Having already accomplished the goal of advancing more athletes to the Division I state meet than they did last season, the New Albany High School boys and girls swimming and diving teams now turn their focus to getting as many of those athletes onto the state podium as possible.

Having already accomplished the goal of advancing more athletes to the Division I state meet than they did last season, the New Albany High School boys and girls swimming and diving teams now turn their focus to getting as many of those athletes onto the state podium as possible.

Competition in the Division I state meet starts Thursday, Feb. 24, and runs through Saturday, Feb. 26, at the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton. The top eight in each event place.

The boys team has two individuals, Alex Alfonso and David Huddle, at state. Alfonso is seeded third in the 50-yard freestyle and fourth in the 100 free, while Huddle is seeded 13th in the 100 butterfly.

The Eagles also have two relays at state. The 200 free relay of Alfonso, Huddle, Chase Honeycutt and Frederick Jenny is seeded fifth, and the 400 free relay of Alfonso, Huddle, Jenny and Cullen Challacombe is seeded eighth.

"We want to get into the finals and hopefully do well enough to place," Jenny said. "I haven't been to state, so I'm psyched to get there."

The girls team does not have any individuals at state, but it will be represented by the 200 free relay of Olivia Barnes, Elly Gleason, Stephanie Jones and Haley McLellan. The relay is seeded 21st.

The boys team scored 197 points at the district meet Feb. 19 at Ohio State, behind champion Upper Arlington (432) and St. Charles (347).

Alfonso won the 50 free (21.19 seconds) and the 100 free (45.90). Huddle was third in the 100 fly (52.38) and sixth in the 200 free (1:45.05). Jenny was seventh in the 100 free (48.20).

The top three in each swimming event and top four in diving automatically advanced to state. In addition, 11 at-large state berths were awarded for each swimming event based on times statewide.

In the 50 free, Alfonso edged Thomas Worthington's Sam Reeder (21.27). At the sectional meet at Thomas on Feb. 12, Reeder won the event in 21.78, with Alfonso placing second in 21.87.

"Personally, I was looking to hit Junior National times in my individual events, and I think I did that," Alfonso said. "I was also very happy that I won both the 50 free and the 100 free. As for the 50 free, it was neck and neck with Sam. He's a great guy and a great competitor."

The boys 200 free relay finished first at district in 1:26.66, edging runner-up Upper Arlington (1:27.35).

"It felt very good to beat (Upper Arlington) in the 200 free relay," Alfonso said. "That was our goal from the beginning."

New Albany also was hoping to take down the Golden Bears in the boys 400 free relay, but Upper Arlington proved too strong, finishing in 3:09.57, almost three seconds better than the Eagles (3:12.75).

The girls team scored 102 points at district to place eighth behind champion Upper Arlington (505).

Jones was the only individual to place, finishing eighth in the 50 free (24.93). The 200 free relay of Barnes, Gleason, Jones and McLellan was fourth (1:40.04).

"I think overall, we're pleased with how all the athletes have done (at the district meet)," coach Dave Wharton said.

AT A GLANCE

Below are the state qualifiers with district result and state seed for the New Albany boys and girls swimming and diving teams:

Boys - Alex Alfonso: 50 free (21.19, first, third), 100 free (45.9, first, fourth); David Huddle: 100 fly (52.38, third, 13th); 200 free relay (1:26.66, first, fifth); 400 free relay (3:12.75, second, eighth); Girls - 200 free relay (1:40.04, fourth, 21st)

Others who competed at district: Boys - John Angell: 50 free (22.69, 16th), 100 free (50.08, 16th); Cullen Challacombe: 200 free (1:50.2, 14th), 100 back (57.59, 14th); Chase Honeycutt: 100 fly (54.78, 16th), 500 free (5:00.76, 15th); Huddle: 200 free (1:45.05, sixth); Frederick Jenny: 100 free (48.2, seventh), 100 breast (1:02.43, 15th); Brendan Murphy: 200 IM (2:12.97, 29th); Erikk Paakanen: 100 breast (1:07.16, 30th); Phillip Smoyer: 50 free (23.5, 27th); Corey Ziegler: 100 back (59.48, 18th); 200 medley relay (1:43.58, sixth); Girls - Olivia Barnes: 200 IM (2:12.5, ninth), 100 back (59.9, 12th); Elly Gleason: 50 free (24.93, 10th), 100 free (55.3, 14th); Lindsey Guth: 50 free (25.8, 18th), 100 free (56.28, 18th); Amanda Jenny: 200 free (2:15.81, 30th); Stephanie Jones: 50 free (24.76, eighth), 100 free (55.0, 12th); Haley McLellan: 200 free (2:00.33, 12th), 500 free (5:27.45, 13th); 200 medley relay (2:03.91, 19th); 400 free relay (3:43.51, ninth)