Mackenzie Caruthers of the Hilliard Darby High School girls swimming and diving team is hoping to be able to compete with her teammates in the OCC-Cardinal Division meet Saturday, Jan. 25, at Thomas Worthington.
However, the sophomore is still coping with the aftermath of a medical condition that baffled doctors and hospitalized her for a week last September.
"Basically, she contacted salmonella, it got into her blood stream and settled into her hip joint," said Sandy Caruthers, Mackenzie's mother.
"She was in intense pain, with a headache and fever and then she had trouble walking. We took her to (Nationwide) Children's Hospital and she was admitted Sept. 14 and stayed for a week.
"It was a medical mystery. The doctors had her on six medications, and it took five days to figure out why she couldn't walk."
Caruthers, a Division I district qualifier in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle last season, was placed on an IV and was on oral antibiotics for six weeks. She also had to undergo physical therapy and rehabilitation for three months to walk again.
"It's been pretty rough," said Caruthers, who last season set the program record in the 200 free (1 minute, 59.16 seconds). "It was a mental and physical strain. I don't know how, where or why I contacted (salmonella).
"I had such a good year last year and I started way behind this year and am trying to catch up. I've competed but only won once. My goals this year were to get to the podium at district and hopefully qualify for state in the 500 or 200 free."
Caruthers won the 200 individual medley in 2:20.82 in the Delaware Invitational on Jan. 4.
"She's still in a lot of pain," her mother said. "They had to help her out of the pool after she won at Delaware. She is still experiencing residual pain, and she has returned to physical therapy. She wants to compete in the OCC meet real bad, but that's going to be up to the doctors. We're going to see a sports medicine doctor (Jan. 21)."
The Darby girls are ranked ninth in the 400 free relay (3:53.93) in the Division I district honor roll this week.
Darby's Cook owns top times in two events
Hunter Cook of the Darby boys team is first in the Division I district honor roll in both the 200 IM (1:53.89) and 500 free (4:36.77), fourth in the 200 free (1:45.09) and fifth in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.37).
The senior's times in three of those individual events also place him in the top 20 in the state rankings, including first in the 500 free. He is ffith in the 200 IM and 15th in the 200 free.
Last season at state, Cook placed seventh in the 200 IM (1:55.17) and eighth in the 500 free (4:40.46).
Also making the district honor roll were the 200 medley relay (second, 1:38.81), the 400 free relay (second, 3:17.31), Blake Dickmann in the 100 butterfly (fourth, 53.09), Zach Marquardt in diving (fifth, 180.5 points), Cory McLaughlin in the 100 backstroke (eighth, 54.47) and the 200 free relay (eighth, 1:32.2).
In the state rankings, the 200 medley and 400 free relays both are 12th.
Darby is looking to challenge for the OCC-Cardinal title after scoring 195 points last year to place second to Dublin Jerome (226).
Davidson's Waldron excelling in 100 back
Alex Waldron of the Davidson boys team ranks 16th in the state and third in the district in the 100 back (53.4).
Also ranked in the district is Kalen Sipl, who is third in diving (202).
The girls team is represented in three events in the district honor roll.
Megan Schmalenberger is eighth in the 50 free (24.92), the 200 free relay is ninth (1:45.02) and Maya Walters is 10th in diving (169.95).
Satre, Driscoll leading way for Bradley teams
Jon Satre of the Bradley boys team made the district honor roll this week in three individual events.
The senior, who was a district qualifier last season in the 200 free and 100 back, ranks fifth in both the 200 free (1:45.92) and 100 back (54.29) and is ninth in the 500 free (4:58.1).
No members of the girls team made the district honor roll this week, but freshman Brynn Driscoll already has broken program records in the 200 IM (2:24.2) and 100 breast (1:11.37).