Coach Craig Yakscoe prefaced his comments by warning his voice may waver. Yakscoe held it together, but the pride was evident after the Columbus Academy boys swimming team won the Division II district meet last Friday at Ohio State with 270 points, ahead of Olentangy (216) and Granville (209).

Coach Craig Yakscoe prefaced his comments by warning his voice may waver. Yakscoe held it together, but the pride was evident after the Columbus Academy boys swimming team won the Division II district meet last Friday at Ohio State with 270 points, ahead of Olentangy (216) and Granville (209).

"In the back of my mind, I thought we had the ability to do that," Yakscoe said. "On paper and in the pool are two different things. I geared the kids to get them ready and they believed and carried out that plan extremely well. It was cool to see it all come together."

The Academy boys and girls teams compete at the state meet today through Saturday at Canton's C.T. Branin Natatorium. The boys team enters state on a roll. After losing the MSL title to Granville by four points on Feb. 6, the Vikings responded by finishing ahead of the Blue Aces en route to sectional and district titles.

"(Beating Granville) meant a lot," said William Rosler, a state-qualifying swimmer in the 100-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly. "Mostly it was some of our less experienced swimmers stepping up and having great swims and great time drops.

"I think it was our first district title in program history. That's exciting."

Rosler is one of Academy's three state-qualifying individuals on the boys side. In addition, the Vikings' 200 free relay, 400 free relay and 200 medley relay qualified for state. The 200 medley relay of Jackson Humphrey, Drew Yakscoe, William Westwater and Rosler were district champions in 1 minute 40.25 seconds.

"We each have a great combination of guys in the relays," Rosler said. "We have a lot of chemistry and a lot of speed."

Humphrey is Academy's highest seeded individual boys swimmer. He finished second in the 200 individual medley last Friday at 1:56.72, behind Hartley's Patrick Kelly (1:55.48). Humphrey is seeded seventh in the 200 IM and 10th in the 100 back (53.83). Joining Humphrey as a returning state qualifier is Rosler, who will compete in the 100 free (48.07, seeded eighth) and 100 fly (52.46, 12th). Conrad Wuorinen is making his first individual appearance at state. He is seeded 24th in the 200 free (1:50.61).

On the girls side, freshman Abby Brown was a district champion in the 100 fly in 58.54. She is seeded fourth in her first appearance at state.

"She's doing a great job," coach Yakscoe said. "She is a freshman and she is swimming very confidently. She carries herself well and goes about her business and it's really fun to watch her compete."

The girls team will be represented by four individuals at state in Brown, Lauren Burke (200 IM), Natalie Ritter (diving) and Sarah Wilson (100 fly and 500 free).

Ritter competed in the state diving competition two years ago and finished fifth (398.55). After missing last season's competition because of an injury, Ritter was a district champion last Saturday with 442.50 points to finish ahead of DeSales' Andrea Acquista (343.50). Ritter is seeded second at state behind Bay Village Bay's Nikki Craft.

Wilson also returns to the state meet, where last season she finished 11th in the 200 free (1:57.32) and 11th in the 100 fly (1:00.85). This season, Wilson is seeded seventh in the 100 fly (1:00.84) and 22nd in the 500 free (5:18.88).

Burke is making her first appearance at state as an individual. She is seeded 18th in the 200 IM (2:13.91).

In addition, Academy qualified two relays with the 200 medley relay (1:54.97, seeded 16th) and 400 free relay (3:50.36, 24th).

As a team, Academy finished second at the district meet with 221 points, behind champion Hartley (331).

"My main expectations are for the boys and girls teams to go (to state) and do they best they can," coach Yakscoe said. "I'd like them to have improvements in times or places, but I want them to treat this like just another meet and do their best."

At a glance

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

BOYS BASKETBALL

*Feb. 17 -- Defeated Lakewood 72-51. Tim Eldridge scored 21.

*Last Friday -- Lost to Bexley 62-59. Zach Ratcliff scored 17.

*Last Saturday -- Lost to Granville 60-49. Eldridge scored 12.

Last Tuesday -- Played 25th-ranked Northmor in the first round of the Division III district tournament. The winner plays Saturday at Newark vs. fourth-ranked Ready. A district semifinal is March 3 at the Fairgrounds Coliseum and possible opponents include eighth-ranked Grandview, 16th-ranked East Knox or 20th-ranked Berne Union.

Of note: The Vikings were 8-12 overall before last Tuesday and finished 4-10 in the MSL-Ohio.

*MSL-Ohio game

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Feb. 17 -- Lost to Marion Pleasant 46-35 in the first round of the Division III district tournament.

Of note: The Vikings finished 10-10 overall.

SWIMMING & DIVING

Last Friday-Last Saturday -- Boys: Finished first (270) in Division II district meet at Ohio State. State qualifiers with district result and state seed were Jackson Humphrey (200 IM, 1:56.72, second, seeded seventh; 100 back, 53.83, fourth, 10th), William Rosler (100 free, 48.07, third, eighth; 100 fly, 52.46, second, 12th), Conrad Wuorinen (200 free, 1:50.61, third, 24th), 200 medley relay (1:40.25, first, seventh), 200 free relay (1:32.75, third, 20th), 400 free relay (3:18.51, second, seventh). Others who competed were Brett Balasky (200 free, 1:57.13, 13th; 100 back, 1:02.21, 12th), Chad Buchanan (50 free, 24.18, 19th; 100 free, 54.93, 29th), Will Sherman (100 breast, 1:04.82, eighth; 100 fly, 58.73, 13th), Matt Turney (200 free, 2:04.33, 27th), William Westwater (50 free, 22.70, fifth; 100 free, 50.81, 10th), Wuorinen (100 fly, 54.65, sixth), Drew Yakscoe (100 back, 56.97, eighth; 100 fly, 56.36, eighth), Max Yano (100 breast, 1:06,73, 15th; 200 IM, 2:16.83, 16th); Girls: Finished second (221) behind champion Hartley (331) in Division II district meet at Ohio State. State qualifiers with district result and state seed were Abby Brown (100 fly, 58.54, first, seeded fourth), Lauren Burke (200 IM, 2:13.91, third, 18th), Natalie Ritter (diving, 442.50, first, second), Sarah Wilson (100 fly, 1:00.84, seventh, 23rd; 500 free, 5:18.88, third, 22nd), 200 medley relay (1:54.97, third, 16th) and 400 free relay (3:50.36, fourth, 24th). Others who competed were Brown (100 breast, 1:12.15, seventh), Burke (100 back, 1:04.65, 12th), Casey Lange (100 breast, 1:14.67, 15th; 200 IM, 2:34.95, 23rd), Annie Lee (500 free, 5:35.56, sixth; 100 fly, 1:04.04, 13th), Bethany Luzny (100 breast, 1:18.34, 23rd), Maggie McGuire (50 free, 27.52, 28th; 100 back, 1:08.71, 18th), Bekka Stahl (50 free, 27.16, 24th), Natalie Szykowny (100 free, 58.13, 13th; 200 free, 2:05.73, seventh) and 200 free relay (1:46.92, seventh)

Today-Saturday -- At Canton's C.T. Branin Natatorium at state meet

WRESTLING

Last Friday-last Saturday -- Finished 15th (32) behind champion West Jefferson (285) at Division II sectional tournament at Utica. Preston Pearson (171 pounds) finished fifth. Academy did not have a district qualifier.