High School State Swimming Championships: Ohio

CANTON, Ohio, February 27. FOURTEEN state records fell during the Ohio Division 1 and Ohio Division 2 State Swimming and Diving Championships Feb. 22-23.

Division 1
Ursuline Academy of Cincinnati held a 13-pont lead (194-181) over eight-time defending champion Upper Arlington. The Lions' 400 free relay of juniors Temarie Tomley, Emily Slabe, Alisabth Marsteller–with senior Bridget Blood swimming the third leg–posted a first-place 3:23.19 to take the Division 1 girls championship. Slabe set a state record in the prelims of the 100 back with her 53.74.

Senior Sarah Jenkins came on board with Slabe, Blood and Tomley to capture the 200 medley relay for the third straight year with their 1:43.27. Blood earned an individual title in the 100 breast (1:03.09) and was named Swimmer of the Meet for the second straight year.

Three swimmers grabbed two event titles each. Katie Miller, a senior at Firestone, set a state record 1:57.98 and claimed the 100 back in 54.04. Mason junior Zoe Thatcher took the 200 and 500 free (1:47.43 and 4:47.81, defending her title from last year). Chase Kinney, a Jackson senior, set state marks in both of the sprint freestyles with her 22.52 in the 50 and 49.70 in the 100 free.

Upper Arlington's 1:34.19 gave them the state record in the 200 free relay, using the team of sophomore Gracie Long, freshman Erin Sheehan, sophomore Grace Van Fossen and junior Jenny Smith.

Pickerington Central senior Maddie Martin flew to a 55.37 to claim her fourth straight title in the 100 fly. The diving competition went to Olivia Ball, a junior at Powell Olentangy Liberty, who picked up her second straight tiel with 471.75 points.

Cincinnati Ursuline's 234 points put them ahead of Upper Arlington (215), Mason (148), Strongsville (136) and Fremont Ross (125).

St. Xavier of Cincinnati earned its fifth straight championship trophy with 270 points. Their 200 free relay of seniors Jack Hendricks, Can Young, Grant Johnson and sophomore Mitchell Frey (third leg) combined for a 1:23.74 victory. Hendricks finished first in the 500 free (4:27.69).

In two close battles for the next four positions, Upper Arlington claimed second with 187.5 points just ahead of Cleveland St. Ignatius (186). The battle for fourth was closer, with Toledo St. Francis de Sales edging out Centerville, 115-113.

The St. Ignatius quartet of juniors Peter Simcox and Nathan Christian, plus seniors Derek Hren and Charlie Pophal, posted a 1:31.97 in the 200 medley and grabbed a second triumph in the 400 free (3:04.86).

Swimmer of the Meet honors went to Hudson sophomore Ross Palazzo. He captured both the 200 IM (1:48.49) and the 100 breast (55.00).

Four seniors claimed wins in their final state meet: Boardman's Ryan Bailey (100 fly, 49.43), Firestone's Mark Belanger (100 free, 45.17), Cuyahoga Falls' Andrew Appleby (100 back, 49.00) and Upper Arlington's Joey Long (200 free, 1:38.43).

Mason Miller, a sophomore at Westerville North, had a close duel in the 50 free with Upper Arlington junior Thomas Trace. Miller prevailed, 20.87-20.94. The diving competition went to Stephen Romanik, a junior at Macedonia Nordonia, who put together a score of 557.15 points.

Division 2
Gates Mills Hawkens claimed its 15th straight title and 17 of the last 18 with 321 points. Hawkens teams grabbed both free relays. The all-senior 200 free relay of Sarah Koucheki, Marissa Cominelli, Caroline Vexler and Carrie Bencic combined for a state record 1:34.99; Kouchecki and Bencic were joined by freshmen Claire Doerr and Heathr Svitavsky for a 3:28.90 in the 400 free. Individually, Bencic posted double victories in the 200 and 500 free (state record 1:48.22 and 4:50.12).

Finishing second to Gates Mills Hawken was Dayton Oakwood (260.5), followed by Cincinnati Indian Hill (192), Granville (159) and Cincinnati Mariemont (151.5).
Hannah Stevens, a junior at Lexington, also found herself at the top of the podium stand twice, courtesy of her 54.80 in the 100 back and 50.31 in the 100 free.

Oakwood sophomore Sydney Lofquist lowered the state record in the 200 IM to 2:01.03. Lofquist's teammate, junior Lydia Pocisk, topped the field in the 100 breast with her 1:02.82. Second-place finisher Shawnee senior Kendra Crew (1:03.31) set a state record 1:02.57 in prelims. Gilmour junior Macie McNichols (50 free, 23.28) and Bay junior Elizabeth Auley (100 fly, 55.56). The Division 2 diving champ was Andrea Aquista, a senior at St. Francis DeSales with her 419.25 points.

Granville's squad of juniors Keely Lovern, Kassandra Mestemaker, Sydney King and sophomore Abby Stone finished first in the 200 medley relay with their 1:44.22.

Springfield Shawnee senior Kendra Crew etched her name in the record books when she set the new state record in the preliminary round of the 100 yard breaststroke with a time of 1:02.57. She finished second in the finals behind Pocisk (1:03.31).

Last year, Dayton Oakwood was defeated by Hunting Valley University School in the final event of the meet. They returned to this year's competition not to let that happen again. The Lumberjacks scored 288 points to gain their first-ever state title. Hunting Valley University found itself in the runner-up position with 169 points, with Gates Mills Hawken third (157), Chagrin Falls fourth (134) and Sandusky Perkins fifth (129).

In fact, Oakwood's quartet of sophomore Patrick Mulcare, seniors Brendan Tirado and Cliff Goertemiller, and junior Brock Turner claimed first in the 400 free relay with their 3:06.98. Individual titles went to Turner in the 200 and 500 free (1:39.21 and 4:28.83).

Swimmer of the Meet Josh Quallen, a senior at Wilmington, set state records in both the 100 fly (47.95) and 100 back (48.92).

Perkins' 200 medley relay of seniors Drew Biro, Kevin Bressler, Michael Kessler and sophomore Sean Mulvin combined for a first-place clocking of 1:34.80. C.J. Capizzi came on board with Mulvin, Kessler and Bressler to claim the 200 free relay in 1:26.15. Mulvin edged out Meadowdale senior Malique Elder for the 100 free by 1-hundredth, 46.50-46.51. Orange senior Jack Nee finished 3-hundredths out for third, 46.54.

Nee was involved in another close finish in securing the 50 free title. He finished 5-hundredths ahead of Bishop Hartley senior Ronnie Bolden, 20.88-20.93.
Austin Quinn, a senior at Chagrin, completed the 200 IM in a winning 1:49.51. He held the 100 back state record for one day when he posted a 49.04 in prelims before finishing second to Quallen (49.41) Canton Central Catholic senior Alex Gonzales claimed a state record with his 511.75 points.

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