October 25, 2014

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Keystone’s Jared Adams first Wildcat to qualify for berth in state swim meet

Jared Adams of Keystone is the school's first state swimming qualifier. He qualified in the 100 backstroke. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

Jared Adams of Keystone is the school’s first state swimming qualifier. He qualified in the 100 backstroke. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

It was Jared Adams’ most memorable day as a high school swimmer. Too bad the Keystone swimmer has very little memory of it.

“I really don’t remember much about last Friday’s race except diving in,” Adams said of the 100-yard backstroke he swam in the Division II district meet at Cleveland State University. “I remember finishing, really hurting and barely being able to get out of the pool.”

The pain was soothed when Adams got word that his career-record time of 55.25 seconds was good enough to earn him an at-large berth to this week’s state swimming and diving meet at Canton McKinley High School.

He is the first Keystone swimmer to make state.

“Honestly, it hasn’t completely sunk in yet,” Adams said. “I’m surprised, but so happy I made it.”

Jared Adams, Keystone's first state swimming qualifier, swims at Amherst Mercy and Recreation Center.

Jared Adams, Keystone’s first state swimming qualifier, swims at Amherst Mercy and Recreation Center.

Adams finished fifth, crushing his previous best time of 56.5.

He is the No. 19 seed in the 24-man field for the 100 back and will compete in Thursday morning’s prelims at Canton McKinley High School. The top 16 finishers in prelims advance to Friday’s championship finals (top eight) and consolation finals (places 9-16), starting at 5 p.m.

The top 16 finishers in each event earn All-Ohio honors.

“My goal all season was low 55s,” he said. “My plan for Thursday is to try and swim high 54 and get into the top 16 for Friday’s finals.”

Adams’ hard work and sacrifice paid off Saturday. A year ago, he was 13th at districts in 58.48.

“A lot of my workouts are tailored to backstroke,” Adams said. “I felt a lot of good vibes leading up to the race. Thursday night I could feel a rush of extra energy and I felt very good during warmups.”

Adams trains and competes as an independent. For the last three years he’s relied on coaching advice from Brunswick coach Adam Crabtree.

Adams trains alone at either Oberlin Splash Zone or Amherst Mercy Health and Recreation Center. He piggybacks with the Brunswick High team to meets.

When he’s not competing at the high school level, Adams trains with a branch of the Hudson Heat USA Swim Club in Strongsville. Previously, his club team was the Vermilion Y Torpedoes.

In addition to the 100 backstroke, Adams was a district qualifier in the 200 individual medley. He finished 14th in 2:10.84.

“Last year I was nowhere close to qualifying to state,” Adams said. “Until I (hit) my taper time from last year earlier this season at the Michigan Invitational, I didn’t think I could do it.

“Right before the Cloverleaf Invitational (Dec. 28) I was really feeling kind of down. My times weren’t dropping at all because the training had been so hard. I was a little bit upset. My coach tapered me a little bit for that meet just to show me what I can do. That meet gave me the shot in the arm I needed.”

Adams won the 100 back at the Cloverleaf meet at Wooster High School in 56.84 and finished fifth in the 100 fly (58.55).

It was a dramatic improvement from Adams’ effort Dec. 21 at the prestigious Cleveland State Viking Invitational.

That day he clocked 58.25 for the 100 back and 1:01.86 for the 100 fly, finishing 28th and 57th.

Adams was the Lakewood Division II sectional runner-up in the 100 back (59.40) and took fourth in the 100 fly (1:00.70). He averages swimming between 3,000 and 8,000 yards per day at practice.

Adams’ teachers have made sure his peers at school know about his accomplishments in the pool.

“It’ll be kind of interesting as a new sport comes on (for Keystone) to see if anyone follows me,” Adams said. “I’m the first, but hopefully I’m not the last.”

Contact Paul Heyse at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.

State swimming and diving meet

WHAT: 87th annual boys and 38th annual girls state swimming and diving tournaments
WHERE: C.T. Branin Natatorium at Canton McKinley High School
SCHEDULE: Wednesday — 9 a.m., Division II boys diving; 2 p.m., Division II girls diving; Thursday— 9 a.m., Division I boys diving; 5 p.m., Division II prelims, boys and girls; Friday — 9 a.m., Division I prelims, boys and girls; 5 p.m., Division II finals, boys and girls; Saturday — 9 a.m., Division I girls diving; 4 p.m., Division I finals, boys and girls.

AREA QUALIFIERS
BOYS DIVISION I: Diving — Tyler Nock, sr. (Avon Lake), No. 8 seed (439.50); 200 individual medley — Grant Braid, sr. (St. Edward/Amherst resident), No. 20 seed (1:55.60); 50 free — Ryan Sara, sr. (North Olmsted), No. 16 seed (21.34); 100 breast — Miguel Poblete, sr. (St. Edward/Avon resident), No. 7 seed (57.45); Sara, No. 14 seed (58.90).
NOTE: Braid and Poblete are also members of St. Ed’s 200 medley relay, which is seeded 17th (1:38.28); Braid is also a member of the Eagles’ 400 free relay, seeded 16th (3:14.28).
GIRLS DIVISION I: Diving — Holly Lamb, jr. (Amherst), No. 17 seed (402.15); 200 free — Rachel Stark, so. (Avon), No. 24 seed (1:54.51); 100 free — Stark, No. 12 seed (52.38).
BOYS DIVISION II: 100 back — Jared Adams, sr. (Keystone), No. 19 seed (55.25).

— Paul Heyse