Based on their times and seeds, none of the three individuals and six relays that the Grove City High School swimming and diving teams had competing in the Division I district meet Feb. 18 at Ohio State were considered shoo-ins to advance to state.

Based on their times and seeds, none of the three individuals and six relays that the Grove City High School swimming and diving teams had competing in the Division I district meet Feb. 18 at Ohio State were considered shoo-ins to advance to state.

But when junior Jack Bailey and senior Ashley Miller missed top-eight finishes and, therefore, trips to the award stand by a combined 3.19 seconds, Greyhounds coach Alex Drake couldn't help snapping his fingers in a bit of frustration.

"We had several best times, but we were definitely hoping to be on the podium," Drake said. "The kids swam great. Start to finish, we were dropping times. Every relay was the best we've had all year. Every individual swim was a lifetime best. For the most part, we moved up some places every time, every race, just not enough to get on the podium."

Or, unfortunately for Grove City, to state.

Miller was 10th in the 200-yard individual medley (2:14.73), 2.77 seconds behind the eighth-place finisher, Dublin Coffman freshman Kelsey High.

Bailey was 11th in the 100 freestyle with a personal-best 48.8, which was .42 seconds behind eighth-place Jordan Krumpelman, a junior from St. Charles.

Bailey was 17th in the 50 free (22.77) and helped the 200 medley relay (1:49.83) and 400 free relay (3:32.65) to 20th-place finishes.

Miller also qualified in the 100 backstroke and placed 20th (1:00.96) and helped the 400 free relay (3:55.74) place 14th and 200 medley relay (2:01.14th) finish 16th..

The top two placers in each event earned automatic berths to the state meet Thursday, Feb. 23, through Saturday, Feb. 25, at Branin Natatorium in Canton. Sixteen at-large qualifiers were selected from each of four district tournaments.

The boys scored six points and finished 23rd behind first-place Upper Arlington (435), and the girls had 15 points to place 20th behind the Golden Bears (522).

One objective next year will be staying in the upper half of the OCC-Ohio Division. At the league meet Jan. 28, the boys finished fourth (151) behind champion Pickerington North (365), Gahanna (227) and Lancaster (211) and ahead of Reynoldsburg (116), Pickerington Central (80) and Newark (5). The girls were fourth (198) behind Gahanna (241), North (238.5) and Central (220) and ahead of Reynoldsburg (174.5), Lancaster (126) and Newark (1).

Groveport does not have a swimming and diving program.

The Greyhounds graduate three - Noah Colburn, Miller and Joe Nowjack.

"All in all, our teams are really well off going into next year," said Drake, who was in his first season. "We're going to lose some leadership, but every year you expect someone new to step up, learn how to be a leader and fill that void."

•Central Crossing didn't get a finish above 23rd-place from its district participants, but ending his fifth season, coach Robert Boggs hopes the Comets might be on the cusp of a new cycle.

"It's a continual rebuilding progress. We get swimmers for an average of maybe three years," Boggs said. "Most of our four-year swimmers, we have taught to swim from nothing, so by the time they are seniors, they are decent swimmers. But had we had them for one or two more years to really develop them, we would have that depth. We've always lacked depth for that reason. We (have a) high turnover (rate), and we don't have a feeder program. That really hurts us. But as far as getting here and that experience, it's great to promote that and use that as a recruiting tool."

All but three swimmers - senior Jessica Reckner, junior Laura Kruczynski and freshman Emily Donovan - had participated in a district meet before this past weekend. Neither team scored.

Donovan capped a promising season by qualifying for district in two events. She finished 30th in both the 50 free (26.82) and 100 back (1:04.7).

"Even though she didn't have her best swims here today, just getting here was a big feat," Boggs said. "I imagine there's a lot of nerves involved being 14 years old and coming into this big venue. She has a lot of experience, but the first time here has to be kind of intimidating. We're still happy with her, and it's a building block for everybody for next year."

The boys 200 medley relay (1:52.26) and 400 free relay (3:42.1) both placed 23rd. The 29th-place 400 free relay (4:50.84) led the girls.

At the OCC-Central meet Jan. 28, the boys placed sixth (65) behind champion Upper Arlington (463), Thomas Worthington (209), Worthington Kilbourne (192), Dublin Coffman (169) and Hilliard Darby (127) and ahead of Hilliard Davidson (0). The girls were seventh (52) behind UA (467), Thomas (245), Coffman (201), Davidson (150), Kilbourne (96) and Darby (79). Westland does not have a swimming program.

The Comets graduate five - Kyle Dyer, Jordan Hager, Hannah Hildebrand, Morgan Lalonde and Reckner. Dyer and Reckner were the only seniors on any of the district-qualifying relays.