The Olentangy school district has established a tradition of success in the Division I state diving meet over the past 12 seasons. Olentangy Liberty senior Kellie Carmendy won the state title in 2010, and Olentangy graduate Carrie McCambridge captured state championships in 1999, 2001 and 2002, and finished second in 2000.

The Olentangy school district has established a tradition of success in the Division I state diving meet over the past 12 seasons. Olentangy Liberty senior Kellie Carmendy won the state title in 2010, and Olentangy graduate Carrie McCambridge captured state championships in 1999, 2001 and 2002, and finished second in 2000.

Liberty junior Alex Clay will try to become the third girl from the district to win a state diving title when she competes in the Division I state meet at Canton's C.T. Branin Natatorium. The event begins Thursday, Feb. 24, with the diving competition and concludes Saturday, Feb. 26, with the swimming finals.

Clay finished fifth (402.15 points) in last year's state meet behind Carmendy (418.65).

Carmendy, an Ohio State recruit, chose to compete in the USA Diving Winter National Preliminary meet on Jan. 30-31 at the University of Iowa instead of diving for her high school team in the postseason.

Liberty senior diver Ali Swafford also will compete at state after finishing 24th (149.5) at state a year ago.

"A lot of great divers have come out of our (school district) and I'm going to do my best to try to follow in their footsteps and continue their legacy," Clay said.

"I quit competing in gymnastics this year so I could concentrate on diving, and I realized I should be going for a state championship after I finished second (with 428.4 points) in the Northeast Invitational (on Jan. 15 in Canton behind Cuyahoga Falls' Haleigh Bartlett, who scored 456.2 points).

"That's what made me realize that I could be competitive with the best divers in the state."

Clay finished first in the district meet Feb. 19 at Ohio State with a career-high 448.2 points, ahead of runner-up Maggie Heller (408.9) of Dublin Jerome, Upper Arlington's Jordan Russell (407.45) and Swafford (406.3). Liberty scored 145 points at district to finish sixth behind champion Upper Arlington (505) and ahead of 18th-place Olentangy (18) and 21st-place Orange (8).

Clay is seeded fifth behind Centerville's Morgan Mullins (480.05), Avon Lake's Morgan Srail (478.95), Bartlett (471.2) and Solon's Sivan Mills (462.2). Swafford is seeded 15th.

"I've been training 15 hours or more per week and I think I just stepped up my game and wanted it more than the other girls," Clay said. "I was more consistent than usual. Getting top five at state again would be great, but I'm hoping I can get better than fifth. I think I can do well as long as I hit all of my dives. It will be a big challenge, but I think I'll be up for it."

Liberty's boys team finished seventh (123) in the Division I district meet behind champion Upper Arlington (432). Orange didn't score.

Senior Dmitry Dolgov won the 200-yard individual medley in 1 minute, 54.25 seconds ahead of runner-up Christopher Depietro (1:55.02) of Lancaster. He finished second in the 100 breast (58.61) behind Adam Rabe (58.29) of Upper Arlington.

"My times were pretty good, but I think I could have done better in the 100 breast," Dolgov said.

At state a year ago, Dolgov placed ninth in the 200 IM in 1:57.01 and finished 10th in the 100 breast in 59.49.

He is seeded 12th in the 100 breast and fourth in the 200 IM for state.

"I'd definitely like to make the podium (top eight), but we'll see," Dolgov said. "My dad (seven-time Soviet national backstroke champion Vladimir Dolgov) says I could go a 57 in the 100 breast. I'm just going to try to drop time and see where that puts me."

Olentangy's boys team finished third (202) in the Division II district meet behind Granville (256) and Columbus Academy (209).

Senior Trevor Askins won the 200 free in a district-record time of 1:43.44 ahead of Conrad Wuorinen (1:45.21) of Academy.

Askins, who is seeded fifth for state, is aiming for what coach Steve Gipe said is Jay Haney's program-record time of 1:53.03.

"My goal is to break our school record and make the state podium for the first time," Askins said.

Askins, William Paull, Greg Guidarelli and Eric Evans also placed second in the 400 free relay (3:21.16) behind Academy (3:14.71) and are seeded 10th for state.

"We absolutely still have some time to give, so we definitely have a shot at making the podium," Gipe said.

