CANTON, Ohio – Hawken came away with its first OHSAA boys swimming state championship since 1989 with a 230-point performance Friday night to take the Division II title at C.T. Branin Natatorium.
"At the very first meeting with the boys, I had my senior captain stand up and I asked what the goals were,” Hawken coach Todd Clark said. “They said they wanted to win a state title, so I said, 'I am going to hold you to it and it’s not going to be easy.' ”
Here are some of the more notable performances from the boys Division II state championship Friday night:
* Hawken took home first place in the meet’s initial event, winning the 200 medley relay with a time of 1 minute, 33.92 seconds. The team of sophomore Isaac Esposito, senior Matthew Rakovec, junior Zeb Hart and junior Calvin Tecson won the event by 1.72 seconds over second-place Bellbrook. The win came after Columbus Academy was disqualified.
* Hart and Esposito both finished in the top five for Hawken in the 100 butterfly. Hart finished second with a time of 48.87, with Esposito finished fifth at 51.30.
* Rakovec and David Bates gave Hawken two more finishes in the top six in the 500 freestyle. Rakovec finished second with a time of 4:29.72, second only to defending state champion Eric Knowles of Xenia Legacy Christian. Bates finished sixth with a time of 4:40.13.
“I saw that Eric passed me early,” Rakovec said. “I knew that I was going to get second for quite a while, probably around the 200 mark. I am excited for second.”
* The Hawken team finished the meet with another relay win, this time in the 400 freestyle with a winning time of 3:08.09. The team of Hart, Tecson, sophomore John Byrne and Rakovec capped off the championship night for the Hawks.
University School’s team of junior Zach Halawa, junior Philip Brocker, junior Scott Bowman and senior Ethan Banks finished sixth with a time of 3:14.64.
* Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin’s Owen Hanna finished sixth in the 100 backstroke with a time of 51.13. The sophomore had led at the turn.
“The first 50 felt great, the back half always gets me in this race,” Hanna said. “It’s good to know I have two more years to get down to my goal time of under 50 seconds.”
* Bellbrook junior Cody Bybee won the 200 freestyle for the second straight year and broke his own state record. His time of 1:34.55 not only broke the state meet record of 1:36.75, but also the pool record at C.T. Branin Natatorium of 1:34.96, set in 1991.
Bybee then went out and also broke the meet and pool record in the 100 butterfly with a time of 46.97. That broke the previous state meet record of 47.95 set in 2013 and the pool record of 47.10, set in 2007.
“It feels amazing, I can’t describe how great it feels,” Bybee said. “I pushed so hard for it in practice for so many days straight.”
Ryan Isley is a freelancer from Akron. For more high school sports news, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
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