The performance by the Aqua Cats at the State Meet may indicate things to come for the Swimming and Diving program, as Saint Ignatius would finish fifth at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton. The Cats went into the State Meet slated as the eighth seed but would take fifth place with a score of 120.
The 2022-23 season showcased a talented young class that progressed week in and week out and the potential of where the team can be next season is palpable.
Junior Josh Toothman was a State Runner-Up in the 50-Yard Freestyle and finished with a time of 20.45. Toothman was the only junior in the A final and competed against a heat of all seniors. With this performance, Toothman earned All-American honors.
Toothman continued his impressive outing at the State Meet in the 100-Yard Freestyle, where he would place sixth in the A final with a time of 46.01. Once again, Toothman was the only junior in the final in an all-senior heat. The junior earned a total of 30 points for his individual events, in addition to his relay points.
Tyler Williams wrapped up a memorable junior season in the 100-Yard and 200-Yard Freestyle. Williams would place 14th in the 100-Yard Freestyle with a time of 47.08 and place 13th in the 200-Yard Freestyle with a time of 1:42.80.
To wrap up the individual events, freshman Jude Banks placed 12th in the 100-Yard Breaststroke with a time of 57.54. Banks’ progression has been incredible throughout the season and he will be an integral part of the team next season as a rising sophomore.
Moving to the relay portion of the State Meet, the 200-Yard Medley team of Toothman, Banks, Connor Fitzgerald and Max Santoro took seventh place with a time of 1:33.24.
In the 200-Freestyle Relay, Williams, Luke Murtha, Isaac Chernisky and Santoro team would also place seventh with a time of 1:26.42, despite being seeded tenth heading into the State Meet.
Lastly, the 400-Yard Freestyle Relay team of Toothman, Santoro, Williams and Anthony Mcintyre took fourth place with a time of 3:07.04 and were seeded eighth heading into the State Meet.
It was a fantastic performance by such a young group that would take fifth overall at the State Meet. St. Xavier would go on to win the State Championship, their 43rd title in program history. Next season will be intriguing for the Aqua Cats, with many returning swimmers and divers with postseason experience.