By Joe Ostrica
The Avon Lake boys and girls swimming and diving teams are under the leadership of new head coach Steve Manderfield this winter. The Shoremen are currently 3-1 after wins over Berea, Westlake and Midpark. The boys also placed first at the Lakewood relay meet and finished third place at the Bay Rocket relay meet. The Shoregals are 1-2-1 with a win over Midpark (142-43) and a tie with Amherst. The Shoregals placed third at the Lakewood relay meet and seventh at the Rocket relay meet.
“The coaching staff is pleased with the team’s effort in swimming and diving at this point of the year,” Manderfield said. “Overall, they have performed well, even though we are worn down. The swimmers are handling the new direction that the team is heading in building a new tradition in Avon Lake.”
Manderfield singled out the performances of Ethan O’Rourke and Tyler Nock. Both have not lost a dual meet event so far. O’Rourke has won six individual events (200 IM, 100 free, 200 free, 100 fly, 50 free and 500 free) in three meets. Nock has won all three meets he has dived in. Both qualified individually for the Viking Invitational this year.
In the boys’ 113-69 win over Midpark Saturday, O’Rourke was a double winner in the 50 free and 100 back. He broke a Midpark High School 1973 pool record and a 2000 Avon Lake High School team record in the 100 back with a time of 55.25.
As Avon Lake prepares for Olmsted Falls (Jan. 14), North Olmsted (Jan. 21) and Brecksville (Jan. 28) prior to the Southwestern Conference championships Feb. 3, Manderfield said his athletes are continuing to build team chemistry.
“We need to have proper race techniques, such as splitting and race strategies,” he said. “We are working on being aggressive and increasing kicking and turnover rates. We need to become more efficient in multiple strokes.”