Cory McLaughlin and Jon Satre captured the only individual titles for the Hilliard Bradley, Darby and Davidson high school boys swimming and diving teams in the OCC meets that concluded Jan. 26.
McLaughlin, a junior at Darby, and Satre, a junior at Bradley, shared more than that distinction, however. The two shared the same title, as they tied for first in the 100-yard backstroke in 55.73 seconds during the OCC-Cardinal Division meet at Thomas Worthington.
"That's amazing they shared it," said Brian Dickmann, who coaches the boys and girls teams for all three Hilliard high schools. "The Hilliard teams set five school records and the Darby boys produced the highest team finish in a league championship by any Hilliard team. All three schools performed very well and I'm so proud of every one of the competitors."
Darby finished second (195 points) in the OCC-Cardinal meet, behind Dublin Jerome (226) and ahead of Westerville South (187), Westerville Central (166), Worthington Kilbourne (153), Westerville North (144), Dublin Scioto (143) and Bradley (26).
McLaughlin also teamed with Hunter Cook, Blake Dickmann and Ross McDonald to win the 200 medley relay in a program-record 1:41.79. The same four combined to set a program record in the 400 free relay by placing second in 3:19.94, behind Jerome (3:19.49).
"I really like our chances of not just getting to state in those relays, but of advancing to the finals and making the podium," said Blake Dickmann, a sophomore who also hopes to reach state in the 100 back.
Cook, also a sophomore, was runner-up in the OCC-Cardinal meet in both the 200 free (1:47.29) and 500 free (4:52.61). He was a state qualifier in the 500 free and 200 individual medley last season.
"I got that experience last year, so my goal is to swim my best to get to state and then make the podium this time," Cook said. "I'm motivated by all the hard work I put in. I want to make sure it meant something."
Also in the league meet, McLaughlin was runner-up in the 200 IM (2:01.8) and sophomore Tyler Long placed third in the 100 butterfly (55.54).
Satre scored all of Bradley's points in the OCC-Cardinal meet. In addition to tying for first in the 100 back, he placed third in the 200 free (1:49.51).
Freshman Alex Waldron led Davidson in the OCC-Central meet that concluded Jan. 26 at Thomas, breaking his own program record in the 100 back by placing third in 55.57.
The Wildcats placed fifth (96) in the league meet, behind Upper Arlington (428), Olentangy Liberty (229), Thomas (214) and Dublin Coffman (200) and ahead of Marysville (72) and Central Crossing (51).
Westland does not have a swimming and diving program.
All of the Hilliard boys and girls teams will compete in the Division I sectional meet Feb. 9 at Union County YMCA in Marysville. Also at the site will be the boys and girls teams for the three Dublin schools, the three Olentangy schools and Marysville.
The winner of each event in the boys and girls meets qualifies 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 state meet is Feb. 21-23 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
"In addition to those boys who finished in the top three in their respective league meets, I think Griffin Jones, Max Dignan and Zack Gbur from Darby have a chance (to advance to district) as well as Brian Long and Brad Bauers from Davidson," coach Dickmann said. "Obviously, they will have to swim well that day. But if they reach their potential, they should be close."
Freshmen set marks for Darby girls team
Darby freshmen Mackenzie Caruthers and Olivia Wile each set a program record in an individual event in the OCC-Cardinal meet.
Caruthers was runner-up in the 200 free in 2:01.02 and Wile placed fifth in the 100 fly in 1:02.52.
"Caruthers has set four individual records this season and I think she could qualify to district in any of the four," coach Dickmann said. "Since you can only swim in two individual events, we're checking times and trying to determine where she'll fit in the lineup in the postseason."
Also in the league meet for the Panthers, Caruthers won the 500 free (5:26.75), Wile placed second in the 100 back (1:04.91) and the 200 medley relay of Wile, Caruthers, Maddie McDonald and Claire Craddick finished third (2:00.04).
Darby finished sixth (135) in the meet, behind Jerome (341), Westerville Central (209), Westerville North (199), Scioto (150) and Kilbourne (141) and ahead of Westerville South (126) and Bradley (0).
Davidson finished fifth (115) in the OCC-Central meet, behind UA (452), Thomas (241), Liberty (185) and Coffman (182) and ahead of Central Crossing (52) and Marysville (48).
Junior Megan Schmalenberger had the Wildcats' highest finish, placing third in the 50 free (25.65).
"I think several other girls we haven't talked about will have the chance to advance to district, too," coach Dickmann said. "Megan Wittman, Felicia Fantin, Jenny Waldron and Jessie Lewis from Davidson all have great opportunities to advance. Wittman could make it to state in the 200 free."