CANTON — Tradition is rooted in success, and accolades are expected every season with the way Medina County swimming is going.
Area competitors took to the pool at C.T. Branin Natatorium, and results Saturday showed just how strong the area is becoming after yet another solid Division I state meet.
Brunswick’s Felicia Pasadyn became the second athlete from a county school to win a state title when she broke an area record in the 100-yard backstroke (54.28) and finished third in the 200 individual medley with another county record (2:00.78).
Highland’s Ashley Mennenga picked up her fourth All-Ohio honor in the 100 back and fifth all-state nod with a fifth-place finish.
Wadsworth’s Gabe Currens finished one spot from All-Ohio recognition with a 17th-place finish in diving, while teammate Elyse Waldow was 18th in the 100 breaststroke.
Pasadyn joined Lily Kijek, Erika Eyssen and Lexi Wallace to finish 19th in the 400 freestyle relay.
The meet belonged to Pasadyn, however, as the junior picked up her fourth and fifth all-state honors in what is already an incredible career.
“It was amazing and she had so much fun with it,” Brunswick coach Vince Colwell said. “She’s out there with her relay girls having a good time and giving their best effort. That’s all we wanted. To have a whole other year to train to build on that is great.”
Mennenga, who came back from surgery that should have kept her from her senior season, leaves the Hornets after a career that everyone in the program will measure themselves against.
“I definitely wasn’t expecting it,” Mennenga said. “I went in with the idea of, ‘Hey, let’s just see what I can do.’ It’s definitely a positive sign for next year. It makes me excited. Again, I’m just thankful for the coaches that have helped me get here and figure out the formula.
“I know a lot of the swimmers and am really excited for them to come up. I always tell them I’m looking forward to seeing them work their butts off and breaking my records. I know their capable of it. I want them to remember me as someone who stayed humble, worked hard and wasn’t very cocky. It means a lot for people to come up and break my records.”
Currens will return next season with hopes of building on a career that already includes two state trips.
Waldow, who already holds the county record in the 100 breast, will be back as a junior after making her first trip to state.
Grizzlies coach Allison Pallija already is ecstatic for what could be another incredible season.
“Every time you go down there, whether it’s for swimming or diving, it’s one more experience, it’s one more year under your belt of knowing what to expect,” Pallija said. “Elyse, it was her first time, and she said, ‘That was weird.’ It was outside her comfort zone. … She now knows what to expect. It was an amazing experience. That was a lot of fast swimming and it was super cool to see. She’s driven to get back next year
“For Gabe, it was definitely a learning moment. Nerves got to him a little bit on some of those dives, but he knew what to expect coming in. It’s one more year of experience and probably a little more drive under his belt.”
Contact Brad Bournival at firstname.lastname@example.org.