As Bexley High School junior Hayden Humphrey stood behind the starting block before the final of the 100-yard breaststroke at the Division II swimming and diving district meet Feb. 18 at Ohio State, he was surprisingly calm.

As Bexley High School junior Hayden Humphrey stood behind the starting block before the final of the 100-yard breaststroke at the Division II swimming and diving district meet Feb. 18 at Ohio State, he was surprisingly calm.

"I wasn't feeling nervous at all and that kind of worried me," Humphrey said. "Right when I got on the blocks, my legs were a little bit shaky. I jumped in and felt like I had an amazing start."

Humphrey won the event in 1 minute, 1.51 seconds to become the Lions' first state qualifier since 2002 graduate Alex Dolgov placed seventh in the 100 breast (59.48) and eighth in the 200 individual medley (1:54.8) at state as a senior.

"I had a bunch of people at the end of the race screaming for me," Humphrey said. "They were screaming so loud, so I thought there was someone next to me. When I touched the wall, it got quiet for a second and then everyone started going crazy. I saw that '1' go up by name."

Humphrey will be Bexley's lone representative at the state meet at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton. The preliminaries are Thursday, Feb. 24, with the top 16 finishers advancing to the final on Friday, Feb. 25. He is seeded 12th.

"He's such a great kid. He works hard and he deserves it," coach Natalie Mossman said of Humphrey. "I am so happy I didn't screw it up for him."

"This means everything for me," Humphrey said. "This is the pinnacle of four years of work."

The boys team scored 24 points at district to tie Liberty Union for 23rd, finishing well behind champion Granville (256) and runner-up Columbus Academy (209.5), both MSL rivals.

The girls team, which had no state qualifiers, finished 13th (65), behind champion Granville (368) and runner-up Academy (269).

For the girls team, Anna Bauer had been chasing the program record of 25.83 in the 50 freestyle for four years. At district, the senior came within .3 of a second of matching it, as she placed ninth in 26.13.

"I had my eyes on it all season," Bauer said. "I swam really well and I did everything I could, but in the end, I didn't get it. I can't be that upset about it."

•Derek Cain hopes the Division II district wrestling tournament on Friday, Feb. 25, and Saturday, Feb. 26, at Columbus East is a little less dramatic than the sectional tournament.

The junior forfeited his third-place match at 152 pounds as a precaution because of chest pains. He began experiencing pains after defeating Whitehall's Quantrell Goodwin 9-7 in his first match.

"I was having this horrible pain in my chest and I was having a hard time breathing," said Cain, who must be cleared by a doctor before he will be allowed to compete at district. "A friend of mine had to take me out of the wrestling room so I could get some fresh air. I was starting to panic because I've never had something like this happen to me before."

Cain continued to compete at sectional, however, losing to Hilliard Bradley's Andrew Higgins 17-1 before bouncing back to defeat Eastmoor Academy's Steven Eaton 17-5 in a consolation semifinal. Despite Cain's performance against Eaton, he was urged by coach Shawn Straub not to compete in the third-place match against Jonathan Alder's Cody McSurley.

"(Straub) didn't want to risk me getting hurt in the third-place match," Cain said. "I was disappointed because I think I could've beaten (McSurley)."

If given medical clearance to compete at district, Cain, who is 32-8, will meet DeSales sophomore Ian Ferguson (26-13) in the first round.

Cain is one of four Lions who advanced to district. Also advancing were junior D.J. Jones (130) and senior Chris Crane (145), both of whom placed third at sectional, and senior Chuck Sismanturk (135), who placed fourth.

In the first round at district, Jones (31-5) takes on Big Walnut freshman Alec Eisnnicher (23-17), Crane (26-6) faces Duncan Falls Philo freshman Steven Fraizer (19-5) and Sismanturk (26-18) competes against Millersburg West Holmes sophomore Drew Jolley (23-7).

The top four in each weight class at district advance to the state tournament March 3-5 at Ohio State. Bexley has not had a state qualifier since 2007 graduate Jake Weisman made it his senior year.