AT A GLANCE

Below are the state qualifiers with district result and state seed for the Liberty, Olentangy and Orange boys and girls swimming and diving teams:

LIBERTY

Boys - Dmitry Dolgov: 100 breast (58.61, 12th), 200 IM (1:54.25, fourth); Alan Thornhill: 50 free (21.82, 20th); 400 free relay (3:15.63, 15th);

Girls - Alex Clay: diving (448.2, fifth); Taylor McCabe: 100 breast (1:06.94, 18th); Ali Swafford: diving (406.3, 24th); 200 medley relay (1:50.93, 19th)

Others who competed at district: Boys - Nathan Blaine: 200 free (1:56.01, 22nd), 500 free (5:16.11, 26th); Tommy Dawson: 200 free (1:56.65, 23rd), 100 back (59.52, 19th); Matthew Lennon: 50 free (22.61, 15th), 100 free (49.58, 14th); Matthew McMahon: 100 free (51.06, 23rd), 200 free (1:51.01, 15th); Thornhill: 100 fly (54.15, 13th); 200 free relay (1:29.45, sixth); 200 medley relay (1:49.85, 16th); Girls - Olivia Bentley: 200 free (2:05.65, 22nd), 100 breast (1:09.55, 16th); Samantha Gaiss: 500 free (5:25.87, 12th), 100 fly (1:00.58, 13th); Erin Groves: 50 free (26.52, 27th), 100 back (1:01.28, 18th); Kendall Haas: 50 free (26.95, 30th); Cameron Hiltner: 200 free (2:03.43, 17th), 500 free (5:25.83, 11th); Alexa Kaufman: 200 free (1:56.92, ninth), 500 free (5:14.96, seventh); McCabe: 200 IM (2:13.58, 11th); Audrey Penza: 100 back (1:03.76, 26th), 200 IM (2:18.42, 14th); Katelyn Penza: 200 free (2:06.53, 23rd), 500 free (5:42.41, 26th); Ashleigh Rissmeyer: 100 back (1:01.73, 19th), 100 fly (1:04.12, 26th); 200 free relay (1:46.39, 12th); 400 free relay (3:46.58, 13th)

OLENTANGY

Boys - Trevor Askins: 200 free (1:43.44, fifth), 100 fly (52.58, 10th); Eric Evans: 100 breast (1:01.82, 14th), 200 IM (2:04.43, 24th); 400 free relay (3:21.16, 10th); 200 medley relay (1:42.1, 14th); Girls - None

Others who competed at district: Boys - Quentin Bowden: 100 free (53.92, 28th), 100 breast (1:10.85, 24th); Colby Brothers: 200 free (2:04.06, 28th), 500 free (disqualified); Aaron Diestler: 100 back (59.43, ninth), 500 free (4:58.71, fourth); Greg Guidarelli: 100 free (50.06, ninth), 50 free (22.7, seventh); William Paull: 200 free (1:54.31, 15th), 500 free (5:08.41, eighth); 200 free relay (1:38.68, 13th); Girls - Madeline Alexander: diving (279.25, 14th); Kaitlin Hetterscheidt: 500 free (5:49.9, 26th); Julie Jefferis: diving (330.5, ninth); Victoria Langwasser: 100 breast (1:08.46, 11th), 200 IM (2:23.52, 21st); Colleen McHugh: diving (114.65, 22nd); Mara Nebraska: 100 breast (1:12.18, 19th), 200 IM (2:22.51, 18th); Madison Wolfe: 100 back (1:00.93, 15th), 100 fly (1:01.31, 17th); 200 free relay (1:48.71, 13th); 200 medley relay (1:58.15, 16th)

ORANGE

Boys - None; Girls - None

Others who competed at district: Boys - Brad Haney: 100 back (1:02.03, 26th); Robert McHale: 100 fly (58.26, 25th); 200 free relay (1:39.13, 16th); 400 free relay (3:42.12, 17th). Girls - Kaitlin Milburn: 200 free (2:07.85, 26th), 500 free (5:36, 18th); Brooke Pulkrabek: 200 IM (2:25.18, 23rd); 200 free relay (1:37.57, 17th); 400 free relay (3:37.66, 18th); 200 medley relay (2:08.6, 26th)