The Nordonia High School boys and girls swimming teams are taking their lumps during the early part of the 2016-17 season. However, the Knights and Lady Knights are learning in the process, which bodes well for the second half of the campaign.
Nordonia was in action recently, competing in a dual meet and an invitational. The dual meet was against Suburban League foe Brecksville-Broadview Heights at home, Dec. 16.
The Brecksville boys topped the Knights by the score of 125-52, while the Brecksville girls posted a 121-64 victory over the Lady Knights.
Junior Christine McFarland led the way for Nordonia against Brecksville. She finished first in two individual events, winning the 50 freestyle with a time of 25.32 and the 500 freestyle with an effort of 5:25.19. Not only that, but her time in the 500 freestyle represents a new school record in the event.
Also capturing first place in an individual event were sophomore Grace Coghill and senior Thomas Koperna. Both accomplished the feat in one-meter diving. Coghill won with a point total of 177, while Koperna did so with 132.52 points.
Junior Jared Toaz also set a new school record in the 100 backstroke. His record-breaking time was 58.54. Toaz finished second in the 100 backstroke.
According to Nordonia head coach Claudio Costanzo, the Knights and Lady Knights have encountered some extremely tough competition since the season began. However, he also believes that competition will benefit his team in the weeks ahead.
"We've struggled in our dual meets against some really good opponents, but our kids continue to get better," said Costanzo.
On Dec. 17, Nordonia competed at the Viking Invitational at Cleveland State University.
McFarland once again the led the charge for Nordonia, qualifying for the finals in both the 100 fly and the 100 backstroke. She finished third in the 100 fly, breaking the school record in the event with a time of 58.62. She also placed eighth in the 100 backstroke, posting a time of 59.81 in the process.
Toaz, meanwhile, made the consolation finals in two individual events. Those events were the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke.
Toaz finished 11th overall in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:01.37. He placed 12th overall in the 100 breaststroke with an effort of 1:02.89.
"Jared swam really well in those finals," said Costanzo. "We were proud of his effort."
On Dec. 27, Nordonia will host Kenston at the Macedonia Recreation Center at 6 p.m.
On Jan. 3, the Knights and Lady Knights are scheduled to battle conference counterpart Cuyahoga Falls on the road.
"We are entering a grueling three-week period of training," said Costanzo. "We need to stay focused and continue to work hard, and it will pay off later."