Bailey Rule came tantalizingly close to qualifying for the state meet with her performance Feb. 16 at the Northeast Division II district meet at Cleveland State University's Busbey Natatorium.
The Cuyahoga Falls sophomore finished in eighth place in the 1-meter diving competition with a score of 320.9 points. The top six finishers advanced to Canton. Rule was only 6.3 points behind the sixth-place finisher.
"Finishing eighth was absolutely incredible for Bailey. She was so close," Black Tigers head coach Laura Lindsay said.
Overall, Cuyahoga Falls finished 21st out of 30 teams with 21 points.
Hudson won the competition with 344.5 points. North Canton Hoover finished second with 305 points and Walsh Jesuit was third with 279 points.
Junior Marissa Bowers broke her own school record set the previous week at sectionals Feb. 18 with an 11th-place time of 1 minute, .3 seconds in the 100-yard backstroke.
"If Marissa had broken one minute, she would have been very, very close to qualifying for state," Lindsay said.
Bowers also finished 22nd in the 100 freestyle with a time of 55.85. Senior Marissa Kassinger placed 29th with a season-best time of 56.81. Kassinger also was 26th in the 50 freestyle, clocking in at 25.59.
In the 200 individual medley, junior Katy Rozsa finished 17th with a time of 2:13.99. She placed 21st in the 100 breaststroke with a personal-best time of 1:09.72.
"Katy hit her turns very, very well," Lindsay said.
Junior Lily Lewis finished 29th in the 500 freestyle with a season-best time of 5:36.76 and 31st in the 200 freestyle with a personal-best time of 2:06.6.
"I think Lily was a little overexcited at first in the 500 because she took it out a little too fast," Lindsay said.
The team of Rozsa, Kassinger, Lewis and Bowers finished 15th in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:43.6. The same four girls clocked in with a 17th-place time of 1:56.32 in the 200 medley relay. Both were season bests.
"A big reason for their performance in the 200 medley relay was that Katy had a personal best in her 50 breaststroke leg," Lindsay said.
The boys team finished 25th out of 30 teams with nine points.
Solon won the competition with 223 points. Hudson finished second with 220.5 points and Brecksville-Broadview Heights was third with 214.5 points.
Senior Tommy Hillyer finished 13th in the 100 breaststroke with a personal-best time of 1:01.28, barely missing the school record by .3 seconds.
He also placed 21st in the 50 freestyle with a personal-best time of 22.61.
Junior Najee Newell finished 16th in the 1-meter diving competition with a personal-best score of 313.15.
"Najee did very well," Lindsay said. "I know he has to be satisfied with that."
Hillyer, sophomore Skyler Holmes, senior Cooper Tedquist and junior Jack Kramer combined to finish 16th in the 200 freestyle relay with a season-best time of 1:32.25.
"Cooper's leg was his fastest of the season," Lindsay said.
The 400 freestyle relay team of Kramer, Holmes, Hillyer and freshman Tyler Johnson also placed 16th with a season-best time of 3:24.44.
Lindsay is hoping that both the boys and girls are motivated to train and stay in shape year-round.
"When the season started in November, most of them were fairly out of shape," she said. "They need to be in basically the same shape next November as they are now."