Hawken School junior Connor Brown made the exhausting two-hand turn from breaststroke to freestyle in the 200-yard individual medley during the Chagrin Valley Conference meet on Saturday at his home Holtrey Pool in Chester Township.
He owned a commanding 10.15-second lead and was shoo-in for gold at that point in the race, but a competitive drive still kicked in for the Hawken torpedo to bring home the final leg of his race in 27.13 seconds.
Clocking a 1:56.41, the fourth-fastest time among Division II swimmers in Ohio this season, Brown broke the lone meet record of the day, erasing Hawken graduate Henry Senkfor’s 2014 mark by 0.46 second.
The host Hawks went one-two-three-four in that event with junior Michael Butler, 2:07.53, junior Donovan Liao, 2:13.09, and freshman Wesley Forster, 2:21.19, following suit, while West Geauga senior Eli Harvey was fifth in 2:21.95.
While most of the Hawken boys swam off events, which is no deviation from past years, the 200 individual medley is one of Brown’s main trades. As a sophomore last season, he clocked a 1:55.30 to finish fifth at the Division II state meet.
Overall, the Hawken boys won five of the eight individual events, the diving competition and one of the three relays to score 449 points and secure their ninth consecutive CVC banner, edging runner-up Beachwood, 436 points, Chagrin Falls, 361 points, and the rest of the 13-team field. Orange was seventh with 139 points, and West Geauga was eighth with 121 points.
The lone double-event champ of the meet was Hawken junior Alex Podrez, despite swimming secondary events.
Podrez won the 200 freestyle in 1:50.59 to best sophomore teammate Madan Morris’ runner-up finish in 1:52.26, while Hawken sophomore Abraham Silvers was fourth in 2:00.60.
And Podrez won the 100 breaststroke in 1:02.41, edging Chagrin Falls junior Michael Tropf by 0.18 second, while Chagrin sophomore Joshua Rooney took third in 1:07.16.
Podrez owns top-10 times in Division II in three events this season, including the 200 individual medley, 1:54.35, 100 breaststroke, 58.70 seconds, and 500 freestyle, 4:51.22.
During the 500 freestyle on Saturday, Morris took CVC gold in 5:04.96, while senior teammate Hunter Forsythe was runner-up in 5:11.87 and junior teammate David Ricci was fourth in 5:14.65.
Hawken’s fifth individual triumph came from sophomore Will Dietz, who clocked 50.39 seconds in the 100 freestyle to edge Beachwood senior Matthew Keyerleber by 0.45 seconds.
Hawken also won the 1-meter springboard competition with junior Angus Williams recording an 11-dive score of 435.2 points – the best in Division II this season – while Beachwood junior Seth Barner, 390.4, Chagrin Falls sophomore Keanu Sherman, 300.1, Orange sophomore Ferhat Gungor, 264.35, and Orange sophomore Holden Perodeau, 250.35, finished two-three-four-five.
And Hawken’s relay win came in the 400 freestyle with the quartet of Podrez, 50.31 seconds, Butler, 51.59, sophomore Gray Fair, 53.40, and Dietz, 49.94, posting a 3:25.24 to best Chagrin Falls by 1.49 seconds.
The Tigers’ runner-up quartet included senior Clark Reboul, 49.99 seconds, sophomore Zachary Muckle, 53.44, sophomore Bobby Munz, 52.60, and Tropf, 50.70, posting a 3:26.73.
The Chagrin Falls boys captured two individual events and two relays.
Reboul won the 50 freestyle in 22.61 seconds, besting Beachwood senior Gabriel Colmenares’ runner-up finish in 23.05 seconds. Reboul’s season-best swim of 22.23 seconds is ranked ninth in Division II.
Chagrin senior John Cashy, meanwhile, won the 100 backstroke in 56.42 seconds, while Hawken’s Dietz was runner-up in 57.68 seconds, Chagrin’s Rooney was third in 57.82 seconds and Chagrin senior Parker Broz was fourth in 59.71 seconds.
In the 100 butterfly, Beachwood’s Colmenares clocked a triumphant 54.29 seconds to out-touch Cashy by 0.01 second, while Hawken junior Matthew Schmidt took third in 57.54 seconds and Chagrin’s Munz was fourth in 57.88 seconds.
Cashy’s season-best of 54.57 seconds in the 100 backstroke ranks 12th in Division II, while his season-best of 52.84 seconds in the 100 butterfly ranks 13th.
The Tiger torpedoes also won the 200 medley relay with backstroker Cashy, 24.98 seconds, breaststroker Tropf, 28.23, butterflier Reboul, 23.77, and freestyler Broz, 22.87, clocking a 1:39.85 to best Hawken’s ‘B’ relay by 2.73 seconds, which posted a faster time than its ‘A’ quartet.
And in the 200 freestyle relay, Chagrin’s team of Cashy, 22.68 seconds, Broz, 23.30, Tropf, 22.54, and Reboul, 21.63, recorded a triumphant effort in 1:30.15, besting Beachwood’s runner-up finish of 1:31.84.