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Bulldog state swim qualifier aims for even higher finishes, 8 letter winners return for Ada

Swim schedule opens December 7, roster below

By Cort Reynolds

The Ada High School varsity swim team returns a two-time state qualifier Lily Baumgartner and eight letter winners to its 13-person roster for the 2023-2024 season.

Former Ada district qualifier Ashley Robey enters her second year as head coach along with assistant coach Lorna Spar. 

A total of eight girls and five boys comprise the Bulldog swim team roster this winter. Five newcomers will help replace four talented graduates.

But the most accomplished swimmer returns. Junior ace Lily Baumgartner returns after finishing third in the state in the 100 butterfly, and fifth in the 100 backstroke last winter. She has put in a lot of off-season work to get higher on the podium this coming February at the state meet in both events.


“Her goal is to win state in the 100 fly,” said Robey. “She will probably also do mostly 100 back and relays, but may swim some 100 freestyle, too. She will win points for us all over in different events.”

Robey noted that Baumgartner has worked on the 200 fly and done more underwater practice as well to increase her endurance level.

The focused Baumgartner recently committed verbally to attend and swim for Ohio University. She also considered Florida Gulf Coast and Marshall, where former Ada standout Klava Katayama swims.

“Ohio University has the top sports management program in the country, and a good swim team culture,” she explained of her choice. “I liked the coaches.”

Lily feels she has improved since last season by doing better in the 200 events over the summer, as well as more weightlifting.

Her goals are to break the sub-55 second barrier in the 100 fly, and be at the 55-56 mark in the 100 back. “I want to finish in the top three at state in both events,” she said. “Those events are my best shot to get back on the podium. But the 100 butterfly is my best event.”

Her senior brother Jack Baumgartner is the top returning male Bulldog swimmer. His best event is the 500 freestyle, and he may also swim the 50 and 100 free events, as well as relays.

“Jack’s goals are to get under six minutes in the 500 free, and to get to districts,” said Robey.

Kiah Hefner is the other senior on the roster. “This is her second year as a swimmer, so she is still kind of new,” said Robey. “She will do the relays and short-distance events.”

Two returning sophomore letter winners are back to bolster the girls team. Alyssa Nau nearly made it to the Bowling Green district meet in the 100 breaststroke as a freshman.

She will swim the 100 breast and 50 free events, as well as for the number one relay quartet. “I am hoping she gets to district in the 100 breast,” said Robey.

Willowy soph Lydia Demascio was an alternate on the district relay team last year as a freshman. She is expected to do well in the 50 free and 100 back events, as well as relays.

Powerful junior Kennedy Jones returns to swim the 50 and 100 free events, along with some relays. Ada has enough girls for two relay teams this season if everyone remains healthy.

Sophomore Sam Crawford is another returning letterman. “Sam is in his second year of swimming and is still learning,” said Robey. “He is getting better.” She said his goal is to get under 30 seconds in the 50 free, and he will also swim the 100 free.

Athletic sophomore Jordyn Smith is a promising newcomer to the team. She is expected to compete in the breast and free races, as well as relays.

Sophomore freestyler Maddie Baldazo and classmate Addyson Kin are other key newcomers. Kin is expected to swim the fly, 50 free and relay events.

On the boys side, freshmen Tom Chrissobolis and Jacob Szippl are newcomers to the team. “Tim does a little bit of everything,” said Robey. His mother Erin is the assistant swim coach at ONU.

Szippl missed some early practices due to oral surgery but is expected to help out in the relay events.

Siblings Jack and Lily Baumgartner serve as team co-captains.

“Lily, Alyssa, Lydia and either Addy or Jordyn will be the first girls relay team,” Robey offered. “Maddie, Kennedy, Kiah and either Addy or Jordyn will be the second girls relay team.”

The coach said she hopes “Jack and Tim can get to districts” from the boys squad.

“I want everyone to have fun, drop time and learn more about swimming,” she said of the team goals. “We have good team chemistry, and the kids support one another.”

The team practices four nights a week in the Ohio Northern University natatorium.

The Bulldog swim team opens its 10-meet schedule December 7 against local rival Bluffton at the Putnam County YMCA. The NCOSL league meet is January 27 at Colonel Crawford. 

The post-season takes place in February with the sectionals at Lima, followed by districts at BGSU and the state meet in Canton. 


TOP) The Ada varsity swim team, from left, front: Lydia Demascio, Maddie
Baldazo, Addyson Kin, Jordyn Smith. Middle seated: Kennedy Jones, Alyssa Nau, Kiah Hefner, Jack Baumgartner, Lily Baumgartner. Back: head coach Ashley Robey, Kaden Clum, Sam Crawford, Jacob Szippl. Absent: assistant coach Lorna Spar, Tim Chrissobolis.

MIDDLE) Returning Ada swim team letter winners, from left, front: Lydia
Demascio, Lily Baumgartner, Alyssa Nau. Seated middle: Kiah Hefner, Jack Baumgartner. Standing back: Kaden Clum, Sam Crawford, Kennedy Jones.

BOTTOM) All-state swimmer Lily Baumgartner.