By Tim Glon
ADA — Sophomore Lauren Halle (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) won the 200 fly and the 400 I.M. to lead the Ohio Northern women's swimming and diving teams in a tight 154-134 loss to John Carroll on Saturday at the ONU Sports Center.
The Polar Bears fall to 1-1 overall and are 1-1 in Ohio Athletic Conference action, while the Blue Streaks improve to 3-1, 2-0.
"We went into this meet with an attitude of staying the course as we went up against the largest team in the conference and 2017 Champions," ONU head coach Peggy Ewald said. "We wanted to swim to our potential at a high training load week. We brought energy and focus today that we haven't seen within the team in a couple of years. I asked them to got for it, find a way to get to the wall first, even if we were out numbered. We needed to mix the lineup and figure out where our freshman could fill some of the gaps. From the start, the team rose to the expectation and kept it through the meet. It was fun watching as they worked on being the best version they could be today.
"We have plenty to work on, but so far what we have worked to perform better was executed. It's going to be an exciting season with hills and valley's but if we continue to swim with this much energy and focus on the here and now, I believe there will be an opportunity at the conference championships to be one of the best teams I've coached."
ONU won eight of the 16 events, led by Halle in the 200 fly (2:14.77) and the 400 I.M. (4:50.11).
She also combined with junior Kierra Watson (Brownsburg, Ind.), senior Sydney Veon (Riverside, Ill./Riverside-Brookfield) and freshman Marissa Taylor (Granite Falls, N.C./South Caldwell) to win the 200 medley relay in 1:52.23.
Veon, Watson and Taylor also won individual events for the Polar Bears.
Veon won the 100 breast in 1:07.46, Watson won the 100 back in 1:02.90 and Taylor won the 200 free 1:59.60.
Sophomore Libby Sartschev (Parma/Normandy) and freshman Claire Kaiding (Waterford, Mich./Brandon) won the two diving competitions. Sartschev won the 3-mater diving with 157.70 points and Kaiding won the 1-meter diving with 166.40 points.
"I am so proud of how this group of young ladies stepped it up. They worked together, fought the fight and didn't back down. We clearly were out numbered but it was a very tight meet to the end. They moved the bar a few rungs higher on the ladder. As a coach, teacher, mentor, it is rewarding to see them embracing challenges, getting knocked down and jumping back up to fight it out again. Impressive and inspiring. I can't wait to see what they pull out of each other over the course of the season. Next week we keep the grind going and challenge one last dual meet before we go into the mid season invite at Wooster. It will be yet another test of their attitude and effort."
The Polar Bears will return to action Friday with a dual meet at Wittenberg.