Four members of the boys swimming team at Talawanda got to take part at the state meet and although the best finish among them for a total of seven events, was a sixth place, they still came home with 18th place for the team.
The meet, held Feb. 22-24 in Canton, saw Talawanda swimmers take part in a total of seven events, two relays and five individual events.
Junior Scott Richmond took sixth in the 100 breaststroke for the best finish among the Braves’ contingent, His time was just three-tenths of a second off the time posted by Evan Bader last year.
The 200 medley relay team of Richmond, Jesus Caraballo, Edgar Caraballo and Josh Crowder finished in ninth place at the state meet, while setting a school record in the event.
Edgar Caraballo, a senior, came home with 12th place in the 100 butterfly, but had to battle his brother to finish with a school record. Jesus Caraballo, a junior, swam in the earlier final of the event and clocked a time of 51.9 seconds. That broke his brother’s school record from the district meet.
Then, it was Edgar’s turn as he was in the second final swim of the event and he turned in a time of 51.77 to break the record yet again.
“Jesus had the record for five minutes,” coach Steve Pasquale said.
The four swimmers also took part in the 400 free relay but failed to make it Saturday’s finals. Richmond also took part in the 200 freestyle and Crowder, a junior, swam in the 100 free individual race.
Pasquale called the season a success with league championships from both the boys’ and girls’ teams as well as getting to the state meet in seven events, including three swims on finals night.
“Those three swims were good enough for 18th at state,” Pasquale said, adding that he is looking for even more from his team next year. “Walking out of states, we were already talking about what we could do to get better.”
“All in all, it was a very successful season,” Pasquale said. “We met most of our team goals we had back in November. Both the boys and girls won league. Boys and girls placed higher at districts and we had ten swims at state, counting prelims and finals.”
As a coach, he said one goal is always high on the list, swimmers getting better throughout the season so their final swims are their best and that was also accomplished.
“Everybody on the team, in general, had their best swims in their final swims, whether it was at the sectional, district or state meet,” Pasquale said. “Probably 78 percent of the (final) swims were their best. That’s what you want, so they can take it into the offseason and build on it.”
The boys’ team has been dominated by juniors this season so bigger things will be expected next year as the juniors move into their final years of high school competition.
This year’s girls’ team was strengthened by the addition of several talented freshmen, so they, too, should be better next year as sophomores and there are more waiting in the wings to add to the impressive numbers on the girls’ squad this year.
“The number of girls has grown so much this year,” Pasquale said. “The freshmen continued to improve. Even at the middle school, there are some girls and boys who could make an immediate contribution next year.”
One goal will be to have the girls’ team represented at the state meet next year and he is optimistic they can do that.
“Kyra (Reisenfeld) will be a senior next year and she should be faster with another year of training,” he said. “Next year our goal is to get a girls’ relay up to state.”
Meanwhile, though, he will have more free time as coaching responsibilities go on hold at least until May when the Oxford Swim Team starts for the summer, but he said he enjoys coaching, especially when his team members finish strong.
“There are a lot of positives (from this past season) they can look back on,” he said. “As a coach, my job is getting the kids to perform better than the year before. With swimming it’s easy to tell if you have done that, because of the times. This year, we go out with all the career bests.”