Girls Swimmers Have Successful Year’s Start
With a combination of talented veterans and newcomers, North Royalton’s girls swim team might have the right mix to make more than waves this season.
Led by state qualifiers in seniors Ann Martin, Anna Weber and junior Sarah Turchanik, fourth-year coach Mike Milliken is excited to see how that experience and the depth, which is made up of primarily youngsters, comes together.
“We have three very top-end swimmers, so we are looking for some of the younger girls to step up to keep our relays at the level they have been the last couple of seasons,” he said. “It will be fun to see who steps up and what type of improvement some of the underclassman are capable of.”
That’s evident in the Bears’ fast 2-1 start to the year, both of those victories coming against Suburban League rivals in Stow and Twinsburg, as the chemistry appears to be meshing well.
That trio of veterans has been busy since the end of the 2016-17 prep season, competing at the YMCA Long Course National Championships this past summer.
Martin, a Miami of Ohio recruit, finished 11th in the 100-meter breaststroke at the Division I state meet, as well as swam on qualifying 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays, and used the offseason to tweak some of her technique.
“Anna had a big summer,” Milliken said of Martin, who dropped three seconds in her 100 breaststroke time in the long-course pool this summer. “We have made some adjustments to her stroke that should lead to significant improvement this season.”
Turchanik was Royalton’s top placer at state last year, taking eighth in the 200 individual medley for the second straight season, along with advancing to Canton in the 100 backstroke and on a pair of relay teams.
And after taking part in the USA Swimming Winter National Championships last month with Martin, she wants more.
“Sarah has been training incredibly well this fall, leading to several personal-best times at the USA Junior National Meet,” Milliken said. “After placing eighth in the 200 IM again, she is very hungry for improvement.”
Like Martin and Turchanik, Weber is poised to improve on last season’s success. A key cog in both the 200 medley and 200 free relays at state, the senior has improved her time in the 100 butterfly this offseason and is expected to advance far individually.
Junior Avery Wilkosz, along with sophomores Rachel Weber and Maddie Romstadt, are also key returnees for the Bears – who were third in the SL, fifth at sectionals and seventh at the district meet last winter.
Toss in freshman newcomer Mariam Zayour and North Royalton could be well represented once again in the postseason. Zayour, who recently picked up her first high school win in the 100 back, swims in the 200 IM and the 500 free, giving the team a little more depth in a loaded league that features state power Hudson.
The annual SL Championships will be held at Jan. 6 at the University of Akron’s Ocasek Natatorium.
By DAN BROWN, The Post Contributor
Updated on January 6th, 2018