By Chris Chaney
The Milford Eagles hosted their 19th annual swimming and diving invitational on Saturday, Jan. 5, which featured some of the best swimming talent from around the area.
The rebuilding Milford squads secured top-5 finishes in the both the boys’ and girls’ division with the Lady Eagles coming in fourth behind Lakota East, Walnut Hills and Lakota West. The boys finished in fifth place behind winner Lakota East, second place Vandalia Butler, third place Lakota West and fourth place Walnut Hills.
The Glen Este Lady Trojans also swam, finishing in eighth place.
Milford head coach Sarah Kleinfelter said that she was expecting a good season out of the girls’ team this year because they did not lose much to graduation from their strong team a year ago, unlike the boys’ team.
“Girl-wise, we didn’t lose as much to graduation. Our junior class this year is really strong, so we should see some really good things out of them this year,” she said. “On the boys’ side, we only have one returner that was a part of all the success.”
During the Invitational, the Milford Lady Eagles captured two first place finishes in the finals in the 400 freestyle relay and the 200 medley relay.
The 400 medley relay team of Haley Kennedy, Kelsey Meranda, Chelsea Sick and Carolyn Storch torched second place Walnut Hills, finishing with a 3:52.92, more than seven seconds ahead of the field.
The 200 medley relay team made up of Storch, Grace Villano, Kennedy and Meranda won by 1.24 seconds in their final.
Individually, Meranda finished second in both the 50-meter freestyle and the 100-meter freestyle behind Lakota West’s Joanna Sauter by a combined 1.34 seconds. Glen Este’s Jenny Howell finished third behind Meranda in the 50, just 0.14 behind her with Kennedy rounding out the top four.
Storch came in third in the 100-meter backstroke, swimming a 1:06.22, just under two seconds behind the winner, Loveland’s Megan Day.
Kennedy came in second in the 100-meter butterfly after swimming a 1:01.95, half a second behind Keira Hassel of Walnut Hills.
In the diving competition, senior Marlee McCloud was the high finisher for the Lady Eagles coming in seventh overall with a score of 160.05. Kellie King came in 12th with a 130.80.
On the boys’ side, returner Cade Williams came in second place in the 50-meter freestyle behind Zachary Fisher of Walnut Hills. Fisher swam a 22.07 while Williams touched the wall at 22.35.
Senior Mitch Connor came in fourth in the 100-meter freestyle and junior Josh Fritz finished in sixth place in the 200-meter freestyle final.
In the 100-meter backstroke, senior Josh Montgomery was the high placer for the Eagles with a seventh place finish.
Joel Keefer edged out Walnut Hills’ Myles Kenner to capture second place in the 100-meter breaststroke and Alex Hahn locked up a fourth place finish in the 100-meter butterfly.
During the relays, the Eagles best finish was a third place spot in the 200 medley relay while they came in fourth place in both the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.
The Eagles will be in action on Thursday, Jan. 10 at Walnut Hills as they face off with the WHS Eagles for the second time in a week.