Chagrin Falls junior John Cashy was the best individual swimmer in the field, but not much got in Hawken School’s way of winning its eighth consecutive Chagrin Valley Conference title on Saturday at the Hawks’ Holtrey Pool in Chester Township.
Cashy won the 100-yard butterfly in 53.46 seconds and the 100 backstroke in 55.10 seconds – both lifetime bests and faster than the cutoffs for last year’s Division II state meet. In the backstroke, Cashy held off Beachwood senior Spencer Bystrom by 0.24 second.
The Tiger torpedo now ranks 12th in the 100 butterfly and 11th in the 100 backstroke among Division II competitors in the state this season.
Nonetheless, the Hawken boys still dominated the team standings, winning four of eight individual races and one of three relays to retain their CVC throne with 522 1/2 points, besting runner-up Chagrin, 395 points, third-place Beachwood, 328 points, fourth-place Orange, 301 1/2 points, and the rest of the 11-team field.
Leading the Hawks, senior John Byrne and sophomores Alex Podrez and Connor Brown each won gold and silver in their respective events, while sophomore Kenneth Yang added another gold.
Byrne won the 100 freestyle in 49.62 seconds, holding off Chagrin junior Clark Reboul’s runner-up finish in 50.44 seconds.
Earlier in the meet, Hawken went one-two-three in the 200 freestyle with Yang, 1:49.14, Byrne, 1:49.35, and sophomore David Ricci, 1:53.87, leaving the rest of the field in their wake.
In the 200 individual medley, Hawken’s Brown stopped the clock in 1:59.82 to best Podrez’s runner-up finish in 2:01.00, while Orange senior Jonah Katz took third in 2:05.32, Hawken freshman Madan Morris was fourth in 2:09.31 and Orange senior Noah Golovan finished fifth in 2:09.39.
Podrez returned the favor during a one-two-three-four sweep for the Hawks in the 500 freestyle, when he clocked a 4:50.02 to best runner-up Brown, 4:59.32, freshman teammate Will Dietz, 5:04.09, and Yang, 5:04.85, while Orange’s Golovan took fifth in 5:16.36.
While Orange’s Golovan secured a pair of fifths, Katz and fellow Lion senior Andrew Hamilton each won an individual event.
Katz defended his 100 breaststroke title in 1:01.97 to best Chagrin Falls sophomore Michael Tropf’s runner-up finish in 1:03.88, while Hawken junior Hunter Forsythe took third in 1:04.29 and Hawken sophomore Donovan Liao was fourth in 1:05.34.
And Hamilton won the 50 freestyle in 23.26 seconds, defeating Perry runner-up junior Van Rinehart by 0.43 second. Hawken sophomore Donovan Reed was fifth in 24.29 seconds.
Later in the meet, Hamilton finished third in the 100 butterfly in 55.93 seconds, bested by Cashy’s win in 53.46 seconds and Hawken senior Isaac Esposito’s runner-up performance in 54.76 seconds.
Hawken also had another top performance from Morris with a third-place showing in the 100 backstroke in 58.45 seconds, while freshman Jacob Esposito took fourth in the 100 backstroke in 58.69 seconds and fifth in the 100 butterfly in 58.02 seconds.
In the 400 freestyle relay, Hawken’s quartet of Podrez, 51.46 seconds, the younger Esposito, 52.15, Byrne, 49.83, and junior Nathan Herman, 51.48, clocked a triumphant 3:24.92 to win the event by 4.19 seconds against runner-up Orange.
In the 1-meter springboard competition the previous day at Orange High School, Beachwood’s Bystrom, the guy who gave Chagrin’s Cashy a run for his money in the 100 backstroke, broke a pool record with an 11-dive score of 444.45 points.
Bystrom also competed on Beachwood’s 200 freestyle relay that had quite the showdown with Chagrin Falls.
The Tigers’ 200 freestyle quartet of Cashy, 22.77 seconds, Tropf, 22.87, senior Nick Angelino, 23.73, and Reboul, 21.77, clocked a triumphant 1:31.14 to edge the runner-up Bison by 0.7 second. Beachwood owned a 0.95-second lead entering the anchor leg, before Reboul took over.
Individually, Angelino finished fourth in the 200 freestyle in 1:58.50 and sixth in the 500 freestyle in 5:24.24 to help lead the Tigers to their first runner-up finish in the team standings in four years.
Also scoring major points for the Chagrin boys, freshman Joshua Rooney took sixth in the 100 back in 1:00.65 and seventh in the 200 individual medley in 2:19.54; senior Zach Goodwin was sixth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:07.93; and junior Tyler Feeney secured a pair of eighths in the 200 freestyle, 2:03.39, and 500 freestyle, 5:30.09.
Joining Katz, Hamilton and Golovan with top finishes from Orange, senior Joe Daly took fifth in the 100 backstroke in 59.26 seconds and sixth in the 100 freestyle in 53.00 seconds; senior Jason Oh was seventh in the 200 freestyle in 2:03.13 and eighth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:13.49; and sophomore Alan Golubitsky finished seventh in the 500 freestyle in 5:25.70.
In the 200 medley relay, Orange’s quartet of backstroker Daly, 27.15 seconds, breaststroker Katz, 27.34, butterflier Hamilton, 24.52, and Golovan, 24.24, clocked a triumphant 1:42.25 to hold of Chagrin Falls by 0.45 second.
And the top placement for the West Geauga boys, who finished eighth in the team standings with 92 points, junior Eli Harvey took eighth in the 200 individual medley in 2:24.03.