The Solon girls swimming and diving program defended its Division I Mayfield Sectional crown on Saturday during the 16-team meet at Spire Institute in Geneva.
Propelled by three top-three relay performances and a pair of individual triumphs, the Lady Comets scored 415 points, besting runner-up Shaker Heights, 338 points, third-place Mayfield, 302 points, fourth-place Kenston, 269 points, and the rest of the field.
In the 1-meter springboard competition, which was held last Thursday at Solon High School, Lady Comet freshman Nicole Rzepka won gold with an 11-dive score of 415.70, while senior teammate Olivia Kreft finished third with 407.60.
The list of firsts is increasing by the week for Kayla Korenowski. The Kenston senior won her first Chagrin Valley Conference meet title last month in the 50-yard freestyle after finishing second in individual events and relays eight times in her career.
Coming into the Division I sectional Feb. 14 at SPIRE Institute, Korenowski had placed in the top four individually four times — but never higher than second.
On this occasion, it was time to add to another list of firsts — sectional titles to take as a base into what she hopes is a charge toward Canton. Korenowski was the lone double individual winner from The News-Herald coverage area, as she swept 50 free and 100 back and turned in vital legs on the Bombers' winning 200 medley and runner-up 200 free relays.
The Chagrin Falls and Kenston swimming and diving teams split a dual on Saturday at Solon High School’s natatorium, with the Lady Bombers defeating their orange-and-black rivals for the first time since 2008.
Winning eight of the nine individual events and two of the three relays, the Kenston girls outdid the Lady Tigers, 100-85. Keeping the score close, Chagrin captured seven runner-up finishes in the nine individual races.
Kenston seniors Kayla Korenowski and Sophie Kocheff and freshman Cara Joyce were double-event champs for the Lady Bombers.
The Hawken girls swim team showed some mercy during Saturday's Chagrin Valley Conference championship at the Lady Hawks' Holtrey Pool – well, at least compared to years past.
During the last four seasons, only one non-Hawken swimmer has captured an individual CVC crown in 32 events. This year, there were two.
Kenston senior Kayla Korenowski won the 50-yard freestyle in in 25.37 seconds, and West Geauga senior Kirstin Boni won the 100 breaststroke in 1:10.21.
Moments after emerging from the pool Jan. 24 after the girls 50-yard freestyle "A" final during the Chagrin Valley Conference meet, the sense of relief was clear from Kayla Korenowski. The Kenston senior walked past Bombers coach Amanda Boswell and simply said, "Finally."
The league breakthrough for which Korenowski had long been seeking was finally realized, and perhaps there's one more breakthrough on the horizon.
Korenowski won her first career CVC title in 50 free with a time of 25.37 seconds. Counting this final league meet, in her career in individual events and on relays the longtime Kenston sprint free and backstroke standout had placed second eight times at CVC, including each of the last two years in 50 free.
There's just some kind of feeling about diving in the water at Canton McKinley's Branin Natatorium, knowing that the fastest swimmers in Ohio high school history have claimed state titles in that pool.
Solon and Kenston swimmers got a refreshing taste of that end-of-the-season aspiration, when they competed there on Saturday in the 11th Christmas Invitational.
Swimmers from 40-some teams competed, including the top-three Division I girls contenders from last year – Cincinnati Ursuline, Upper Arlington and Mason.
Advancing to the state swimming and diving championships at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton is an accomplishment in itself, but scoring points is a whole other level of awesomeness.
The top 24 swimmers and divers in each event across Ohio's two divisions get a chance to compete among the best of the best, when 2,500 fans roar in the stands and coaches, officials, timers and media personnel get a ground-level show on deck.
The Solon girls swim team again defended its sectional crown, obliterating Saturday's Division I competition at Spire Institute in Geneva and advancing 11 torpedoes and three divers to this weekend's district competition.
Winning all three relays and two individual events, the Lady Comets captured the team title with 477 points to best runner-up Mayfield, 284 points, third-place Shaker Heights, 280 points, fourth-place Kenston, 218 points, and the rest of the 16-team field.
The Lady Bombers were able to advance five swimmers and two divers to the 48-team Division I Northeast District meet, which will host its championships at 10 a.m. Saturday at Cleveland State University's Busbey Natatorium. The top two swimmers in each event will automatically qualify for the state competition, while 16 at-large bids throughout Ohio will advance based on time.
Among the sea of Hawken during the Chagrin Valley Conference meet, one News-Herald area swimmer without an ‘H' on their swim cap broke through for a pair of top-two individual finishes.
Kenston junior Kayla Korenowski was second in both sprint freestyle events Saturday, recording a time of 25.45 seconds for CVC runner-up honors in the 50 free and a 55.71 in the 100 free. Considering the Hawks took 12 of 16 top twos in individual events on the girls side, Korenowski's afternoon was a nice distinction before the road to Canton begins.
"We're completely pleased," Bombers coach Amanda Boswell said. "She has done awesome this season. We just can't wait to see what she continues to do in the postseason."