After swimming her second leg of the girls 400 free relay in Lane 5, Ross senior Megan Hawk made a beeline for Lane 7 to cheer on the Little Giants’ B relay.
Hawk’s A relay was doing its thing, winning by a comfortable margin. But with the Little Giants coming into the final event of Saturday’s Three Rivers Athletic Conference swim championships tied with Notre Dame Academy, the A relay could have swam as fast as it wanted, and it would not have mattered if the B team didn’t get enough points.
“I knew they needed just as much cheering as we did,” Hawk said. “We gave them a little pep talk beforehand. Then I concentrated on my race, and soon as I got out I was standing and cheering on the B team.”
It must have worked.
After Hawk, Haley Fisher, Morgan Waggoner and Meghan Moses bested the previous league mark set by the same relay a year ago, and doing so by nearly four seconds (3:39.34), the B relay finished fourth as Ross defended its TRAC championship with 513 points at the meet inside the Hawk-Bucci Natatorium.
Notre Dame and St. Ursula Academy tied for second with scores of 493.
“The first year we were in the TRAC, we got third,” Hawk said. “To be champions the last two years feels pretty good.”
Moses broke two more TRAC records in the 50 and 100 freestyles with times of 24.62 seconds and 54.10 respectively. Hawk was second to her in the 100 free, an event she has high hopes for in February.
“I think I can go faster in that event than I have before,” Hawk said.
Waggoner won the 100 butterfly in a record time of 59.70. She was second to girls MVP Zhada Fields of St. Ursula in the 100 backstroke, while she, Hawk, Fisher and Moses set a new TRAC and pool record in the 200 free relay, going 1:40.23.
“The excitement of the competition season is setting in right now,” said Waggoner, who earned all-state status in four events as a freshman. “We’re still training hard for tapers, but this is the beginning of our roller coaster that never goes down. My fly and my backstroke are faster than they were last year, so I’m excited for both at districts.”
Moses, another all-state honoree in four events as a freshman, is excited to be swimming without injury issues this season. A bum leg affected her at the end of last season.
“I’m swimming a lot faster, too,” Moses said. “Our team has really come together this year, and we’re working well together.”
Fisher won the 200 IM (2:12.84) and 500 free (5:22.83), an event the junior is new to after being predominately a sprinter in the past.
“I was hoping the 500 would be a little bit faster, but I’m pretty happy with that time,” Fisher said. “Coach (Tina Moses) wanted me to swim it last year, but I just couldn’t get into it. This year, I’m really learning how to swim it.”
Coach Moses’ squad showed off their depth as the Little Giants recorded a total of 24 top 10 finshes.
“Every point counted this year, and I think every girl contributed,” coach Moses said. “We won this as a team.”
Ross came into the swimming portion down 60 points to the Eagles after Friday’s diving competition.
“I’m proud of my divers,” Moses said. “That’s not our strong suit, but I had three divers complete 11 dives for points on Friday, including one girl who hit the board on her 10th dive and still managed to make her 11th dive.”
With small numbers on the boys side, the 2013-14 campaign has been a bit of rebuilding year for Ross coach Phil Moran’s team. Still, the Little Giants managed a third-place finish with 326 points behind St. Francis de Sales (758 points) and Findlay (521 points).
Trent Williams swam to second-place finish in the boys 100 free (49.87) and was third in the 100 backstroke. He, Hawk Smith, Nickolas Hoffman and Lorenzo Zamora took fourth in both the boys 200 medley and 400 free relays.
Hoffman was third in the 100 fly and fifth in the 200 IM, as the boys tallied 15 total top 10s.
“A lot of our younger kids keep improving and dropping times,” Moran said. “But with limited practices, I’ve been pounding these guys yardage-wise. So we just kind of blew through this meet with a whatever they do, they do kind of attitude because we’re more worried about the end of the year now.”
Ross will host the Northwest Ohio Aquatic Championships on Saturday.
Fourteen Ross swimmers were recognized on the All-Academic TRAC swim team.
Boys recognized included Nickolas Hoffman, Hawk Smith, Trent Williams, Lorenzo Zamora, Braydn Klein and Marquis Crawford. Earning academic honors for the girls were Alaina Klingman, Meghan Moses, Morgan Waggoner, Haley Fisher, Holly Fisher, Kortni Lagrou, Megan Hawk and Emily Moyer.