rally around her and her energy and drive to succeed."

While Miklacic was the only Dragon to reach the top of the podium, Lakeside had several other girls swimmers contribute to the effort which ended up as a a first-place finish.

Surbella said there has been a lot of concentration on strengthening their training program this winter and the results were evident.

"We are seeing individual and team accomplishments, at each meet" Surbella said. "We had several top times and not just by a fraction of a second. My assistant coaches, Paige Campbell and Vivian Plats, are a huge reason. Lakeside is blessed to have them."

Elsewhere on the girls side of competition, LaLa Hanek, a Jefferson freshman and younger sister of three time-state qualifier Izzy Hanek, set county meet records in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:20.71, breaking the record of 2:21.72 set in 2017, and the 500 freestyle record with a time of 5:44.9, breaking the previous record of 5:47.92 set in 2022.

Other first-place finishers for the girls included: Edgewood's Julianna Gregory in the 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke; Geneva's Abigail Griffiths, 100 butterfly, and Jefferson's Emma Philips, 100 breaststroke.

Philips and Hanek were also part of the 400 freestyle relay ream that took first place, along with Shelby Wood and Sofia Park.

The 200 freestyle relay went to the Lakeside quartet of Stellaluna Madrigal, Hayzel Garay Montelongo, Mary Cate Ducro and Alex Shevchik.