Kimerer, Boardman teammates hope to make splash at state
By DAN HINER
Kyle Kimerer is a little more relaxed heading into the state meet in Canton this weekend.
With his college commitment — Canisius — out of the way and his high school career coming to a close, the Boardman senior wants to go out and compete one more time.
“I kind of went in my senior year with my commitment to my college already done,” Kimerer said. “Already having that out of the way, I get to kick that back and focus on each meet as its own individual thing. I kinda just got to enjoy every moment.”
Kimerer will join senior Callen Aulizia, and sophomores Matt DunLany and Noah Basista on the Boardman relay team. The Boardman relay team qualified for state last season, but the Spartans are more confident this year.
“This year being my last year, getting a chance to go to the state meet, we’re a lot more confident this year,” Kimerer said. “It’s the same meet from last year so we have the chemistry already developed. We’re just going into this year with the mentality of finishing the job and getting the top spot.”
Boardman will compete in the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay this weekend.
The Spartans’ relay team earned All-America status after finishing with 3:05 in the 400 relay at the district.
“Hitting an automatic All-American is very hard to do,” Boardman head coach Terry O’Halloran said. “It’s basically you’re one of the top 40 events in the country for that particular All-American certification, and we did that with the 400 relay. Our school record was 3:10, which was set at the state meet last year. This year we were hoping for a 3:09, we went 3:05.”
The Spartans will have to compete with Brecksville and St. Xavier high school from Cincinnati, two of the top swimming programs in the state.
Boardman finished behind Brecksville in two relays in last week’s district meet. The Spartans were three seconds behind Brecksville in the 200 medley relay and one second behind in the 400 freestlye relay.
The four members of the relay team all will compete in individual events.
Basista will swim in the 100 breaststroke, Aulizia will compete in the 50 and 100 freestyles, DunLany and Kimerer will participate in the 100 butterfly while Kimerer will also swim the 200 freestlye.
“I think this is a really big opportunity for all of us to leave our mark in the state meet,” Basista said. “It’s Callen and Kyle’s last year to team up with Matt and I. Last year was like ‘Wow, it’s the state meet.’ Now we know what we’re doing. We’ve been there, but now we can do our thing and hope to do really well.”
Teams like Brecksville showed the Spartans that there are better swimmers out there, and that helps create an “underdog” mentality.
“We have that feel where we’re the underdogs coming in,” Aulizia said. “But because we’re the underdogs, we can make history. We want to shake the world.”