At the beginning of the season, the relatively young and inexperienced Nordonia High School boys and girls swimming teams set a goal of steady improvement throughout the campaign.
The Knights and Lady Knights took their lumps during the early part of the season, but they've shown that improvement and have been rewarded with a few dual meet victories in recent weeks. They were rewarded further this past weekend at the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I Sectional Meet.
The meet took place Feb. 11 at the University of Akron.
By virtue of their performance, a number of Knights and Lady Knights qualified for next weekend's district meet. In fact, some athletes qualified for districts in more than one event.
Junior Christine McFarland was one of those athletes. She advanced to districts in two individual events. McFarland won a sectional championship in the 100 backstroke with a time of 58.39, and she finished third in the 100 fly with an effort of 59.13.
Junior Jared Toaz also qualified in two events. He accomplished the feat in the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke. Toaz was eighth in the former with a time of 2:01.52, and he finished 21st in the latter with an effort of 1:03.70.
Sophomore Dominic Dasher also advanced to the district meet in a pair of individual events. Dasher did so in the 100 backstroke (18th in 57.96) and the 50 freestyle (28th in 23.04).
Also qualifying for districts in individual events for Nordonia were sophomore Timmy Tomkovicz in the 100 backstroke and senior Claudia Gillota in the 100 breaststroke. Tomkovicz finished 20th with a time of 58.35, while Gillota placed 26th with an effort of 1:11.55.
Nordonia also enjoyed success in the diving events at the sectional meet. In fact, three Nordonia divers qualified for the district round of competition.
Those three divers were sophomore Grace Coghill, sophomore Harley Bodziony, and senior Tommy Koperna. Coghill finished 14th with a total of 297.80 points, while Bodziony was 25th (272.65 points) and Koperna placed 29th (253.15 points).
In addition, three of Nordonia's relay teams qualified for districts. One, the girls 200 medley relay squad, set a new school record in the process, finishing in 12th place with a time of 1:54.95. The members of that unit were McFarland, Gillota, junior Carmen Licht, and junior Amanda Westbrooks.
The boys 200 medley relay team advanced to districts, too, finishing in 14th place with a time of 1:44.75. That contingent consisted of Toaz, junior Jared Schneider, Dasher, and Tomkovicz.
Those same four athletes comprised the boys 400 relay squad, which also advanced by finishing in 16th place and posting an effort of 3:25.95.
In addition, the Nordonia girls 400 freestyle relay team qualified for districts, finishing 19th with a time of 3:53.10. The members of that unit were McFarland, Licht, Westbrooks, and junior Stephanie Schueren.
The OHSAA Division I District Meet will be Feb. 18 at Cleveland State University.