Hilliard Bradley High School freshman Katelyn Goldsmith was relieved moments after finishing fourth in the 50-yard freestyle in 24.97 seconds at the Division II swimming and diving district meet last Friday at Ohio State's McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.

Hilliard Bradley High School freshman Katelyn Goldsmith was relieved moments after finishing fourth in the 50-yard freestyle in 24.97 seconds at the Division II swimming and diving district meet last Friday at Ohio State's McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.

She knew the top four placers in each swimming event automatically qualified for the state meet, which began last Wednesday and concludes Saturday at the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton.

Minutes after completing her race, Goldsmith was informed by coach Brian Dickmann that she had tied Granville's Lori Davis for fourth and had to compete in a swim-off.

"I was nervous before swimming the 50 free the first time, but when I heard that I had to swim it again, I thought I was going to pass out," Goldsmith said.

"Mr. Dickmann told me if I don't finish fourth, I was going to have to wait until (the 13 at-large qualifiers were announced) to find out whether I made it or not. I didn't think I could wait that long."

Fortunately for Goldsmith, she didn't have to wait. Not only did she edge Davis in the swim-off for the automatic spot by .04 of a second, she improved her time with a 24.84.

Goldsmith had a .10 of a second lead after the first lap but was overtaken by Davis after the turn.

"I knew I was a little bit ahead of her," Goldsmith said. "But when we came into the turn, she pulled ahead of me. I thought, 'Oh no, not this time.' I dug deep and gave it everything I had. It is a dream come true. This is a big deal. To make Mr. Dickmann so happy makes me even happier."

Goldsmith also reached the awards podium, which is reserved for the top eight finishers in each event, in the 100 free, placing fifth in 55.07.

The girls team scored 36 points at district to tie New Philadelphia for 17th behind champion Hartley (317). The boys team finished 13th with 24 points behind champion Columbus Academy (270).

"We've been with Darby all year long, but I think we had a good experience being by ourselves," Dickmann said. "Every swim was a lifetime best."

•Davidson senior Jake Miller said the hardest part of returning to the Division I boys state meet was convincing himself that he has what it takes to do it.

Miller, who placed 22nd at state in the 50 free (21.97) last year, grabbed at-large berths after placing sixth in the 50 free (21.74) and seventh in the 100 free (47.71).

He matched his program record in the 50 free and set a record in the 100 free.

"It was mostly a mental game for me," Miller said. "I had to get it through my head I could swim fast. Everything was pretty much there. I just had to find it."

While Miller earned a return trip to state, diver Connor Richards missed his chance to return by 5.35 points.

The senior, who placed 24th at state last year with 134.80 points, placed sixth at district with 336.6 points. Only the top five divers advanced.

"It's just been phenomenal swimming (at district)," coach Joe Cahill said. "I was kind of nervous there at the start of the meet, but as soon as they hit the water, it's just been magic. The taper really worked."

The boys team placed 16th at district with 53 points, behind champion St. Charles (399.5). The girls team didn't score as UA won with 472 points.

•Though Darby did not have any individuals reach the awards podium at district, nearly every swimmer set a lifetime-best time.

"We didn't just hit small lifetime bests, we had huge lifetime bests," Dickmann said. "So we're really happy with what we did."

Junior Alex Caruthers set two records for the girls team when she placed 14th in the 500 free in 5:30.09 and 12th in the 100 breaststroke in 1:09.77. She dropped 13.13 seconds from her sectional time in the 500 free.

"I've wanted (the 500 free) record for a long time," said Caruthers, who broke the previous mark by four seconds. "You have to work really hard at the beginning of the season so you have a point where you can come down to at the end of the season."

The girls team finished 18th with eight points and the boys team was 20th with 16 points.



At a glance

Below are the state qualifiers with district result and state seed for the Bradley, Darby and Davidson boys and girls swimming and diving teams:

BRADLEY

Boys -- No qualifiers; Girls -- Kaitlyn Goldsmith: 50 free (24.97, fourth, 20th)

Others who competed at the district were: Boys -- Josh Guy: 500 free (6:04.30, 24th); Tyler Troutman: 100 fly (57.72, 12th), 200 IM (2:09.59, ninth); Girls -- Shea Driscoll: 200 free (2:15.82, 20th), 500 free (6:05.87, 17th); Kaitlyn Goldsmith: 100 free (55.07, fifth); 200 free relay (1:52.53, 13th)

DARBY

Boys -- No qualifiers; Girls -- No qualifiers

Others who competed at the district were: Boys -- Alex Bean: 100 free (50.93, 26th), 200 free (1:53.01, 21st); Sam Dignan: 50 free (23.46, 26th), 500 free (5:02.75, 10th); Nick Gardner: 100 free (51.39, 29th), 200 free (1:50.65, 14th); 200 free relay (1:35.68, 16th); 400 free relay (3:34.68, 15th); 200 medley relay (2:16.61 , 28th); Girls -- Alex Caruthers: 500 free (5:30.09, 14th), 100 breast (1:09.77, 12th); Erin Hardin: 500 free (5:46.32, 27th); Emilie Sherwood: 50 free (26.20, 24th); 200 free relay (1:52.31, 19th); 400 free relay (3:58.56, 17th); 200 medley relay (2:07.02 , 18th)

DAVIDSON

Boys -- Jake Miller: 50 free (21.74, sixth, 19th); 100 free (47.71, seventh, 18th); Girls -- No qualifiers

Others who competed at the district were: Boys -- Stephen Gill: 100 back (57.38, 16th); Connor Richards: diving (336.6, sixth); 200 free relay (1:33.30, 13th); 400 free relay: 4:17.11, 26th); 200 medley relay (1:49.14, 14th); Girls -- 200 free relay (1:55.71, 25th); 400 free relay (4:24.99, 26th); 200 medley relay (2:15.69, 30th)