Seniors leave their mark on Oak Harbor swim program

Yaneek Smith

Press Sports Editor

Oak Harbor senior swimmers went out on top by finishing 14th in the Division II state swim meet. Hunting Valley University finished first by over 100 points, taking the championship with 290.5 points, followed by Cincinnati Indian Hill (172). The Rockets had 49 points.
The 200-yard medley relay, which was comprised of Karter Lajti, Karson Lajti, Austin Sorg and Keegan Witt, finished fourth in 1:37.26, broke a school record that had stood since 1995.
The 400 freestyle relay team placed 12th in 3:18.84 (Sorg, Witt, Karson Lajti and Karter Lajti) and the 200 free relay team (Witt, Nathan Warnke, Nathan Buderer, Karter Lajti) was disqualified.
The seniors were Buderer, Witt and the Lajti twins.
“We knew the boys were a special group this year from the very beginning,” said Oak Harbor coach Andrea Sorg. “I give a lot of credit to the seniors for getting the group in shape and training the right way.
“Those seniors have all been around since they were in their youth. They’ve come up through the ranks, taught swimming lessons and helped to shape the program in terms of teaching the underclassmen how to be a good teammates, how to be a leader, and helped us shape our culture into what it is today. I have no doubt that the underclassmen will step in and take over where the seniors left it,” Sorg said.
The twins, in particular, brought an energetic attitude to practice.
“The twins and the dynamic they bring to practice can’t be replaced. We have Karter, who I call Captain Insano because he swims angry, and Karson, who is the silent stinker. He has a more reserved way of swimming, but they always want to beat each other, every rep, every day, they get mad at each other,” said Sorg. “That went on with the boys this season. I wish I had them forever.
“It’s an individual sport, but when you have training partners and common goals, that is what gives it the team aspect,” she said.
Sorg also credited Witt for his efforts.
“Keegan trained harder than he ever has. I’ve had conversations with him; I wish that he would continue his career in college. He’s only just begun to come into his own,” she said. “The problem is that there are so few swimming colleges around, so it’s not as simple as that.”
Individually, Witt was 25th in the 100 breaststroke in 1:01.30 and 32nd in the 200 individual medley in 2:03.70.
Karson Lajti finished 19th (1:00.41) in the 100 breaststroke, falling just 0.27 of a second from qualifying for the finals, and Karter Lajti was 27th (54.97) in the 100 backstroke. The twins can walk away knowing they’ve got school records in both events with Karson Lajti breaking the breaststroke record, one that stood for 26 years.
“The twins were on a personal vendetta to break records,” said Sorg.
Individually, Austin Sorg, who is just a freshman, had the most impressive performance, finishing ninth in the 100 butterfly (51.74) and 19th in the 50 freestyle (22.22).
“To come in young and make that kind of an impact is pretty impressive,” Sorg said. “Austin has quite a few goals to knock out this year and in the years to come. I think he has finally started coming into his own, realizing he could take this somewhere. I don’t think Austin would’ve done as well if he didn’t have his teammates pushing him.”
The assistant coach is Ron Lajti, Karson and Karter’s father. Like his sister, Andrea, he was a standout swimmer in the ‘90s.
“It’s been a great experience,” said Karson Lajti, who plans on following in his father’s footsteps and attending the University of Toledo and studying engineering. “I think the best part was just struggling through practices with my best friends every day. The family atmosphere will definitely be missed as well.”
Karter, who is planning on attending BGSU, talked about the family atmosphere.
“They have pushed me to my absolute limit. They would get on me about certain technique issues that I was doing wrong and other stuff like that,” Karter Lajti said. “It was a tough pill to swallow, but it helped me so much in the long run.
“We would get on each other when one member was slacking a little bit, and we all had built a trust with each other like no other. The family aspect is why we’re so successful.”
Witt talked about his experience these last four years.
“It’s been a great journey for me. I will be cherishing these memories forever and I will leave with no regrets and all my goals complete,” he said. “Getting to the state meet was amazing because, compared to last year, instead of being in just one event, I was in all four events, so to get there and accomplish everything I did was just a lot of fun and a great way to go out.”


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association