Young team makes it to districts


Brick walls bleached from sun, stark signage, and simple, steel-framed windows. From the outside, Canton’s C.T Branin Natatorium does not tell any interesting stories. Visit on a weeknight, however, and its full parking lot may begin to.

Since November, the lives of the members of the swim team have been characterized by long nights, grueling practices and relentless dedication at C.T Branin. 

Now, on the cusp of spring, the swimming and diving season has wrapped up for the Golden Eagles. In reflection on this past season, the GlenOak swimmers have stories to tell.

“Swimming has taught me hard work, discipline and time management,” freshman J.J. Lantz said. “It’s definitely a commitment.” 

This much is true. The team practices every weeknight, for three and a half hours. There are also meets every week throughout the season.

Besides this hard work, sophomore Loghanne Ash has plenty to say about the fun that is had on the team.

“My favorite memory from the entire season was definitely the bleach party,” Ash said. 

This references the team party for bleaching hair before the postseason, a time-honored tradition that was back this season after a two-year gap due to the pandemic.

This GlenOak swim season, above all, demonstrated tournament success. An impressive 11 swimmers qualified to the District meet at Cleveland State, an improvement from last season’s 10.

“I had a lot of fun at districts. It was especially exciting to see our young team swimming to their full potential,” junior Kate Weisbrod said.

The age of the team is certainly relevant, especially considering how successful they already are. Of the 11 district qualifiers, only two were seniors. 

“We’re in a very good position on both the boys and girls side going into next year. I’m looking forward to seeing what this team can showcase in the future,” head coach Zachary Hawkins said.

Among the top individual performers at the district meet was Blayne Maurer in the 100-yard butterfly, Layne Studer in the 100-yard freestyle, Emma Peterson in the 100-yard backstroke, and Kyle Swarny in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Among the top relay performances were the boys’ 400 Freestyle Relay, Boys’ 200 Freestyle Relay, and the girls’ 200 Yard Freestyle Relay.

Now, though, the Golden Eagles have their eyes set on next winter.

“For now, it’s just about working hard through the offseason. Time in the weight room and pool throughout the year will help us a lot next year,” junior Blayne Maurer said.

An excellent District Meet showing wrapped up an excellent season for GlenOak. To see results from this year’s meets, visit