Cuyahoga Falls' divers compete at state meet

by Frank Aceto Associate Sports Editor Published:

For the second consecutive year, Nicole Rozsa and Erika Shane were two of the best divers in the state.

And here's more good news: Both will be back at Cuyahoga Falls next season.

Rozsa and Shane each concluded another season in style at the Division I district diving meet Feb. 21 at C.T. Branin Natatorium.

Rozsa, a junior, finished 21st out of 24 divers with a five-dive total of 168.2 points. Shane, a sophomore, placed 24th (159.35).

"It was almost an exact replay of last year," Lady Black Tigers head swimming and diving coach Peter Nauman said. "Nicole dove very solidly. Erika could have been a little better.

"I was really happy with their performance all year-round. They did a tremendous job and we're looking forward to next year."

Powell Olentangy Liberty's Olivia Ball won the state title for the second consecutive year with 461.75 points.

Several Falls' swimmers saw their season end at a district meet, which concluded Feb. 16 at Cleveland State University's Robert F. Busbey Natatorium.

The Lady Black Tigers scored 35 points to finish in a tie for 19th place with Mentor. Hudson easily won the 31-team competition with 340 points.

"I am extremely proud of our district qualifiers," Nauman said. "They all swam out of their minds."

Freshman Marcy Spann placed 10th in the 500 freestyle (5:23.01) and 19th in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:00.62.

"Marcy had an excellent meet," Nauman said. "She had her best times of the year and swam extremely well."

Junior Jenna Kassinger finished 20th in the 500 freestyle (5:27.18), 30th in the 100 butterfly (1:05.04) and 37th in the 50 freestyle (26.14).

Senior Sam Nockengost ended he career in style. She took 16th in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.83).

"Sam had her best time in the last meet of her career," Nauman said.

Sophomore Natalie Hillyer captured 29th in the 200 individual medley (2:21.35).

"Jenna has been injured since the Stow meet," Nauman said. "She didn't have the best meet of her career, but she got through it. Natalie swam very well."

Spann wasn't the only Falls' freshman who shined at the district competition.

Madison Marshall placed 33rd in the 100 backstroke (1:05.17) and Erika Nockengost finished 39th (1:16.28).

The 400 freestyle relay team of Kassinger, Hillyer, freshman Allie Nockengost and Spann placed 19th (3:51.09).

"It's unusual to have four freshmen qualify for districts," Nauman said. "That makes us excited for the future."

Email: faceto@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9444

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