Kimerer, Boardman relays drive to state meet
By BOB ETTINGER
The lease on Kyle Kimerer’s car is up, but his season, and those of several teammates on the Boardman swim team, still has some life left in it.
Kimerer, Matthew DunLany, Noah Basista and Callen Aulizia will compete in the state swim meet next weekend after they finished second in a pair of relays at the Division I district swim meet at Cleveland State’s Robert F. Busbey Natatorium on Saturday afternoon.
The Spartans opened the meet with a second-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay to claim a berth in Canton.
“When you’re swimming in a big meet, [the first race] is really important,” Boardman coach Terry O’Halloran said. “They motivated the whole team. The boys lit it up with the way they swam and and it set the tone for the rest of the day.”
They finished in a school-record 137.78 trailing Brecksville, which ended in 1:33.29.
“Matt did a great job leading it off,” Basista said. “We have four great guys and a great coaching staff.”
“I just went after it,” DunLany said. “I tried to stay with the pack, stay with the leaders. The rest of the guys all did the same. They did their best.”
Kimerer didn’t even take the podium with his teammates as he was stepping into the blocks for the 200 freestyle. He promptly finished second to Hudson’s Jay Johnson. Kimerer, who will be getting a new car as he prepares for the state meet, finished in 1:41.84, Johnson in 140.28.
“Getting second, honestly, was a surprise to me,” Kimerer said. “I went in I was going in off the energy of the relay. I was happy to be second and be in at the state meet next week.”
Kimerer, DunLany, Basista and Aulizia closed the meet with another second-place finish. They completed the 400 freestyle relay in 3:05.72 to break the school record by five seconds.
“You never know what to expect,” O’Halloran said. “It’s unusual to knock five seconds off the school-record time. The boys were psyched up so much. I’d never seen anything like it in my 33 years as a coach.”
The Spartans were just off the Brecksville’s winning time of 3:05.36.
“Coming in and swimming with our brothers was enough to give us the energy we needed,” Aulizia said. “We just kept that adrenaline through the meet. Each and every one of us did what needed to be done. For me, personally, seeing we were a little behind going into that last leg made me give it all for the boys. I wanted to leave nothing behind.”
Boardman was fourth in the team standings with 196 points. Brecksville took the team title with 282 points, Hudson was second with 248 and North Canton Hoover was third with 221.
“I have the best coaching team of anybody in the state,” O’Halloran said. “Carlo Cordan and Chad DeAngelo have been with me a long time. We totally support each other, but we’re also able to criticize each other for the benefit of the team. They started with our program. They’re part of its history. That’s what makes the whole thing work.”
Aulizia took fourth in the 50 freestyle in 20.82, Kimerer was fourth in the 100 butterfly in 50.29 and Basista was sixth in the 200 individual medley in a school-record 1:56.23 and sixth in the 100 breaststroke in 57.72.
The Boardman girls 200 freestyle relay of Mikel Flatley, Alison Kuras, Alyssa Dinapoli and Jennah Markovitch also set a school record in placing seventh in 1:40.30.
“One of the most important records we set today was by the 200-yard freestyle relay,” O’Halloran said. “They’re on the bubble for state and the tallest one of them is 5-foot-6.”
DunLany took eighth in the 500 freestyle in 4:49.07, the 200 freestyle relay of Mason Rassega, Jordan Stackpole, Will Linker and David Giancola was eighth in 1:28.87. DunLany took 10th in the 100 butterfly in 51.59. Gia Direnzo of Austintown Fitch was eighth in the 100 butterfly in 58.28 and the Falcons’ Jake Lawrence was eighth in the 100 backstroke in 54.22 and 10th in the 200-yard individual medley in 2:01.71.