Delaware Hayes High School sophomore Zach Shoemaker punctuated the end of his first season with the boys swimming and diving team by finishing sixth in one-meter diving last Wednesday during the Division I state meet in Branin Natatorium in Canton.

Delaware Hayes High School sophomore Zach Shoemaker punctuated the end of his first season with the boys swimming and diving team by finishing sixth in one-meter diving last Wednesday during the Division I state meet in Branin Natatorium in Canton.

At the suggestion of his mother, Shoemaker decided to try diving for the first time this season.

"I competed in gymnastics for the past nine years, but the traveling expenses began to become too much," said Shoemaker, who totaled 405.9 points, as Solon's Michael Kreft won with 472.2. "I was in Level 10 with Midwest Gymnastics & Cheerleading out of Sports Ohio in Dublin. I have always loved the water, so my mom threw out the idea."

It is not an unusual occurrence for divers to have a gymnastics background.

Shoemaker was projected to finish 14th based on district finishes statewide.

"He finished a lot higher than I anticipated," diving coach Brian Book said. "It was his first state meet, and you never know what nerves will do to a young kid. Plus it's a subjective sport and he had only been diving for three months."

To help Shoemaker feel comfortable, Book had him begin the meet with four backward dives and an inward dive, which are his best dives.

"I was very confident until the first elimination, and I wasn't sure if I'd made it," Shoemaker said. "But when I was ninth at that point instead of like 23rd, that really got me comfortable and loosened me up. I had a good meet after that."

The switch in sports was just one change Shoemaker has made recently. The other was a change in residence. Shoemaker and his family lived in Delaware for three years before moving to Idaho before his freshman year. They returned at the end of last school year.

So in the past 18 months, Shoemaker has moved twice, quit gymnastics, began diving and finished sixth in the state to earn a spot on the Wall of Champions at Hayes.

"I've been told the top 10 at state gets you on the Wall, and that makes me very, very happy," Shoemaker said. "That's something, being this is my first year in the sport. I'm definitely looking forward to working hard over the summer to improve."

Shoemaker, the only Pacer to advance to the state meet, finished third in the district meet Feb. 20 at Ohio State. He scored 401.5 points to finish behind champion Jacob Kasper (443.75) and Grant Saale (420.9), both from Dublin Jerome.

The Delaware boys scored 24 points to finish 19th out of 21 teams scoring at district. St. Charles (399.5) edged Upper Arlington (399) for the team title.

Also scoring were the 200-yard medley relay (1 minute, 49.34 seconds) and the 200 freestyle relay (1:35.49). Both finished 15th as the top 16 in each event earned points.

The 200 medley relay consisted of Joe Kinney, Nate Planisek, Jordan Nicol and David Ayscue. The 200 freestyle lineup included Planisek, Maxx Motter, Joel Simpson and Ayscue.

The girls team scored 40 points to finish 15th out of 21 teams scoring at district, with Upper Arlington (472) easily outdistancing Watterson (286) for the team title.

Sophomore Jessica Ward was 11th in the 100 backstroke, finishing in a school-record 1:00.14. She had the 24th-fastest district time in the state, but was not one of the 24 competitors at state because Shelby Mitchell of Stow-Monroe Falls received an automatic berth to state by finishing fifth (1:00.78) in the Northeast District.

"That happens a couple times every year," coach Bill Rietz said. "It's unfortunate for Jessica because she had the 25th-fastest time in the state in the 100 fly last year, so she missed going to state by six-tenths of a second. This time, she had a better time than the 24th qualifier in the 100 backs, and she also was two-hundredths of a second from the 23rd qualifier."

The Pacers also scored in all three relays.

The 200 free relay of Susan Thomson, Abby Hoovler, Abby Kremer and Ward was ninth in 1:43.38. The 200 medley relay of Ward, Kremer, Lindsey Norris and Thomson was 13th in 1:55.24. The 400 free relay also was 13th, as Thomson, Hoovler, Kremer and Ward finished in 3:48.95.

At a glance

Below are recent results for the Delaware Hayes boys and girls swimming and diving teams:

Feb. 19-20 -- Boys: Finished 19th (24) of 21 teams scoring at Ohio State as St. Charles (399.5) won. Zach Shoemaker was third (401.50) in diving, the 200 medley relay of Joe Kinney, Nate Planisek, Jordan Nicol and David Ayscue was 15th (1:49.34) and the 200 free relay of Planisek, Maxx Motter, Joel Simpson and Ayscue was 15th (1:35.49). Also competing were the 400 free relay of Ayscue, Motter, Simpson and Cameron Hackett (17th, 3:35.07), Planisek in both the 200 IM (18th, 2:10.25) and the 100 breast (22nd, 1:07.07), Ayscue in the 50 free (18th, 23.59), Will Wright in the 100 back (21st, 1:00.29), Hackett in the 200 IM (25th, 2:18.19), Nicol in the 100 fly (27th, 1:00.10) and Thomas Lenhart in the 100 back (29th, 1:02.73). Girls: Finished 15th (40) of 21 teams scoring as Upper Arlington (472) won. Scoring were Jessica Ward in the 100 back (11th, 1:00.14), the 200 free relay of Susan Thomson, Abby Hoovler, Abby Kremer and Ward (ninth, 1:43.38), the 200 medley relay of Ward, Kremer, Lindsey Norris and Thomson (13th, 1:55.24) and the 400 free relay of Thomson, Hoovler, Kremer and Ward (13th, 3:48.95). Also competing were Norris in the 100 fly (17th, 1:02.13), Kremer in the 200 free (18th, 2:02.80) and Hoovler in the 200 IM (20th, 2:23.93).