GAMBIER — The Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets swim team hosted a home meet Saturday at the Kenyon Athletic Center, racing against five other schools. Though the Jackets were fatigued from a rigorous week of training, they still managed to come home with a total of 36 season-best times.

“We had some really outstanding showings,” said coach Hannah Saiz said. “A lot of our newer athletes stepped up and had some great swims.”

The Jacket swimmers snagged solid victories in the pool. The meet was set up to be treated as five individual dual meets between Big Walnut, Bloom Carroll, Central Crossing, Coshocton and Westland. The varsity girls team beat each of the opposing schools on the day. Going undefeated was a great feat, especially considering the Jackets’ workload this week. They had a pentathlon swim Wednesday, which requires all swimmers to participate in the 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke, 100 freestyle and 200 IM. Coach Saiz said the strategy was to use that meet as the team’s third workout of the week.

Saiz had also put some swimmers in some unfamiliar waters Saturday, but that led to success in their win.

“Today my events were different than I normally swim,” said junior Anna Paxton. “I am usually in the medley. I usually swim backstroke in that, but my coach wanted me to swim in the 100 free today and took me out of the medley.”

The 100 freestyle ended up doing rather well for Paxton, who placed second in the event with a time of 1:02.36. Paxton has also been on quite the run lately with her 50-yard freestyle, which so happens to be her favorite event, taking second Saturday with a time of 26.54.

Along with Paxton’s strong performance the girls team was lead by Maggie Williams in the 200-yard freestyle (first, 2:02.75) and 100-yard freestyle (first, 59.91); Clare Duffy, who competed in the 100-yard breaststroke (first, 1:17.07) and Skylar Hill, racing in the 100-yard butterfly (first, 1:04.55). The Jacket relays included: 200-yard medley (first, 2:02.75), 400-yard freestyle relay (first, 4:04.57) and 200-yard freestyle relay (second, 2:07.39).

Other placings for the Mount Vernon girls include: 200-yard freestyle: Liz Cline (third, 2:36.94), Anna Rhodeback (fourth, 2:47.94). 200-yard IM: Kayla Estes (third, 3:51.00); 50-yard freestyle varsity: Kendra Spitzer (third, 27.54), Breanna McCluskey (fourth, 28.06), Sandi Brenneman (20th, 30.17) and Marta Croche (6th, 43.33); 50-yard freestyle junior varsity: Sandi Brenneman (second, 31.47), Elizabeth Diehl (third, 33.02) and Marta Croche (seventh, 42.68); 100-yard butterfly: Breanna McCluskey (third, 1:15.65); 100-yard freestyle: Sandi Brenneman (seventh, 1:09.89); 100-yard backstroke: Anna Rhodeback (sixth, 1:22.68) and Elizabeth Diehl (ninth, 1:31.59); 100-yard breaststroke: Liz Cline (sixth, 1:32.16); 400-yard freestyle: B Relay (third, 4.53.53); 200-yard medley relay: B Relay (5th, 2:35.93).

The Jackets boys team had a solid outing as well, placing second and only losing to Big Walnut (121-32).

The big talk of the day was Jacob Lebold, specifically in the 500-yard freestyle.

“Jacob in particular stood out,” said Saiz. “He straight up went for it today, that was really impressive to see.”

Lebold shaved off nearly 18 seconds from his previous personal record and broke six minutes in the race for the first time ever.

“Well, I got in, I swam, I kept swimming. I started playing the song Nightfall by Blind Guardian in my head, and then I finished eventually.” said Lebold “I just did what I normally do, and well I did faster this time.”

Lebold also helped lead his team in the 200-yard freestyle, placing second with a time of 2:13.59. Assisting in the boys placing was Marshall Smith in the 50-yard freestyle, (first, 24.32).

Other placings include: 200-yard freestyle: Duncan Harvey (seventh, 3:00.72); 50-yard freestyle varsity: Joey Kennedy (ninth, 33.43) and Noah Humphrey (10th, 33.86); 50-yard freestyle junior varsity: Chris Shuler (fifth, 37.20).; 100-yard butterfly: Noah Humphrey (fifth, 1:28.43); 100-yard freestyle: Joey Kennedy (fifth, 1:16.61); 500-yard freestyle: Duncan Hardy (sixth, 8:08.97); 100-yard backstroke: Chris Shuler (eighth, 1:45.36). The relays included: 400-yard freestyle (fifth, 4.39.82), 200-yard freestyle (fifth, 2:12.51) and the 200-yard medley (sixth, 2:22.30).

The Jackets return to the pool Saturday for the Ohio Cardinal Conference Championships hosted at Wooster.


Jack Fitzpatrick: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @




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