SWIMMING: Lady Dragons ‘relay’ to win in last event; boys complete sweep

MEADVILLE – It’s the equivalent of a tie baseball game in the bottom of the ninth, two outs and a full count.

It’s swimming’s version of sudden death.

Legends have been made in this race, including Jason Lezak’s unbelievable come-from-behind win in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

It’s the final race of every meet, but the 400 free relay was the difference between winning or losing in Thursday’s competition between the Warren and Meadville girls’ teams.

For the Warren-Meadville rivalry, this scenario comes as no surprise. The final score was Warren 84, Meadville 83.

Fighting illness, the Lady Dragons pulled off impressive victories, including Ellis Beardsley’s 200 free and 100 free, both District 10-qualifying performances at 2:10.07 and 59.20, respectively.

Mandy Fehlman had a strong 100 fly, taking second and finishing just a second shy of the district mark.

A Warren 1-2 finish in the 200 free relay erased an 11-point Meadville lead, making the score Meadville 61, Warren 60.

The distance team of Lacey Grinnen, Megan Waterfield and Lexie Gee placed 2-3-5 in the 500 free, in which Waterfield clung on to a tiny lead to win by just .02. A finish that would prove crucial at meet’s end.

Elin Smith’s victory in the 100 back was a district-qualifying time and gave Warren its first lead since the second event of the meet.

Anna Falvo, Alexis Vavala, and Gee went 2-3-4 in the 100 breast in the next to last event to give Warren a three-point lead and set the stage for the last race.

The team of Fehlman, Waterfield, Grinnen, and Christine Kuzminski finished second in the 400 free relay and the team of Lilya Renner, Gee, Emily Lookenhouse, and Vavala held off a surging Meadville team to take third and clinch the hard-earned victory.

On the boys’ side, it was a more routine victory, outscoring Meadville, 98-70.

Top performances for the boys included 1-2 finishes in the 200 IM by Logan Gearhart and Bennett Steber, the 200 free relay by the teams of Gearhart, Steber, Brad Walters, and Cameron Daniels and Clark Eason, Liam Boger, Luke Wortman, and Wyatt Pierson, and the 100 back by Gearhart and Sean McGuinness.

Walters trailed the entire race before coming from behind to win the 100 fly by just .64 seconds.

The 500 crew of Christian Olson, Eric Cecco, and Ed Ord continued to have strong performances, including Ord’s improvement of more than 95 seconds.

The 200 medley relay of Gearhart, Steber, Walters, and Cameron Daniels took qualified for districts and took first place.

Daniels celebrated his 17th birthday by taking first in the 100 free with a district-qualifying time of 52.49 seconds.

Steber took first in the 100 breast, beating the district mark with a time of 1:08.17.

Warren girls 84, Meadville 83

200 medley relay: 1. MEADVILLE, 1:59.04, 2. WARREN (Smith, Falvo, Fehlman, Beardsley).

200 free: 1. Beardsley (W), 2:10.07, 2. Hotchkiss (M), 3. Grinnen (W)

200 IM: 1. Hartnett (M), 2:23.98, 2. Smith (W), 3. Moreland (M)

50 free: 1. Sternby (M), 25.11, 2. Webber (M), 3. Falvo (W)

100 fly: 1. Sternby (M) 1:07.95, 2. Fehlman (W), 3. Kusko (M)

100 free: 1. Beardsley (W) 0:59.20, 2. Moreland (M), 3. Whitney (M)

500 free: 1. Hotchkiss (M) 5:59.67, 2. Grinnen (W), 3. Waterfield (W)

200 free relay: 1. WARREN (Smith, Falvo, Fehlman, Beardsley), 1:53.35, 2. WARREN (Kuzminski, Renner, Olson, Grinnen).

100 back: 1. Smith (W) 1:03.67, 2. Webber (M), 3. Kusko (M)

100 breast: 1. Hartnett (M) 1:11.93, 2. Falvo (W), 3. Vavala (W)

400 free relay: 1. MEADVILLE, 4:08.08, 2. WARREN (Fehlman, Waterfield, Grinnen, Kuzminski).

Warren boys 98, Meadville 70

200 medley relay: 1. WARREN (Gearhart, Steber, Walters, Daniels) 1:48.31, 2. MEADVILLE.

200 free: 1. Moreland (M) 2:05.12, 2. W. Pierson (W), 3. Willey (M).

200 IM: 1. Gearhart (W) 2:15.28, 2. Steber (W), 3. Ziegler (M).

50 free: 1. Prinkey (M) 23.56, 2. Daniels (W), 3. Furlong (M).

100 fly: 1. Walters (W) 1:00.09, 2. Prinkey (M), 3. McAvoy (W).

100 free: 1. Daniels (W) 52.49, 2. Furlong (M), 3. W. Pierson (W).

500 free: 1. Willey (M) 6:02.54, 2. Leung (M), 3. Olson (W).

200 free relay: 1. WARREN (Gearhart, Steber, Walters, Daniels) 1:39.09, 2. WARREN (Eason, L. Boger, Wortman, W. Pierson).

100 back: 1. Gearhart (W) 1L01.61, 2. McGuinness (W), 3. Moreland (M).

100 breast: 1. Steber (W) 1:08.17, 2. Ziegler (M), 3. Lozusky (M).

400 free relay: 1. MEADVILLE 3:52.26, 2. WARREN (Wortman, McGuinness, W. Pierson, Walters).