Kirtland’s swim team opened the postseason with a strong showing at the Chagrin Valley Conference meet on Saturday at Beachwood.
The girls’ team placed fourth in the Valley Division while the boys were sixth.
Returning state place winner Kaley Ream won two events and placed in two others and teammate Claire Dumstorff earned one individual title and placed in three other events.
Ream won the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly and was second in the 200-yard freestyle relay. She also swam a leg in the 200-yard medley relay that placed third.
Dumstorff, Carmela Kovach, and Sophia Shepard also swam in the 200-yard medley relay and Dumstorff, Shepard, and Giorgi Mei teamed up with Ream in the 200-yard freestyle relay.
Dumstorff won the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:14.76.
“I think the key to my success in the 100-yard breaststroke was the great competition I was going against,” she said. “This was a major motivation for me. It also helped that I had been working hard in practice on my technique.”
She dropped a few seconds in each of her events and now she’s more confident than ever to compete in the postseason.
“Overall, I was satisfied with each of my events,” she said. “Each of our relays dropped a couple seconds, and I was close to a PR in my 100-yard breaststroke. I am ready to see what happens during the postseason. I have been working hard during practice to improve my technique and my strokes overall. I think that with the bigger meets, it will be a great motivation to drop more time.”
Kirtland’s other CVC place winners included Mei (6th, 200 freestyle; 8th, 50 freestyle), Chloe Hansen (6th, 50 freestyle), Kovach (13th, 100 freestyle; 9th, 100 backstroke), Reagan Polewchak (13th, 50 freestyle), Shepard (9th, 100 freestyle), Hailey Valencic (9th, 200 freestyle; 8th, 50 freestyle), and Payton VanArnhem (6th, 100 freestyle).
On the boys’ side, Walter Knoop and Jeremy Mrva placed in multiple events.
Knoop placed ninth in the 50-yard freestyle and 10th in the 100-yard freestyle. Mrva was 14th in the 100-yard freestyle and seventh in the 100-yard breaststroke.