Chase Honeycutt wasn't taking any shortcuts when the New Albany High School boys swimming and diving team practiced this week in preparation for the Division I state meet.

Chase Honeycutt wasn't taking any shortcuts when the New Albany High School boys swimming and diving team practiced this week in preparation for the Division I state meet.

The senior knows all too well that the simplest mistake can trip up a swimmer at state, which will be held in Canton's Branin Natatorium from Thursday, Feb. 23, through Saturday, Feb. 25.

"Two years ago (at state) an official didn't like a turn we made (in the 200-yard freestyle relay) and we (were disqualified)," said Honeycutt, who advanced this year in three events, including the 50 free. "So this week is more about the details, really, making good turns and everything and just fine-tuning our strokes."

Honeycutt and teammates Frederick Jenny, John Angell and Phillip Smoyer are seeded 18th in the 400 free relay after finishing sixth (3 minutes, 15.42 seconds) at the district meet, which was held Feb. 17 and 18 at Ohio State. The same group is seeded 19th in the 200 free relay after placing fifth (1:27.95) at district.

Honeycutt, who anchors the 200 free relay and leads off the 400, also is seeded 19th in the 50 free after placing fourth (21.67) at district. He nearly qualified in a fourth event, but his 11th-place showing at district in the 100 butterfly (53.71) fell short of the final qualifying time (53.0).

"Leading off has more pressure, I think, because you're setting the tone for everybody," Honeycutt said. "When you anchor, it's just racing."

David Dinsmore, a freshman diver, is New Albany's highest-seeded competitor at state. He finished second (494.6 points) at district behind Worthington Kilbourne's Hunter Atha (502.55) and is the fifth seed for state. Atha is seeded second behind Hudson's Alex Obendorf (513.4).

Jenny, a senior, is seeded 17th in the 100 breaststroke after he finished fifth (59.03) at district behind champion Trenton Harper (58.36) of Thomas Worthington. Like Honeycutt, he's a veteran when it comes to competing at state, having previously qualified in relays.

"I definitely know what to expect and that should help," Jenny said. "At district, (the 100 breast) was one of the closest races I've ever been in (as the top six finishers all advanced). The difference between first and fifth was like (.67). I was also noticing how fast the (qualifying) times from the other districts were, too (led by top-seeded Jack Pohlmann of Beavercreek in 56.0), so it should be a great race."

The Eagles totaled 134 points at district to finish fifth behind champion Upper Arlington (435).

•The girls team placed 10th (92) at district as UA (522) captured its 13th consecutive title. The Golden Bears will be taking aim at an eighth consecutive state title this weekend.

The Eagles qualified the 200 and 400 free relays comprised of Elly Gleason, Taylor Berend, Haley McLellan and Stephanie Jones. The 200 free relay finished fifth (1:39.69) and the 400 was seventh (3:40.66) at district. Those relays are seeded 15th and 24th for state, respectively.

"We're excited," said Jones, who is the team's only senior. "We got on the podium, and we knew our times might get us to state. That's always been the goal, and it's really great when you accomplish that."

At district, Jones also competed in the 50 free (24.69, sixth) and 100 free (53.4, 10th) and set school records in both events. They previously were held by Molly Dengler, who won the 200 individual medley in the Division II state meet as a senior in 2009. Jones' time in the 100 free fell short of qualifying to state by .06. The final qualifying time was 53.34 set by Strongsville's Jenna Barrus.

"I still had a pretty good day," Jones said. "Personally, the 100 free was great for me. I was real happy when I saw the time, but I knew I'd be on the edge (for) making it to state."

Jones has qualified to state every season of her career with relays.

"I still get nervous, though," she said. "I got on the podium my freshmen year (as the 400 free relay placed third) when we were (in) Division II. Division I is a lot tougher, of course. It'd be really great to get there in Division I."