Racing with a trio of individual champs and a relay victory, the Solon boys swimming and diving program had no issue defending its Division I sectional title during the 13-team meet on Saturday at the Spire Institute in Geneva.

Seniors Denis Gorbachev and Jackson Salisbury as well as sophomore Henry Tavens led the Comets in scoring 509 points – their most in sectional competition since 2015 – to best runner-up Shaker Heights, 433 points, and third-place Mentor, 264 points. It was their sixth team banner in seven seasons.

Gorbachev won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:52.29 during a one-two-four-five finish for the Comets that also included junior Isaac Shaker, 4:59.01, sophomore Blake Ellman, 5:03.67, and junior Andre Yazhbin, 5:12.65, punching their tickets to districts.

Overall, 14 Solon boys advanced to district competition.

Later in the meet, Gorbachev took fourth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:02.08.

In the 200 freestyle, Solon’s Tavens won the sectional title in 1:48.91, besting Shaker Heights senior Nico Poggio’s runner-up finish in 1:50.81, while Solon junior Ryan Gross was third in 1:51.20 and Solon’s Shaker was fifth in 1:51.85.

Later in the meet, Tavens took third in the 100 freestyle in 49.59 seconds.

And Gross took third in the 100 backstroke in 56.51 seconds.

In the 1-meter springboard competition, Salisbury claimed gold with an 11-dive score of 533 points, besting Shaker Heights freshman Ezra Dykema’s runner-up finish of 480.5 points, while Solon sophomore Patrick Burke took third with 458.55 points, Solon senior Josh Schwartz was fourth with 413 points and Solon senior Justin Donohoe finished seventh with 286.6 points.

In the 200 individual medley, Solon sophomore Victor Perez-Reyes was runner-up in 2:10.81 during a two-five-six-seven showing for the Comets that also included freshman Logan Solonche, 2:12.99, senior Srujan Jaladi, 2:13.74, and freshman William Zampogna, 2:14.96, advancing to districts.

In the 400 freestyle relay, Solon’s quartet of Gross, 50.58 seconds, Tavens, 49.98, Shaker, 52.23, and Gorbachev, 50.66, claimed victory in 3:23.45, easily besting Shaker Heights’ runner-up finish in 3:28.91.

Solon’s 200 medley relay of backstroker Gross, 26.59 seconds, breaststroker Gorbachev, 27.95, butterflier Shaker, 25.44, and freestyler Salisbury, 24.38, finished runner-up in 1:44.36.

And the Comets’ 200 freestyle quartet of Tavens, 23.10 seconds, Perez-Reyes, 25.14, Yazhbin, 23.91, and Jaladi, 24.72, took sixth in 1:36.97 to advance to district competition.

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