Rocky River City Schools News Article

Esdon, Miller pace Pirates in Buckeye State waters

RR Swimming & Diving

CANTON, Ohio (Feb. 25, 2023) -- Rocky River's Boys and Girls Swimming & Diving teams closed out their 2022-23 seasons at the Ohio Championships held Friday (DII) and Saturday (DI) at the C.T. Branin Natatorium. Both Pirate squads ended their season in style, and the combined results marked one of Rocky River's best finishes at the state level.

The River boys earned a fifth-place finish in Friday's DII action. Led by senior Michael Esdon, who earned bronze in the 200-yard freestyle and fourth-place in the 500 free, while swimming as a leg in two top-5 River relays.

The Pirate girls took 12th in Saturday's DI competition. Senior Gianna Miller figured in all three of the team's top-5 finishes. Miller took silver in the 100 free and fourth in the 50 free, while anchoring a 200-yard relay.

In Friday's action, Esdon touched in with a school-record time of 1:42.54 in the 200 free. He logged another Double-R record when he churned out a 4:40.37 in the 500 free. Esdon swam the anchor leg of the 200 free relay; that quartet (Phillip Carter, Matthew Stankivicz, Matthew Esdon, Michael Esdon) took fifth. Its season-best time of 1:27.12 was just 1.2 seconds off the finish time registered by champion University School. Michael Esdon also swam the first leg of River's fourth-place 400-yard relay (Esdon, Carter, Nart Yilmaz, Stankivicz).

Stankivicz garnered points for Rocky River in the 50 free (sixth) and 100 free (10th). The Pirates finished with 114 team points. The River boys have now earned top-5 finishes in three of the last four state championship meets.

On the girls side, Saturday's biggest influx of points came in the 100 free, when Miller shaved nearly a full second off her preliminary time, logging a school-record 50.79-second performance in placing second. Miller also clocked a program-record time with her 23.40-second sprint to fourth in the 50 free.

Miller anchored River's 200 free relay. That foursome (Cora Mathewson, Blair Pichola, Taylor Devorace, Gianna Miller) made the finals in that event for the first time at the DI level in program history. They placed fifth.

As a team, Rocky River hauled in 70 points to place 12th, the program's best finish since joining DI waters in 2014.

University won the DII boys meet in convincing style. In the girls DI competition, Dublin Jerome (225 points) edged Upper Arlington (215) for the title.

by Skip Snow

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