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CANTON - A young St. Francis de Sales team captured two relay titles and finished runner-up at the Division I state swimming and diving championships yesterday.
"Second place is an outstanding achievement for these guys," Knights coach Keith Kennedy said. "Our goal for the whole season was to be second, so to be that close to the top of the heap is always good."
St. Francis, which did not have a senior here, finished with 218 points, 10 behind first-place
finisher Cincinnati St. Xavier, which has won the state title 10 of the last 11 years.
"We're very, very pleased with the boys and their performances this weekend. We swam fast all season, and that's all we could ask," Kennedy said.
St. Francis won the 200-yard medley relay in a time of 1:34.60 with Rowan Williams, Phil Barone, Nick Carmony, and Dan DiSalle.
The Knights also won the day's final race, the 400 freestyle relay, with Williams, Michael DiSalle, Dan Miller, and Dan DiSalle."It was intense," junior Dan DiSalle said. "We knew what we
had to do, we got in and we swam it. We swam it with everything we had."
The Knights had a time of 3:06.09.
"When you're in the water, you see the guys around you real close to you and you think, this is what I gotta do," Miller said. "All the work I've put in all season and all these years that I've swam, you just gotta push through it and win."
In the girls competition, Notre Dame sophomore Rachael
Dzierzak finished second in the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.83, an improvement on her third place finish last year.
"I just wanted to go out and win," Dzierzak said. "I tried hard this year and went out and did my best. Next year my goal is to take first."
Bowling Green's Kelly Titus placed seventh in the 200 individual medley with a 2:06.48.
St. Francis finished strong in individual races as well.
Juniors Rowan Williams
(1:41.14) and Michael DiSalle
(1:43.33) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 200 freestyle. Williams also finished fourth in the 100 backstroke (52.23). Sophomore Dan DiSalle finished fourth in the 100 free (46.33) and seventh in the 50 free (21.38), while Barone finished second in the 100 breaststroke (58.33).
Barone, bested by Andrew Bartley of Akron Firestone by nearly two seconds, is already looking forward to next year.
"Next year I want it all, this motivates me a lot," Barone said. "It gives me something to look forward to and work for. Bartley is a junior too, so he'll be coming back, and I want to beat everybody."
Dexter Foos of Fremont Ross finished fifth in the 50 free with a time of 21.26,
St. Francis' 200 freestyle relay of Michael DiSalle, Miller, Connor Trimble, and D.J McDonald placed sixth at 1:26.88.
The Knights had no seniors swimming.
"We don't lose anybody, so we're going to come back strong," Kennedy said.
"We're a young team this year, and it's great to have the experience of getting second, and next year we want to win it," Michael DiSalle said.