Delaware Hayes High School boys and girls swimming and diving coach Bill Rietz is confident that his teams will fare well in the Division I sectional meet Saturday, Feb. 9, at Thomas Worthington.
The winner of each event will qualify for the district meet Feb. 16 at Ohio State. In addition, 27 at-large district berths will be awarded in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites. Divers do not compete until the district meet.
The Pacers had a strong showing in the OCC-Capital Division meet that concluded Jan. 26 at New Albany, as both teams finished third.
"I wouldn't be surprised to see the girls compete in eight events at state this season," Rietz said. "Our expectations are high because of the talent, the work ethic and the focus that this group possesses. We posted times in the last few weeks of the regular season that we didn't post at sectional or district last season when we were shaved and tapered."
Last season, the girls team placed second (213) in the 11-team sectional at Thomas Worthington behind the host Cardinals (262), finished sixth (147) at district behind champion Upper Arlington (522) and had a program-record 27 points to tie for 22nd in the state meet at Branin Natatorium in Canton behind champion UA (300.5).
In addition to the three relays, Rietz thinks Regan DeWitt, Brittany Puthoff, Sam Curtin and Lindsey Norris will have long postseason runs.
"I think Regan can make state in the (200-yard freestyle) and 500 free and Brittany in the 100 (breaststroke), Sam in the 50 free and Lindsey in the 100 butterfly," Rietz said. "It's a pretty good group that has the ability to get there when you count the relays, but they've got to compete to their abilities to make it come to fruition."
The girls team scored 259 points in the OCC-Capital meet to finish behind New Albany (312) and Olentangy (274) and ahead of Olentangy Orange (274), Watkins Memorial (114), Big Walnut (101) and Mount Vernon (63). Franklin Heights does not have a swimming and diving program.
Finishing first were DeWitt in the 500 free (5 minutes, 15.92 seconds) and 200 individual medley (2:15.23), Puthoff in the 100 breast (1:10.09), Norris in the 100 fly (1:02.72) and the 200 medley relay of DeWitt, Puthoff, Norris and Susan Thomson (1:52.66).
Curtin placed second in the 200 free (2:03.36) and third in the 100 free (56.51), the 200 free relay of Thomson, Puthoff, DeWitt and Curtin was second (1:42.98) and the 400 free relay of Curtin, Bethany Ward, Thomson and Puthoff was third (3:53.38).
Last season, the boys team finished sixth (110) at sectional behind champion New Albany (254) and 16th (34) at district behind champion UA (435). The Pacers did not have any state qualifiers a year ago.
"I expect the boys to have a strong postseason, too," Rietz said.
"Cameron Hackett has already set our 200 and 500 free records and Anthony Sanfillipo has been phenomenal as well. Thomas Lenhart has been very solid and Anthony Hinton has returned and is swimming well."
The boys team scored 254 points in the league meet to finish behind New Albany (335) and Olentangy (274) and ahead of Orange (166), Mount Vernon (96), Watkins Memorial (77) and Big Walnut (74).
Finishing first were Hackett in the 200 free (1:49.39) and 500 free (4:56.64) and Hinton in the 50 free (22.6).
Hinton placed second in the 100 free (50.5), Sanfillipo was second in the 200 IM (2:10.78), Lenhart was second in the 100 fly (58.51) and third in the 100 back (1:03.16), the 200 medley relay of Hackett, Sanfillipo, Lenhart and Hinton was second (1:50.53), the 200 free relay of Skyler Pollock, Mason Nicol, Hackett and Hinton was third (1:36.72) and the 400 free relay of Hackett, Sanfillipo, Lenhart and Hinton was third (3:27.66).
Wrestlers fall in state team tourney
The wrestling team is hoping to bounce back from a loss in the Division I state team tournament by finishing second in the OCC-Capital and having a strong postseason.
Seeded second, the Pacers lost to third-seeded Olentangy Orange 30-29 in the second round of Region 5-A of the dual-format tournament Jan. 30 at Marysville. They had opened the inaugural event with a 59-10 win over seventh-seeded Westerville Central on Jan. 23.
Delaware had beaten the Pioneers 33-29 in a league dual Jan. 10.
"We won seven matches and (Orange) won seven matches, but they beat us in the bonus points," coach Josh Heffernan said. "The kids competed hard and it was very intense. We improved in the lower weights from the regular-season match (against Orange) and they improved in their upper weights.
"The key word for us now is resilience. We want to see how we bounce back after adversity. We've got an outside shot at a league championship if we get help. Without help, we can finish second if we take care of what we can control."
The Pacers are 5-1 in the OCC-Capital and will conclude league competition Thursday, Feb. 7, at Watkins Memorial. Entering action Jan. 31, they were second behind Mount Vernon (5-0).
After competing against Watkins Memorial, Delaware will prepare for the Division I sectional tournament Feb. 16 at Westland.
The Pacers are seeded third in the district and will be joined at the sectional site by Hilliard Davidson (fourth seed), Grove City (18th), Worthington Kilbourne (19th), UA (21st), St. Charles (22nd), Central Crossing (24th), Westland (28th), Dublin Scioto (30th) and New Albany (32nd).
Winning matches against Orange in the state team tournament were Greg Brusco (113 pounds), Daniel Shaver (120), Wyatt Davis (126), Raezel Garrett (132), Nick Beyer (145), Raymond Simpson (160) and Andrew Sierawski (182).
Beyer and Sierawski won by pin and Brusco and Garrett won by major decisions.
Delaware finished fourth (170.5) in its 13-team Rieman Invitational on Jan. 26 behind Massillon Perry (373), Davidson (199) and Loveland (188.5).
The Pacers did not win any weight classes but had nine top-six placers, as Brusco and Shawn Johnson (195) placed second, Chris Martinez (170) placed third, Simpson and Sierawski finished fourth, Davis, Lamin Kandeh (170) and Colton Richard (220) finished fifth and Brandon Brown (182) finished sixth.
Boys basketball team falls to New Albany
The boys basketball team's chances of winning the OCC-Capital championship took a major hit with a 52-40 loss to New Albany on Jan. 29.
Delaware was 10-5 overall and 6-3 in the OCC-Capital before playing Orange on Feb. 1. New Albany, which had eight 3-pointers against the Pacers, was 10-0 in the league before facing Olentangy on Feb. 1.
Point guard Mike Wells had 15 points and guard Khalil Iverson scored 10 for the Pacers, who trailed New Albany 20-8 after the first quarter.
Wells had 20 points and Iverson scored 13 in a 53-37 league win over Big Walnut on Jan. 26.
Regular season ending for girls team this week
The girls basketball team was 6-11 overall and 5-5 in the OCC-Capital before playing Orange on Feb. 1.
Delaware concludes the regular season this week. It plays league games Tuesday, Feb. 5, at home against Mount Vernon and Friday, Feb. 8, at home against Franklin Heights and travels to Johnstown on Wednesday, Feb. 6.
The drawing for the Division I district tournament will be held Sunday, Feb. 3. The tournament starts Feb. 16.
Delaware lost to New Albany 62-31 in a league contest Jan. 29. Guard Maranda Merriman had six points to lead the Pacers.