MANSFIELD — On Saturday, December 7, swim teams representing 13 area high schools, including the Galion Tigers, gathered in Mansfield for the annual Friendly House Invitational.
When all was said and done on the day, the Lady Tigers would see themselves finishing fourth overall in the field with 220 points while the boys took home fifth with 178 points. Combined, Galion finished in fifth with 398 points.
Ontario won the girls title with 373 points while the boys from Lexington claimed the crown with 388 points. In the combined team scoring, the Minutemen finished as the champions, tallying a total of 751 points on the day.
In the crowded fields, Galion’s Kaisey Speck and Ben Altstadt swam their way to individual event championships on the day, earning their respective squads 20 points while doing so. Speck finished atop the leaderboard in the girls 200-yard freestyle with her time of 2:08.88 while Altstadt won the boys 100-yard freestyle in a championship time of 52.69.
Galion’s relays would also fair well on the day in Mansfield, starting with the girls 200-yard medley relay foursome of Julia Conner, Speck, Caitlyn Karnes and Troie Grubbs. With a time of 2:06.23, that girls group finished third overall in the field. On the boys side, Caleb Strack, Nathan Barre, Altstadt and Isaac Niedermier claimed fifth overall in 1:52.93.
Other relay results for Galion on the day were: Ally Staats, Brooklyn O’Brien, Nicole Thomas, Adriana Zeger- 10th, 200-medley relay; Conner, O’Brien, Zeger, Grubbs- 200-yard freestyle relay, 7th; Thomas, Kate Wildenthaler, Amara Ratcliff, Ellexia Ratcliff- 200-free relay, 14th; Barre, Hayden Kaple, Sam Albert, Justin Lester- 200-free relay, 10th; Jaxon Oehler, William Mogan, Kyler Ratcliff, Grayson Willacker- 200-free relay, 11th; Grubbs, Staats, Karnes, Speck- 400-yard freestyle relay, 4th; Thomas, Wildenthaler, Ava Niedermier, Kate Schieber- 400-free relay, 14th; Strack, Albert, Willacker, Altstadt- 400-free relay, 4th; Oehler, Mogan, Tanner Keinath, Kaple- 400-free relay, 11th.
Outside of his championship in the 100-free, Altstadt also claimed one of two runner-up finishes for Galion on the day, earning second place in the 50-yard freestyle. Karnes, a freshman, earned the other second place finish for the Lady Tigers, swimming to second in the 100-yard butterfly.
In the individual events at the Friendly House Invitational, the top-16 times were scored.
Additional placements for the Lady Tigers were: Karnes- 200-yard freestyle, 15th; Grubbs- 50-free, 4th; Zeger- 50-free, 11th and 100-free, 11th; O’Brien- 50-free, 15th and 100-free, 16th; Staats- 500-yard freestyle, 6th and 100-yard backstroke, 10th; Conner- 500-free, 9th and 100-back, 9th and Speck- 100-yard breaststroke, 3rd.
Other scoring placements for the boys team from Galion on Saturday were: Barre- 200-free, 9th and 100-breast, 11th; Strack- 200-yard individual medley, 4th and 100-back, 5th; Niedermier- 50-free, 10th and 100-free, 9th and Lester- 100-free, 16th.
The Tigers next meet will be a dual with Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference foes, the Pleasant Spartans, on Wednesday, December 11 at the Galion YMCA. On Saturday, December 14, Galion will head down to The Ohio State University for the annual Ned Reeb Invite before returning home on Wednesday, December 18 for a non-conference dual against the visiting Lexington Minutemen.
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