MARION — Galion’s boys swim team won the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference championship Saturday at the W. Keith Davis Natatorium in the Marion YMCA. The Tiger ladies finished second.
“What a great meet. Our ladies’ team was just outnumbered today, but out of the 66 swims, 44 of them were season-best times,” Galion coach Ted Temple exclaimed. “Our teams are ready for the championship season. Our numbers today would hold up well through sectionals and beyond. Coach Wiggins and myself are extremely proud of the team!”
In the MOAC boys title race, Galion won with 183 team points with Harding second with 80. It is Galion’s third straight league title. Other finishers were Mount Gilead-65 points, Pleasant-58 points, River Valley-33 points, Buckeye Valley and Elgin-19 points each and Jonathan Alder-11 points.
First-team all-conference honors were earned by the boys 200-yard medley relay team of Caleb Strack, Sam Rigdon, Clay Karnes and Eli Skaggs who won the event in 1:45.35, nearly five seconds faster than second place. Receiving all-conference honorable mention in the same event was the team of Ben Alstadt, Gideon Johnson, Alec Dicus and Lucas Conner who finished third on 1:56.43. First-team and honorable mention honors were also earned by Galion in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Finishing in first were Rigdon, Landon Rose, Karnes and Skaggs in 1:34.35. Luke Eisnaugle, Isaac Niedermier, Braxton Tate and Weston Rose were third in1:43.05. In the 400-yard freestyle relay, Landon Rose, Weston Rose, Conner and Strack earned second-team all-conference honors, finishing in a time of 3:38.82. Eisnaugle, Alstadt, Dicus and Tate grabbed the honorable mention in the event, finishing third in 3:47.74.
The boys team also dominated the individual races.
In the 200-yard freestyle, Galion had a clean sweep of first-, second- and third-place. Karnes won the event in 1:57.31, Landon Rose finished second in 2:02.15 and Weston Rose snagged honorable mention in third, finishing the race in 2:05.11. Rigdon was second in the 200-yard individual medley in 2:11.82. Skaggs won the 50 freestyle in 22.38 and Strack was third in 24.64. Rigdon was second in the 100-yard butterfly (59.34), missing out on first place by .04 of a second.
The 100-yard freestyle saw another Skaggs victory (49.44), with Landon Rose third (54.85). Karnes claimed victory in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:13.05. Dicus was second in 5:21.40.
A pair of freshmen took first and second place in the 100-yard backstroke event. Strack won in 1:00.63, while Astadt earned second in 1:04.02. The only event on the day that didn’t see a Galion Tiger taking league honors was the 100-yard breaststroke in which Eisnaugle was the highest placing Tigers swimmer (4th).
In the girls team race Pleasant won with 120 points. Galion was second with 113, followed by River Valley-66 points, Jonathan Alder-62 points, Elgin-40 points, Harding-33 points, Buckeye Valley-24 points, and Mount Gilead-8 points.
Galion’s 200-yard medley relay team took home first-team all-conference honors as Bri Wallis, Sari Conner, Allison DeNero and Elise Barnhart won in 2:02.11.. The same team won the 400-yard freestyle relay, in 4:08.17, more than 19 seconds faster than second place. The 200-yard freestyle team of Ashleigh Wright, Danielle Schneider, Bri Streib and Alexis Link were sixth.
Conner won the 200-yard freestyle in 2:08.58. DeNero won the 200-yard individual medley in 2:25.42. Barnhart would be the highest finishing Galion swimmer in the 50-yard freestyle, fourth in 29.03. DeNero was fifth in the 100-yard butterfly . Conner was second in the 100-yard freestyle (58.83). Wallis was second in the 500-yard freestyle (6:03.26) and third in the 100-yard backstroke. Link was 10th place in the 100-yard breaststroke, the Tigers’ highest placer.
The Tigers swimmers will have one last tune-up meet before the postseason begins. On Thursday Feb. 2, Galion will travel to Ashland University to meet up with the Ashland Arrows at 6 pm. The sectionals tournament is Saturday, Feb. 11 at Malabar.