Chagrin’s LaMonica, Machado, Orange’s Klinginsmith put in top performances

The Hawken School girls have six swimmers with state top-10 times in the 200-yard individual medley in Division II this season. None of them swam that event during the Chagrin Valley Conference meet on Saturday at their home Holtrey Pool in Chester Township.

But that didn’t stop the Lady Hawks from sweeping a one-two-three-four finish with junior Chloe Katz, 2:14.74, sophomore Tori Culotta, 2:16.14, freshman Lexie Cunningham, 2:16.48, and senior Julia Johnson, 2:19.48, whose specialties lie in distance freestyle. West Geauga freshman Ashley Chase took fifth in 2:20.81.

Culotta, the defending state champion in the 500 freestyle, owns the top time in that event among Division II swimmers in Ohio so far this season with a 4:54.06.

But Hawken new head coach Tim Hable kept with the tradition of putting his swimmers in off events for the league meet.

Representing the best dynasty in Ohio high school sports, the Hawken girls still won six of the eight individual events and swept all three relays to score 481 points, besting runner-up Perry, 337 points, third-place Chagrin Falls, 286 points, and the rest of the 13-team field. Orange was seventh with 158 points, while West Geauga took eighth with 95 points.

The Hawken girls also cleaned up with a one-two-three showing in the 100 freestyle, thanks to junior Claire Pophal, 57.66 seconds, freshman Chloe Bautista, 58.73 seconds, and junior Lena Sylvan, 59.31 seconds, while Chagrin sophomore Annie Mills took fourth in 59.71 seconds.

Sprint freestyle is probably Hawken’s least dominant event, but senior Lauren Musbach won the 50 front crawl in 25.59 seconds, while Katz was runner-up in 26.57 seconds and Orange junior Anna Klinginsmith was fourth in 26.92 seconds.

In the 200 freestyle, Hawken sophomore Jessica Eden took gold in 1:56.58, while Orange sophomore Lily Klinginsmith was runner-up in 2:01.19 and Hawken freshmen Ashlyn Doorly, 2:03.11, and Erin Butler, 2:06.70, were third and fourth.

Eden, one of four returning Lady Hawks who recorded double-podium finishes at last year’s state championship, owns the top 200 individual medley time in Division II this season with a 2:05.26, while senior teammate Bainon Hart has the second-fastest time with a 2:05.47.

But Hart, who was a sprint freestyle specialist her sophomore season, before stepping away her junior year for a semester-long program out of state, was busy claiming CVC gold in the 100 backstroke in 1:01.03. Chagrin freshman Madi Machado, 1:02.00, Hawken junior Sydney Bare, 1:02.42, and Orange junior Kate Hollington, 1:03.18, followed suit.

Chagrin’s Machado also finished runner-up in the 100 breaststroke in 1:12.24 – pulling off the back-to-back, backstroke-breaststroke double. Hawken senior Lindsay Berlin won the event in 1:07.76, while teammate Cunningham was fourth in 1:14.16.

In the 1-meter springboard competition, Chagrin junior Kate LaMonica won the CVC title with an 11-dive score of 475.0 points – the best Division II performance this season – to best Beachwood senior Amanda Leizman, 454.2, Hawken junior Ariana Khan, 374.35, Hawken freshman Chrissy Reineke, 302.65, and Chagrin freshman Maya Rooney, 262.3.

The only double-even champ of the meet was Kirtland sophomore Kaley Ream.

Ream clocked 59.96 seconds in the 100 butterfly, edging the younger Klinginsmith, 1:00.43, Hawken junior Ella Gilson, 1:00.93, and Hawken senior Danielle Turi, 1:03.88.

And Ream won the 500 freestyle in 5:20.96, besting Hawken’s Bare, 5:23.67, Hawken sophomore Maggie Mallet, 5:24.82, Hawken senior Rachel Clark, 5:25.87 and West G’s Chase, 5:38.22.

In the relays, Hawken’s best competition was itself, but only “A” relays were scored for the meet.

Nonetheless, Hawken’s “B” 200 medley quartet of backstroker Sylvan, 28.98 seconds, breaststroker Bare, 29.37, butterflier Musbach, 27.18, and freestyler Hart, 25.45, clocked the fastest time of the meet in 1:50.98.

Orange finished runner-up in that event with backstroker Hollington, 29.45 seconds, breaststroker Hamilton, 34.35, the younger Klinginsmith at butterfly, 27.88, and the elder Klinginsmith at freestyle, 26.15, clocking a 1:57.83.

In the 200 freestyle relay, Hawken’s quartet of Hart, 25.72 seconds, Turi, 26.51, Musbach, 25.54, and Gilson, 24.22, clocked a 1:41.99, while Chagrin senior Ellen Guddy, 27.85, Machado, 26.69, LaMonica, 27.02, and senior Libby Bare, 26.71, were runners-up in 1:48.27.

And in the 400 freestyle relay, Hawken’s Gilson, 53.60 seconds, Berlin, 55.78, Culotta, 55.17, and Eden, 54.08, clocked a triumphant 3:38.63. Orange finished runner-up with Hollington, 59.73 seconds, Hamilton, 1:03.25, the elder Klinginsmith, 59.09, and the younger Klinginsmith, 55.49, clocking a 3:57.56.

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