ONTARIO — On Saturday, January 20, the Galion Tigers swim teams headed to Ontario High School to compete in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference Championships.
With the new look of the MOAC this winter season, the Galion boys eyed a fourth consecutive league title while the ladies from Galion were looking to surpass their three straight runner-up finishes.
The Galion Tigers boys team did, in fact, make it four in a row on Saturday, swimming their way to 200 points to outlast runner-up Ontario (138). Pleasant finished third with 101 points, Harding was fourth with 66 and River Valley rounded out the field in fifth at 42 points.
In the usual fashion, the Tigers swept all three relay events on the day.
Caleb Strack, Luke Eisnaugle, Clay Karnes and Sam Rigdon began the day for the boys squad by winning the 200-yard medley relay over Pleasant in a time of 1:47.12. Galion’s time was greater than seven seconds faster than the runner-up Spartans. Later in the day, in the 200-yard freestyle relay, the foursome of Ben Alstadt, Strack, Karnes and Rigdon edged Ontario for the win in a finishing time of 1:34.48. Putting the icing on the championship cake for the Tigers was Weston Rose, Alstadt, Eisnaugle and Alec Dicus. The Galion foursome defeated Ontario in the 400-free relay with a time of 3:32.18 with the championship already fully secured.
The Tigers also claimed the conference title in four individual events on the day.
Rigdon took the top spot in the 200-yard individual medley by defeating the runner-up and teammate, Eisnaugle, with a time of 2:16.47. In the 100-yard butterfly, it was Karnes taking top billing with a time of 57.31. Dicus and teammate Braxton Tate finished first and second, respectively, in the 500-free on the day. Dicus won the event in 5:18.76 and Tate was behind him, finishing in 5:34.61. Bringing the fourth and final individual title home to Galion was Eisnaugle. Eisnaugle won the 100-yard breaststroke, by more than four seconds over Joshua Whaley of Pleasant, in 1:08.99.
Runner-up finishes for the boys on the day were: Karnes- 200-free; Alstadt- 50-free; Rigdon- 100-free and Strack- 100-back.
Other Galion placements were: Rose- 3rd, 200-free and 4th, 100-free; Chris Amick- 8th, 200-free; Strack- 3rd, 50-free; Issac Niedermier- 6th, 50-free and 6th, 100-free; Dicus- 3rd, 100-fly; Wyatt Enders- 7th, 500-free; Alstadt- 3rd, 100-back and Tate- 5th, 100-breast.
The girls scoring at the MOAC Championships went as follows: 1. Ontario- 219; 2. GALION- 116; 3. Harding- 83; 4. Pleasant- 79 and 5. River Valley- 69. Ontario put an end to Pleasant’s reign as three-time MOAC Champions.
Sari Conner was the only Lady Tigers swimmer to take home a first place finish on the day over in Ontario. Conner won the 100-free with a time of 59.65 to defeat Jennifer Crum from Ontario (1:00.80). Conner would also earn the runner-up honors in the 200-free race, finishing with a time of 2:15.01.
Allison DeNero also took a pair of runner-up finishes home in the 200-IM (2:29.50) and in the 100-fly (1:09.27).
As for the relay events, the foursome of Ashleigh Wright, Conner, DeNero and Elise Barnhart finished as the runner-up in the 200-medley relay in a time of 2:10.31. Barnhart, Conner and DeNero joined together with Danielle Schneider to also finish second in the 200-free relay (1:53.65). In the 400-free, the Galion squad of Schneider, Bri Streib, Katlyn Kuehlman and Wright took fourth (5:03.37). The Lady Warriors from Ontario swept the three relay events.
Other Lady Tigers placements were: Schneider- 6th, 200-free and 4th, 500-free; Wright- 6th, 200-IM and 4th, 100-back; Barnhart- 3rd, 50-free and 6th, 100-free; Streib- 8th, 50-free and 9th, 100-free; Kuehlman- 6th, 100-breast.
Galion will host the Madison Rams on Thursday, January 25 at the Galion Community Center YMCA before heading back to Ontario on Saturday, January 27 to compete in the Ontario Invitational.
Other Lady Tigers placements from Saturday were:
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