By Meredith Stewart

The Blazers kicked off the post season with JV Champs which took place on January 31st at the Spire Natatorium in Geneva, Ohio. Seven HB girls competed in this meet: Caroline Cannon ‘21, Megan Lis ‘21, Lane Grey ‘22, Anglela Yu ‘22, Alisha Vasavada ‘23, Ava Piliang ‘23, and Ella Daugherty ‘24. Three girls placed in the top five in the 200 yard freestyle: Megan Lis (2nd), Lane Grey (4th), and Caroline Cannon (5th). The Blazers took 2nd, 3rd, and 5th places in the 200 yard individual medley with Angela Yu as runner-up, Alisha Vasavada in third, and Ella Daugherty in fifth. Megan Lis, a senior, won the 500 yard freestyle with a time of 5:47.17. The Blazers also had an impressive showing in the 100 yard backstroke. Another senior, Caroline Cannon, won the event with a time of 1:07.87 while Lane Grey placed third. In the last individual event of the day, the 100 yard breaststroke, Angela Yu placed third and Ella Daugherty in fifth. Both the 200 yard freestyle and 400 yard freestyle relays were runner-ups to Hudson. Congrats, ladies! 

The Northeast Ohio Division II Sectional Swim Meet occurred on February 12th also at the Spire Natatorium. 19 girls swam in this meet: Kailey Joyce ‘21, Ellie MacPhail ‘21, Mairin O’Brien ‘21, Emma Spencer ‘21, Stephanie Tropper ‘21, Elle Speed ‘22, Muna Agwa ‘23, Isabelle Botos ‘23, Daelynn Haywood ‘23, Olivia MacPhail ‘23, Olivia Nordstrom ‘23, Taplin Seelbach ‘23, Meredith Stewart ‘23, Ingrid Tekieli ‘23, Evelyn Wellman ‘23, Claire Mehok ‘24, Lilly Mehok ‘24, Iris Qi ‘24, and Alexa Su ‘24. The Blazers finished one, two in the 200 yard freestyle. Sophomore Meredith Stewart won the event with a time of 1:54.19, and senior Ellie Macphail was runner-up. Senior Stephanie Tropper scored in the top ten of the event finishing in sixth place. In the 500 yard freestyle, Ellie MacPhail won with a time of 5:03.63, Meredith placed fourth, and Stephanie placed eighth. The Blazers also had a strong showing in the 200 yard individual medley with freshman twins Lilly and Claire Mehok taking second and third places respectively while sophomore Olivia MacPhail finished in sixth place. Mairin O’Brien, a senior, won the 50 yard freestyle with a time of 23.85 (a new sectional record!). Taplin Seelbach, a sophomore, placed third. Mairin also won the 100 yard freestyle with a time of 53.05 while Taplin placed fifth in the event. Lilly Mehok walked away with a win in the 100 yard butterfly as well as a new best time of 57.55. Lilly’s sister, Claire, won the 100 yard backstroke with a personal best of 57.67. Two sophomores placed in the top ten in the 100 yard breaststroke. Olivia MacPhail was the runner-up with a time of 1:09.22 and Muna Agwa took ninth place. The Blazers won all three of the relays: the 200 medley, 200 free, and 400 free. All the girls advanced to the district meet! 

The same crew who swam at the sectional meet also swam at the Northeast Ohio Division II District Swim Meet on February 19th at the same location. Senior Ellie Macphail won the 200 yard freestyle with a season best time of 1:51.50. Meredith Stewart took second in the event and Stephanie Tropper placed seventh. Ellie also won the 500 yard freestyle with a lifetime best of 4:55.81, Meredith took fifth, and Stephanie placed eighth. In the 200 yard individual medley, Lilly Mehok placed third while her sister Claire took seventh. Senior Mairin O’Brien won the 50 yard freestyle again with a time of 23.32 while Taplin Seelbach took fourth. Mairin also won the 100 yard freestyle finishing in 50.86 seconds, and Taplin got seventh place. Lilly Mehok placed fourth in the 100 yard butterfly. Claire Mehok was runner-up in the 100 yard backstroke. Olivia MacPhail tied in the 100 yard breaststroke for eighth place. She had to swim it again and successfully won the swim-off. The Blazers fell to the Hawken Hawks in the 200 medley and 400 free relays, but managed an impressive win in the 200 free relay. Although the Hawken girls won the meet by a significant margin with an impressive total of 522 points, the Blazers were the runner-ups with 371 points. Eight girls qualified for the state meet! 

On Wednesday, February 24th, eight Blazers took a bus to the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton, Ohio to compete in the 2021 Ohio State High School Division II Meet.  The State qualifiers were Ellie MacPhail ‘21, Mairin O’Brien ‘21, Stephanie Tropper ‘21, Olivia MacPhail ‘23, Taplin Seelbach ‘23, Meredith Stewart ‘23, Claire Mehok ‘24, Lilly Mehok ‘24, and Ava Piliang ‘23 who swam in the para-swimmer category. Ellie MacPhail was the state runner-up in the first individual event of the night, the 200 yard freestyle while Meredith came in fourth place, and Stephanie placed 12th. Lilly Mehok placed sixth in the 200 yard IM followed by her sister, Claire, in seventh, and Olivia MacPhail placed 23rd in that event. Mairin O’Brien was the state champion in the 50 yard freestyle for the second year in a row posting a time of 23.15. Taplin Seelbach placed 22nd in that event. Ava Piliang competed in the para 50 free and earned a seventh place finish. In the next event, the 100 yard butterfly, Lilly Mehok placed ninth. Mairin O’Brien was the state runner-up in the 100 yard freestyle while Taplin Seelbach placed 18th in that event. Ellie MacPhail took fifth place in the 500 yard freestyle followed by her teammates, Meredith Stewart in seventh and Stephanie Tropper in tenth. Claire Mehok finished sixth in the 100 yard backstroke, and Ava Piliang competed in the para category of the event finishing sixth as well. In the last individual race of the night, the 100 yard breaststroke, Olivia MacPhail placed 24th. The Blazers finished third in the 200 yard medley relay. One of the highlights of the meet was HB’s win in the 200 yard freestyle relay, a team of Stephanie Tropper, Ellie MacPhail, Taplin Seelbach, and Mairin O’Brien. Unfortunately, the meet ended in a frustrating loss for the Blazers to the Hawken Hawks in the 400 yard freestyle relay. The HB swimmers scored 260 points making them the state runner-ups to the Hawken girls who scored 387 points. Congrats on a great postseason, Blazers!