Swimmers getting read for upcoming season

Nov. 21—HARPERSFIELD — SPIRE Academy is a busy place throughout the week as swimmers from six area high schools get in their workouts at the state-of-the-art pools.

Lakeside High School swimmers get things rolling at 2:30 p.m. followed by Geneva, Conneaut, Edgewood Pymatuning Valley and Jefferson high schools between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays.

Jefferson head swim coach Steve Hanek said the county teams practicing at the same facility leads to good relationships.

"We are almost like a big extended family," he said.

Lakeside head swim coach Maureen Surbella said she has 22 boys and girls swimmers on the team, which is down from last season.

Surbella said Mary Grace Miklacic, a junior, is a returning district qualifier.

"We are looking for a lot from her," she said.

She said a freshman, Connor Yopp, is expected to help the team, especially in the distance events.

Hanek's daughter, Izzy, is having a successful freshman campaign at Edinboro University after multiple trips to the state swim meet for the Falcons. He said she has made conference qualifying times for her events and has a big meet this weekend in a fast pool.

Hanek said he has 14 swimmers, including eight freshmen on the squad.

"We may be able to put together a relay," he said.

"It's pretty exciting but a lot of work," he said of some of the new swimmers who are just learning the sport.

Geneva has 27 swimmers and also has a lot of freshmen and new recruits, said assistant swim coach Julie Mirabelll. The Eagles have a returning state qualifier in Nathan Reigle, who finished eighth in the 200 freestyle last February in Canton.

Area swimmers are scheduled to get a first look at competition during the Hilltopper Invitational scheduled for Dec. 2 at SPIRE Academy, Surbella said.

She said the Ashtabula County Swim Meet is scheduled for Jan. 5, also at SPIRE Academy.