Disqualification inspires Canfield swimmer
By BOB ETTINGER
Though it’s usually advisable to stay away from competing angry, Canfield senior Kamran Sarac couldn’t help it Friday at the Division II Ohio State Swimming and Diving Championships.
But he couldn’t help but smile afterward.
Sarac, the first swimmer in the pool for the Cardinals, finished fourth in the 50-yard freestyle after he false-started on his leg of the 200-yard freestyle relay on Thursday at C.T. Branin Nataorium.
“Getting disqualified was absolutely tragic,” Sarac said. “On the bus ride home, we kind of changed our mindset and had a good feeling overall.
“But, when I was home, alone, I was sad, being that I was the one who false-started,” he said. “I felt terrible. I came in today with a lot of pent-up anger. I wanted to take the 50 and set the tone, brighten the day for the other guys.
“I had a lot of anger.”
Jamyson Robb of West Branch used the first strokes after her turns to power her to a third-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:03.83.
“My pullouts were probably the strongest parts of my race,” she said. “I make up a lot of ground from my pullouts.”
Robb was 11th a year ago and wanted nothing more than to finish on the podium.
“I’m really happy,” Robb said. “Last year, I finished 11th. It motivated me a lot. I wanted to finish in the A final, but I didn’t expect to finish third.”
Using the emotion paid dividends as Sarac had qualified seventh for the final and moved up three spots on the podium with a time of 21.29.
“If it were any other race, I’d have pushed my anger aside,” he said. “The 50 is a drag race, all out, everything you have. My main issue in the 50 is I don’t give it my all in the first 25.
“I gassed it. And it showed in the 100 fly. My legs were shaking on the blocks. That race was pure willpower. I still got a personal best and moved up two spots.”
Rebekah Klem of Crestview was seventh in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:05.11, raising her
previous finish in the state meet by 18 places.
“I’m pleased,” said Klem, who trains at Branin Natatorium. “Last year, I was 25th. I brought it back. I didn’t give in. It’s been a long ride. It was worth it.”
Canfield’s’ Bobby Kutsch, Jason Paris, Sarac and Cullen Brady finished 13th as a team with 58 points on the strength of a fourth-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:10.25.
“It goes without saying, this is my best year in swimming,” Sarac said. “Honestly, it’s the best it could’ve been.”
Canfield coach Connor Brady believes it was the togetherness of the group that allowed it to flourish.
“It was their friendship and togetherness,” Brady said. “They share a passion and they have a great relationship in and out of the pool. The path they had to take wasn’t the easiest — they had three coaches in their careers — but it brought them close.”
Sarac was 13th in the 100-yard butterfly in 51.72 and Paris was 10th in the 50-yard freestyle in 21.77. Howland’s Jared Mindek placed 15th in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:00.30.