Hilliard Bradley High School senior Jon Satre recorded the best state finish in the history of Hilliard swimming and diving in the Division I state meet that concluded Feb. 22 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
Satre placed fifth in the 200-yard freestyle in 1 minute, 40.56 seconds, which is the fastest time by any Hilliard swimmer in the event. It also surpassed the qualification time needed to have a chance to earn All-American status.
"The way it's done is, the athlete has to get under the time requirement and then, if that time is in the top 100 nationwide at the end of the season, it makes him an All-American," said coach Brian Dickmann, who oversees the Bradley, Darby and Davidson boys and girls programs. "Jon had a 1:41.1 in the prelims and that was good enough for All-American consideration. Then he went out there, put his head down and just raced in the finals and he lowered it quite a bit. It was an amazing performance."
The lone state qualifier for Bradley, Satre also competed in the 100 backstroke, finishing 19th (52.64).
"He didn't have his best swim in the back, but that allowed him to fully concentrate on the 200 free," Dickmann said.
Satre earned 14 points for the Jaguars, who finished 35th behind champion Cincinnati St. Xavier (255) as 61 teams scored. Last year, he finished 15th in the 100 back (53.6) at state but did not qualify for state in the 200 free.
"That's a good time. I just came out and I was feeling good," Satre said of his time in the 200 free. "I had to sprint a little bit. It was just strategy. I did that for about the first 100. Then I went to the middle and sprinted from there.
"I think of the 200 free as a four-year process. It's something you really have to work for. I was a better backstroker last year, but I've practiced really hard and put a lot of time into the 200 free this year. This was my last chance. My goal time going into the district meet was 1:40.9. I bettered that by half a second. I couldn't ask for anything more."
Panthers' Cook places at state in two events
For the second year in a row, senior Hunter Cook of the Darby boys team reached the podium in the Division I state meet in two individual events.
He placed sixth in the 200 individual medley (1:52.57) and eighth in the 500 free (4:40.01). A year ago, he placed seventh in the 200 IM (1:55.17) and eighth in the 500 free (4:40.46).
"Hunter had a goal of being a state champion and was upset afterward, but my goodness, he was on the podium in both events and all-state in both events," Dickmann said. "He set an (all-Hilliard) record in the 200 IM in the prelim and finals and his time there also qualifies him for All-American consideration. He had an incredible season and career at Darby."
Junior Blake Dickmann, the coach's son, finished 14th in the 100 butterfly (51.94) and 23rd in the 200 free (1:45.8).
"His time in the fly is (an all-Hilliard) record and he had to swim the 200 free 10 minutes later, so that time slipped some, but he still swam well," coach Dickmann said.
Also at state, the 400 free relay of Dickmann, junior Ross McDonald, senior Cory McLaughlin and Cook finished 11th (3:12.68) and the 200 medley relay of McLaughlin, junior Griffin Jones, Dickmann and McDonald finished 16th (1:37.93).
The 400 free relay set an all-Hilliard record with its time and set the mark for highest state finish by a relay in the history of Hilliard swimming.
Darby scored 41 points at state to finish 15th.
'Cats represented by two swimmers at state
Sophomore Alex Waldron represented the Davidson boys team at state, finishing 11th in the 100 back (52.3).
"I was impressed by Alex Waldron," coach Dickmann said. "As a sophomore who is competing in an individual event and it being his first time to state, it's remarkable to remain that composed and qualify for the finals. The state meet is a spectacle and to finish in the top 16 to be all-state and then come back from prelims and improve on your seeding, it's outstanding."
Waldron set the Davidson program record for state finish and his preliminary time of 52.27 set an all-Hilliard record.
The Davidson girls team also had one state competitor in senior Megan Schmalenberger, who finished 18th in the 100 free (52.96), narrowly missing a berth in the consolation finals, and finished 22nd in the 50 free (24.59).
"Megan was competing at state for the third time, but the first time as an individual qualifier," coach Dickmann said. "She competed on relays as a freshman and sophomore and didn't make it back last year.
"But this year, she not only made it as an individual in one event, but two events. And, the two most competitive fields are the 50 free and 100 free. She had a great season and career at Davidson and making it to state in two events for the first time is a great, great feat."