Girls swimming: Rockets find a place among the swimming greats

Yaneek Smith

Press Sports Editor

When it comes to girls swimming, the class of 2024 at Oak Harbor High School has not disappointed at all.
This Oak Harbor junior class has won three conference championships, a district title, and is coming off an 11th-place finish in Division II.
Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown won the tournament with 308 points, well ahead of Gates Mills Hawken. The Rockets finished 11th with 64 points, adding to their illustrious history with another great showing.
“It’s always a great meet when you can get back to finals, and when you can get to championship finals and stand on the podium,” said Oak Harbor coach Andrea Sorg, now in her 20th season coaching the team. “These girls have trained for the past four months, day in and day out without any rest, and they were primed to go.”
Led by Skyler Turner, who finished fifth in the 100 yard breaststroke in 1 minute, 6.07 seconds and 13th in the 200 individual medley in 2:11.31, the Rockets had a great showing and proved they are one of the best teams in Ohio.
“Skyler had a great meet,” said Sorg. “She scored in both the 200 IM and the 100 breaststroke, reaching the podium (for the latter event) and finishing in fifth place. She swam her heart out.
“Skyler swam the 200 IM this year; we had tossed around doing it last year. Looking at the times at the state meet, we thought she might have a shot to do well. She actually broke (Oak Harbor legend) Kelly Van Horn’s record in a dual meet.”
Turner actually transferred from Genoa Area Local Schools to Oak Harbor because the Comets don’t have a swim program.
“I was happy with my performance, but I’m hoping to place even higher next year,” Turner said.
Fellow junior Alyse Sorg was 14th in the 100 breaststroke in 1:07.71 and finished 18th in the 100 freestyle with a time of 54.02.
“My performance was not what I was hoping for. I wanted to make it back to the finals in both events, but I didn’t swim that great in the prelims,” she said. “However, the team did pretty well. We got the top-eight finish that we wanted in the 200 free relay and were ninth in the medley relay.
“I’m going to try to train sooner in the fall (next year) than what I have in the past. Usually, I end up starting practices during the first week and I feel really behind compared to everyone else. I feel like I never really catch up to others, so I’m going to get into the water earlier next year,” Sorg said.
Sorg comes from a long line of great Rocket swimmers. Her coaches, Andrea Sorg, her mother, and her uncle, Ron Lajti, the assistant, hold records that still stand today.
“It’s awesome to have the success that my family does in swimming,” Alyse Sorg said. “Not many people can say that their mom, uncle, brother and cousins are all on the same record board. It’s exciting to see all the work the whole family has put into this sport.”
Paige Krupp fared well, too, finishing 16th in the 100 backstroke in 59.87.
“Paige actually had a migraine; she did a nice job to have a breakthrough meet,” said Andrea Sorg. “She didn’t have a chance to see what she could do since she was a freshman.”
The 200 free relay team, which includes Krupp, Turner, Alyse Sorg and Marissa Mapes, took seventh in 1:40.02 and the 200 medley relay team, which included the same four girls, was ninth in 1:50.27.
Abby Schiller was 23rd in the diving competition, barely missing out on qualifying for the semifinals.
Andrea Sorg credited her team for their efforts.
“Our swimmers have such dedication to the sport and their goals, it is quite simply unparalleled,” she said. “Three days a week, they are up before 5 a.m. for practice, and then they practice another 1 hour and 30 minutes in the afternoon, lift weights, and then go home and have dinner.”


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