BLUFFTON — Coming into this weekend, Westside coach Cara Murphy knew it would be tough for her swimming team to win its eighth straight Western Ohio Aquatic League Championship.
But by the end of the two-day meet, her team did not disappoint her as Westside beat Wapakoneta en route to another WOAL Championship at Bluffton.
Westside won with 2,795 points. Wapak came in second with 2,584 and Ada finished third with 1,758 points. Shawnee Country Club was fourth (1,389), Sherwood was fifth (1,380.5), Van Wert was sixth (1,113.5), Bluffton was seventh (1,054) and Kenton came in eighth (505).
“My team stepped it up just like they always do at championships,” Cara Murphy said. “They get fired up, they cheer for each other and they drop time like crazy. I’m so proud of them.”
Emily Murphy led the way for Westside by winning the Girls 15-and-Over 50-meter freestyle (29.65), the 100 IM (1:11.96), the 50 fly (29.65), the 50 backstroke (31.28) and the 100 free (1:01.58).
She broke her own record from last year in the 50 backstroke.
“I just got behind the blocks and my swim team got me really excited back there,” Emily Murphy said. “I think just talking to them got me pumped up. It felt great (to win the overall championship). We were worried about it and we were really hoping that our swimmers would do what they were seeded. They actually did better than that and it was really exciting.”
Westside also received an outstanding performance from Jacob Magula. The seventh grader to be at Shawnee swept all five events he was in. Magula won the Boys 11-12 50 free (28.74), the 100 IM (1:17.95), the 50 fly (35.28), the 50 backstroke (33.86) and the 100 free (1:09.51).
Other individual winners from Westside included: Max Bucher in the Boys 13-14 50 breast (37.65), Aerika Wieser in the Girls 15-and-Over 50 breast (37.68), Britton Weigt in the 50 backstroke (30.08) and Erik Risolvato, who won the Boys 15-and-Over 50 free (24.14) and the 50 fly (27.04).
Mary Stoll, who is also a Westside coach, was very pleased with some of her younger swimmers.
“All the younger kids did great,” Stoll said. “We went back there and talked them up. They knew what to do and dropped time like crazy. Honestly, we couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Trevon Shaffer, who is also a coach at Westside, enjoyed seeing everybody on his team do their part and have fun while doing it.
“We had a lot of fun, especially with the parade,” Shaffer said. “We dressed up like rockstars and walked around the pool. We did a lot of cheers to get them pumped up.”
Wapak gave Westside a run for its money all the way up until the final event of the meet. Kaysi Lyall, one of three coaches for Wapak, mentioned that her team has a bright future ahead of them.
“All of our swimmers were dropping time and we couldn’t have asked for more from them,” Lyall said. “They dropped time all over the place and worked really well as a team. We had a lot of first-year swimmers this year and all of them did really well. We expect great things from them next season.”
With Westside claiming its eighth straight championship, it’s difficult to argue against the team being considered a dynasty with regard to the local summer swim season.
“I can’t even describe it (the feeling of winning again),” Cara Murphy said. “I think it’s safe to say that we’re a dynasty.”