This past Saturday the Nordonia High School girls swimming and diving team made history at the eight team Suburban League National Division Championship meet, holding off Hudson to win by a score of 481 to 462. This was the first time the girls have ever won the Suburban League. “We knew coming in that we were in a position to knock off Hudson, who has won this meet for as long as I can remember. However, we also knew it would come down to every swimmer and diver giving it their absolute everything if we were going to pull it off and they did just that,” Coach Glenn Yorkievitz commented.
The meet started off on Thursday night where divers Amanda Larsen (5th Place) and newcomers Haley Yaeger, Allison Renner, and Kendall Doorley had outstanding performances to set the stage for Saturday’s swimming events.
On Saturday the meet started in Hudson’s favor with the Explorers outscoring the knights in the first 3 events. The Knights gained some points back in the 50-free, with strong performances from seniors Reanna Turk and Kyla Geiger, but Hudson was swimming really well and the Knights were not catching up as fast as needed. “We were competing hard and we knew that our lineup was strongest in the back half of the meet but you could feel momentum slipping away from us. “We got to the 100-yard freestyle and I told Senior Captain Sophia Fiorucci that she needed to go get it right now, give me everything,” coach Yorkievitz said. Sophia did just that- a lifetime best, which got everyone on the team fired up and from then on out we started to get back into it, Coach Glenn added. The 500-yard freestyle followed and a fantastic finish by senior Mallory Ralls chasing down her Hudson opponent continued the rally and the Knights went on to outscore Hudson in every remaining event to pull off the victory.
Placing in the top three for their events were Hailey Kaminski (1st 50-yard Freestyle and 1st 100-yard Backstroke), Emily Yorkievitz ( 2nd 200-yard freestyle and 3rd 100-yard butterfly.) Mallory Ralls (3rd 500-yard freestyle) and Ari Smajlovic (3rd 100-yard backstroke). Joining them to win the 200 free and the 400 free relays were Payton Pelkowski and Abby Pohlmeyer.
“We knew our top swimmers were going to bring it and compete but the real reason we won this meet was because of our depth.” Sophomores Madisyn Reville and Avery Holtz and a large group of freshmen consisting of Olivia May, Leah Sunday. Clara Simenc, Katie Chachko, Sofia Bonanno, and Ella Bonanno really came through in their races, often just out touching their opponents to place higher and score points for the team.
“This was truly a team effort. I am still in disbelief,” Coach Yorkievitz stated after the meet. Additionally, “What makes this so special is that every swimmer scored in this meet, every single one. It truly shows what you can accomplish when you work hard and compete as a team.”
The Nordonia Knights are now 6 and 1 in dual meets so far this season and head into the second half ready to continue this incredible run.