Stingrays win fifth GCSL title in a row
For the fifth year in a row, the Delaware Aquatics Racing Team won the Greater Columbus Swim League’s overall championship.
In the league meet that concluded July 23 at Highlands Park in Westerville, the Stingrays captured the junior and senior titles and scored 3,175.5 points to easily outdistance runner-up Worthington (2125.67).
Highlands, the host squad for the finals, finished third (1833.17), followed by Northwest (1,808), Westerville JC (1779.5), Olympic (1737), Plain Township (1597.5) and Gahanna (987.67).
Delaware, led by senior coach Bill Rietz and junior coach Denise Berry, won 27 of 72 swimming events and had athletes finish in the top three in 29 other events.
The Stingrays took the junior title (1491.5 points) ahead of Olympic (879) and the senior title (1684) ahead of Worthington (1249).
“It all started with the prelims the day before over in Worthington,” Rietz said. “Going from there to here, it was all about getting our kids qualified in the finals to get us those points that we needed.”
The junior swimmers in the meet are age 10 and under, while the seniors are 11-18. Both juniors and seniors are divided into three groups: 6U, 7-8 and 9-10 for juniors and 11-12, 13-14 and 15-18 for seniors.
The Stingrays broke seven meet records in the finals, with three individuals contributing four of those marks.
Kaitlyn Sallows set two records in winning the girls 6U 25-meter backstroke (24.17 seconds) and the 25 freestyle (20.73). Lincoln Shirley won the boys 6U 25 back in a record 26.79, and Brooke Glesenkamp set a record for the girls 13-14 50 free while winning in 27.67.
Delaware also had three record-setting relays. William Elsrod, Phillip Holst, Mark Sulek and Ryan Smudz clocked 1:04.59 in the boys 9-10 100 free relay; Regan DeWitt, Brittany Puthoff, Lindsey Norris and Nicole Chase won the girls 15-18 200 medley relay in 2:07.59; and Kara Miller, Puthoff, DeWitt and Chase took the 200 free relay in 1:55.76.
Glesenkamp also won the girls 13-14 100 individual medley (1:09.87).
“We pride ourselves as one program to try and win that overall trophy,” Rietz said. “When you talk about 100 athletes coming together as a group, it’s kind of hard to point out specific swimmers because everyone contributed in some way, shape or form at this event.”
Rinaldi, Taylor lead Worthington
Worthington received several first-place efforts while finishing second in the overall and senior standings.
For 11-12 girls, Rebecca Taylor won the 50 butterfly (32.66), the 50 free (30.4) and the 100 IM (1:15.26) ahead of teammate Rachel Rinaldi (1:15.53).
Rinaldi won the 50 breaststroke (39.25).
For the boys, Trenton Harper won the 15-18 100 breast (1:08.47) and Connor Florence, Ryan Scharff, Jacob Taylor and Zach Barnes took first in the 7-8 100 free relay (1:24.97).
Swearingens excel for Highlands
Macey Swearingen and Chase Swearingen stood out for Highlands.
Macey finished first in the girls 9-10 50 free (31.77), 100 IM (1:18.58) and 50 fly (35.64), while Chase won the boys 7-8 25 fly (18.06), 25 breast (23.76) and 25 free (17.36).
For 11-12 girls, Kaila Aaron earned three runner-up finishes, taking second in the 50 fly (34.35), 50 free (31.45) and 50 back (35.91).
Thomas siblings spark Northwest
Northwest received strong performances from Thomas Trace and Betsy Trace.
For boys 15-18, Thomas won the 100 back (1:00.51), 100 IM (1:01.79) and 100 free (54.75). He also teamed with Michael Robinson, Isaiah Mefferd and
Ben Weaver to win the 200 medley relay (1:56.19) and 200 free relay (1:43.1).
Betsy won the girls 15-18 100 fly (1:08.11), while teammate Gracie Long won the 100 IM (1:07.68), 100 breast (1:16.13) and 100 free (1:00.01).
“Every year at this time of year, we all come together as one and we all do our best to score as many points for the team and not just ourselves,” coach Russ Jurg said.
He already is excited about next season.
“We have a lot of up-and-coming talent on this roster and Betsy, Thomas and Gracie are all a huge part of that,” Jurg said.
Lack of depth factor for JC
Westerville JC’s fifth-place finish was a matter of depth.
“A lot of these other teams here are 200 to 300 strong and we don’t quite have the depth yet that those teams have,” coach Jessica Nixon said. “But we were really happy with the results and how the kids managed to swim.”
Despite smaller numbers, the Poolcats managed to finish in the top three in 27 events.
Ava Row placed first in the girls 7-8 25 back (20.03) and joined Emma Stoll, Sarah Stadler and Karli Murnieks on the second-place 100 medley relay (1:36.94).
Stadler’s brother, Nate, finished first in the boys 11-12 50 back (32.18), 100 IM (1:07.18) and 50 free (27.24).
Kabelka sets pace for Olympic
Hans Kabelka led the way for Olympic, winning two events among boys 13-14 and contributing to two first-place relays.
Kabelka finished first in the 50 back (30.65) and 50 free (27.13). He also joined Connor Flanagan, Alec Roderer and Perry Finnegan on the winning 200 medley relay (2:09.42) and the first-place 200 free relay (1:53.02).
For girls 7-8, Sloane Antonetz won the 25 breast (23.41) and 25 free (16.78).
Barnes, Wharton win for Plain Township
Carson Barnes led Plain Township by winning the boys 13-14 50 fly (28.48) and placing second in the 100 IM (1:06.84), while Ally Wharton won the girls 13-14 50 breast (37.59).
Stacy Saribalas was second in the girls 9-10 50 back (39.82) and 100 IM (1:29.03), and Grace Gower was second in the girls 13-14 50 back (34.77).
Gahanna relies on Weidemanns
Brothers Josh Weidemann and Sam Weidemann stood out for Gahanna.
Sam won the boys 13-14 1-meter diving (182.45 points) and 50 breast (33.98), and he was second in the 50 free (27.21).
Josh won the boys 11-12 50 breast (39.25) and was second in diving (143.4).