Only a sophomore, Columbus Academy's Anye Koné is making a second trip to the Division II state swimming and diving meet, which began Feb. 20 and concludes Friday, Feb. 22, at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
Koné helped lead the Vikings girls team to a second-place finish in the district meet Feb. 15 at Ohio State. Academy scored 333 points as Granville (457) won and 36 teams scored.
"Anye has a lot of experience in the pool," coach Craig Yakscoe said. "She carries that confidence behind the blocks with her and that perpetuates to the rest of the team. She doesn't swim like a sophomore."
Koné won the 50-yard freestyle (24.33 seconds) and finished second in the 100 free (54.16). She also anchored the second-place 200 medley (1:47.52) and 200 free (1:40.14) relays.
The top two placers in each swimming event automatically advanced to state. In addition, 16 at-large state berths were awarded for each swimming event based on times statewide. The top boys diver and top three girls divers advanced to state.
Koné is seeded ninth in the 50 free and 22nd in the 100 free at state.
Abby Wilson, India Sherman and Abby Brown joined Koné on the 200 medley relay and Brown, Sherman and Lauren Cullen were part of the 200 free relay.
The 200 medley relay is seeded third and the 200 free relay is seeded 12th at state.
"Coming in, I was confident that I would make it to state, but you're never for sure just because it's so unpredictable. But I was confident with my performance," Koné said.
Academy capped its day by winning the 400 free relay (3:41.38) while cutting about 12 seconds off its district seed time (3:53.8). Wilson anchored the relay, which also included Cullen, Sydney Brault and Sarah Campbell and is seeded 12th at state.
Last season at state, Koné was part of the fourth-place 200 medley (1:49.07) and sixth-place 200 free (1:38.94) relays. She finished 19th in the 50 free (25.01).
"This is a good feeling," she said of returning to state. "I don't discredit any older athletes that don't make it to state, but you definitely have to work for it and it turns out how it's supposed to."
Other state qualifiers for the girls were Brown in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.06, 12th seed) and 100 butterfly (56.66, seventh), Sherman in the 100 breast (1:07.97, 17th), Emma Watson in diving (382.5 points, ninth) and Wilson in the 200 free (1:54.02, sixth) and 100 backstroke (58.17, 10th).
The boys team finished fourth (129) at district behind champion Granville (332) as 36 teams scored.
Alec Wuorinen, Mitchell Dreisbach, Gavin Koerner and Andy Li were third in the 200 free relay (1:32.34), which is seeded 23rd at state.
"It was a fantastic day for everybody," Yakscoe said. "It was a phenomenal day for the boys also. Everybody dropped time. Everybody swam well."
Boys basketball team to open tournament
The second-seeded boys basketball team opens the Division III district tournament by playing host to 22nd-seeded East Knox in the first round at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23.
The Bulldogs are 5-16 overall and finished 3-11 in the MBC.
"Tournament time is different than anything else," coach Jeff Warstler said. "The way we shoot the ball sometimes, we can't take anyone lightly. We have to go out and defend."
The winner plays 21st-seeded Cardington in the second round at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, at the home of the highest seed. On the line will be a spot in a district semifinal March 5 at Delaware against sixth-seeded Worthington Christian, 10th-seeded West Jefferson or 17th-seeded Northridge.
The Vikings defeated Hartley 43-35 on Feb. 13 and lost to Bexley 55-47 on Feb. 15.
Against Hartley, forward Daniel Aronowitz scored 17 points and forward/post player Jonathan Kornberg scored 16.
Aronowitz scored 12 points and post player Aakaash Paladugu scored 10 against Bexley.
Academy was 16-5 overall before playing East Knox. The Vikings tied Granville for second in the MSL-Ohio Division at 11-3, behind champion Newark Catholic (13-1).
Bowling teams send three to district
The bowling teams qualified three competitors for the district tournaments at HP Lanes.
For the girls, senior Aly Rock advanced to district Saturday, Feb. 23, after placing 24th overall at sectional Feb. 15 at Eastland Lanes. Her 430 series earned her the fifth of nine district berths for individuals not on qualifying teams.
"I am very excited for her as she has worked very hard this year at her game," coach Dan Olexio said.
The girls finished 14th (2,487) in the 26-team sectional behind champion Lancaster (3,159) as the top nine teams advanced.
For the boys, sophomore Max Smith and freshman Aaron Brown qualified for district Friday, Feb. 22. At sectional Feb. 16, Smith was seventh (538) among the nine advancing individuals not on qualifying teams and 19th overall, and Brown (527) was the final individual qualifier and 23rd overall.
The boys tied Marion-Franklin for 18th (2,957) in the 30-team sectional behind champion Westerville South (3,766).
"The lanes were tough, as well as the competition," Olexio said. "We bowled slightly below our usual average, but our young boys team (with four freshmen among the six bowlers) gained some valuable experience in bowling under the pressure of sectionals."
The top three individuals not on qualifying teams at district advance to state at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl. The girls compete March 1 and the boys compete March 2.
Wrestling team places 12th at sectional
The wrestling team finished 12th (58) behind champion Amanda-Clearcreek (258) in a 14-team Division III sectional Feb. 15 and 16 at Madison Plains.
The top four individuals in each weight class advanced to district Friday, Feb. 22, and Saturday, Feb. 23, at Duncan Falls Philo.
Sophomore Dan Jones qualified by placing second at 195 pounds. He lost to Johnstown's Clayton Bullard by injury default in the final.
Academy's other district qualifier was Jeremy Schroeder, who was fourth at 152.
The top four individuals in each weight class at district will advance to state Feb. 28 through March 2 at Ohio State.
Also competing at sectional but failing to advance were Johnston Allinder (170, fifth, 3-2), Reed Clark (182, 0-2), Hirsch Hede (106, 0-2), Tim Leathery (138, 0-2), Taylor Smallridge (132, 0-2), Sam Wittman (126, sixth, 2-3) and Calvin Wuorinen (145, 1-2).
Girls basketball team loses in first round
The 18th-seeded girls basketball team lost to third-seeded and host Johnstown 79-24 in the first round of the Division III district tournament Feb. 16 to finish 3-19.
Post player Zaria McBride led the Vikings with 14 points.