The Lions placed seventh of 13 teams at sectional with 77.5 points, behind champion Olentangy (292).

• Boys basketball coach Dave Gustin seemed confident his team's 42-38 loss to Licking Valley on Feb. 15 and a 58-40 loss to Columbus Academy on Feb. 18 wouldn't equate to an early exit from the Division II district tournament.

Seeded eighth, Bexley played ninth-seeded Hilliard Bradley in the first round Feb. 22, with the winner facing Olentangy or Hamilton Township in the second round at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, at Grove City.

The Lions lost to the Rangers 60-53 on Dec. 7 but have not played Olentangy this season.

"This is a speed bump," Gustin said. "... We had our mind willing, but our bodies weren't."

The Lions trailed Licking Valley 19-12 at halftime and trailed Academy 28-15 after the first half. During the regular season, they were 0-9 in games in which they trailed at halftime.

Against Licking Valley, Bexley battled back to take a 33-28 lead with under five minutes to play, only to be outscored 14-7 in the final 4:30.

"We have had good starts overall, but I saw a little bit of a glaze in their eyes in the first half (against Licking Valley)," Gustin said. "I don't think we were really ready to play. I liked the big comeback that we had, but in the key possessions down the stretch we didn't make plays."

AT A GLANCE

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Bexley boys basketball, girls basketball, swimming & diving, and wrestling teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

*Feb. 15 - Lost to Licking Valley 42-38. Evan Porter had 19 points.

*Feb. 18 - Lost to Columbus Academy 58-40. Jalen Robinette had 15 points and Jon Primes scored 14.

Feb. 22 - Played Hilliard Bradley in first round of Division II district tournament. Winner plays Olentangy or Hamilton Township in second round, 8 p.m. Feb. 25 at Grove City. Winner plays top-seeded Hartley, Columbus South or Lakewood in a district semifinal, 8 p.m. March 3 at Fairgrounds Coliseum.

Of note: The Lions were 10-10 overall before Feb. 22 and finished 6-8 in the MSL-Ohio.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Feb. 23 - Played DeSales in second round of Division II district tournament. Winner plays third-seeded Hilliard Bradley or Licking Valley in district semifinal, 6 p.m. March 1 at Pickerington North. That winner plays top-seeded Olentangy, Hamilton Township, Hartley or Lakewood in district final, 8:30 p.m. March 3 at Ohio Dominican.

Of note: The Lions were 13-7 overall before Feb. 23.

SWIMMING & DIVING

Feb. 18 - Boys: Tied Liberty Union for 23rd (24) at Division II district meet at Ohio State, behind Granville (256); Girls: Finished 13th (74) at district, behind Granville (368)

Below are the state qualifiers with district result and state seed:

Boys - Hayden Humphrey: 100 back (1:01.5, first, 12th); Girls -None

Others who competed at district: Boys -Ian Davis: 200 IM (2:22.44, 17th); Jacob Turner: 200 free (2:07.57, 31st), 500 free (5:48.99, 26th); 200 medley relay (1:58.18, 23rd); 400 free relay (3:50.48, 15th); Girls -Anna Bauer: 50 free (26.13, ninth), 100 free (57.72, 12th); Claire Beckett: 200 free (2:12.55, 11th), 100 breast: (1:16.56, 11th); Sierra Humphrey: 100 breast (1:14.99, ninth); Maya Saar: 500 free (5:59.36, 18th); Georgia Sutter: 200 free (2:14.51, 13th), 500 free: (6:03.76, 21st); 200 medley relay (2:03.88, 13th); 200 free relay (1:48.47, ninth)

Feb. 24-25 - State meet at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton

WRESTLING

Feb. 19 - Finished seventh (77.5) at Division II sectional meet, behind champion Olentangy (292). District qualifiers were Derek Cain (152), Chris Crane (145), D.J. Jones (130) and Chuck Sismanturk (135).

Feb. 25-26 - District tournament at Columbus East. The top four in each weight class advance to the state meet March 3-5 at Ohio State.

*MSL-Ohio game