Aquatic battle: Marietta girls win MLK Invitational, boys second

Apparently, the Marietta High swim team wanted to show off for its home crowd Monday.

In the team’s only home meet of the season, the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational at the Marietta YMCA, the Lady Tigers claimed first place while the Marietta boys were runners-up.

The girls totaled a score of 92, plenty good enough to beat New Philadelphia and Watkins Memorial, which tied for second with 76 points.

The boys team finished with 57 points to edge out Watkins Memorial (54) for second place behind only New Philly, which notched a whopping score of 110.

“I am very proud of my swimmers,” said Marietta head coach Courtenay Halliday. “They have been working extremely hard and their performance (Monday) shows it.”

The Lady Tigers showed off their depth at the meet, as at least one swimmer scored in every event.

Individually, Cooper Halliday came away victorious in both the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle, winning the latter with over 30 seconds to spare. She was also apart of two first-place finishing relay teams. Halliday, Lucia Picciano, Mo Robinson and Katie Rauch won the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1 minute, 53.08 seconds, while Halliday, Picciano, Robinson and Haley Varnadoe placed first in the 400 freestyle relay at 4:12.64.

Varnadoe placed second in two events, the 500 freestyle (6:23.46) and the 200 individual medley (2:42.80), while Picciano was second in the 100 butterfly (1:14.92) and third in the 100 breaststroke (1:20.56) to help the Marietta girls.

Robinson was barely edged out in the 100 freestyle, finishing just under two seconds behind New Philly’s Taylor McInturf. Robinson also finished third in the 100 backstroke (1:14.56.)

Rauch and Katie Miller finished fourth (29.96) and fifth (30.18), respectively, in the 50 freestyle. Miller also finished fifth in the 100 butterfly (1:33.28.)

Other scorers for the Lady Tigers was Hannah Gammon in the 200 individual medley (3:15.79, sixth) and Miller, Rauch, Gammon and Amanda Ferguson in the 300 medley relay (2:23.48, third.)

Nathan McVicar captured the only first place finish on the boys side in the 200 freestyle, recording a time of 2:08.27. He also placed second in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:10.87.

Jack Halliday was the runner-up in the 500 freestyle, finishing three-tenths of a second behind Watkins Memorial’s Skylar Chapman. Halliday was fourth in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:15.37.

Clay Mason was fifth in 200 individual medley (3:26.29) while Austin Hefter had the same finish in the 100 freestyle (1:02.22.) Zach Robinson finished right behind Hefter in the 100 freestyle at 1:04.05.

Matt Fitzgerald was third in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:21.22 and also joined Robinson, McVicar and Halliday for a second place finish in the 400 freestyle relay (4:11.50.)

McVicar, Robinson and Halliday also teamed up with Andrew Roberts to finish second in the 200 freestyle relay (1:48.71.)

Williamstown’s swim team also competed, as the girls finished fourth while the boys were eighth.

Kristianna Weppler led the girls by finishing second in the 100 backstroke (1:12.17) and fourth in the 500 freestyle (6:35.58.)

Joe Buckley was the only boy to score for the Yellowjackets, placing fifth in the 100 breaststroke (1:25.78.)


The Lady Tigers were runners-up in the East Central Ohio League meet Friday at Coshocton, finishing 56 points behind league champ Dover.

Cooper Halliday was an ECOL champ in the 400 freestyle (4:59.91) and was also a runner-up in the 200 freestyle (2:22.27.) Picciano was also a runner-up in the 100 breaststroke (1:29.77.)

The Marietta boys finished sixth at the league meet. McVicar was the Tigers’ top performer, placing fourth in the 200 freestyle (2:19.48.)