Olivia Ball of the Olentangy Liberty High School girls swimming and diving team knew she couldn't make any glaring errors and still contend for the diving title in the Division I state meet that concluded Feb. 25 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.

Olivia Ball of the Olentangy Liberty High School girls swimming and diving team knew she couldn't make any glaring errors and still contend for the diving title in the Division I state meet that concluded Feb. 25 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.

The sophomore focused on staying consistent and that strategy paid dividends, as she scored 493.2 points to place first ahead of Hudson senior Taryn McLaughlin (489.4) and Centerville senior Morgan Mullins (481.9).

"I didn't have one amazing dive to win it; I was just very consistent," said Ball, whose squad scored 41 points to place 16th of the 55 teams that scored as Upper Arlington (300.5) won its eighth consecutive state title. "I knew that Morgan, Taryn and my two teammates were going to be tough to beat and it would come down to whoever was more consistent, so I just concentrated on making each dive."

Ball followed in the footsteps of 2011 Liberty graduate Kellie Carmendy, who won a Division I state diving title in 2010.

"This feels amazing," Ball said. "It's an honor because it's such a big title to be a state champion. I'm excited that my name will always be in the state records and in Olentangy Liberty's gymnasium."

Senior Alex Clay placed fifth (458.1) and sophomore Brittany Menninger finished 10th (432.95) in diving.

Junior Olivia Bently finished 17th in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1 minute, 6.73 seconds.

"I'm so happy that I ended my high school career on a positive note," said Clay, a Stanford recruit. "I was fifth at state my sophomore year, too, but I'm happy I was fifth again because the competition has increased since that season. I was really happy with my front double pike because it's been a problem for me in the past, but I really nailed it.

"Brittany was discouraged because she was a little off the whole meet, but she did great for it being her first state meet and she's only going to get better in the future."

Liberty's season included its fifth league title in six years.

The Patriots scored 281 points to win the OCC-Cardinal Division meet, which was held Jan. 27 and 28 at the Union County YMCA, ahead of Westerville Central (245), Dublin Jerome (226), Olentangy (156.5), Westerville South (147.5), Marysville (114), Westerville North (94) and Dublin Scioto (92).

Ball scored 477.9 points to win diving ahead of Menninger (440.3) and Clay (430.25).

Senior Ashleigh Rissmeyer, Bently, freshman Caroline Racke and junior Cameron Hiltner won the 200 medley relay in 1:56.91.

Liberty outscored Central 31-4 in the 100 backstroke as Rissmeyer (1:06.86), senior Audrey Penza (1:07.36), freshman Madelyn Miller (1:07.99) and sophomore Makenzie Karr (1:08.46) finished fifth through eighth.

The Patriots outscored Central 20-7 in the 100 breast as Bently (first, 1:08.19) and freshman Bailee Braun (ninth, 1:14.72) scored.

Liberty also outscored Central 28-16 in the 200 individual medley as Hiltner (third, 2:18.7), Braun (sixth, 2:25.41) and Penza (seventh, 2:26.22) scored.

In a sectional meet Feb. 11 at the Union County YMCA, Liberty finished second (316) behind Dublin Coffman (333).

Hiltner won the 500 free in 5:25.51 and the 200 free in 2:00.18.

Placing second were Bently in the 200 IM (2:19.38) and 100 breast (1:08.59), and Rissmeyer, Bently, Racke and Hiltner in the 200 medley relay (1:54.94).

The Patriots then scored 128 points to finish seventh of the 27 teams that scored at district Feb. 18 at Ohio State, behind champion UA (522).

Ball scored 482.85 points to win diving ahead of Clay (479.3) and Menninger (462.3), and Bently finished seventh in the 100 breast in 1:06.54.

"All of our girls had an incredible amount of improvement, and we've got almost everyone coming back, so I think we'll have a good team again next year," coach Laurie Karr said.

•The boys team scored 135 points to finish sixth in the OCC-Cardinal meet behind Jerome (253), Central (215), Olentangy (190), Scioto (163) and North (141) and ahead of South (132) and Marysville (96).

Junior Joseph McConaghy finished third (1:07.19) in the 100 breast.

The Patriots placed fifth (226) in the Union County YMCA sectional behind champion Jerome (343).

Placing third for the Patriots were sophomore Tommy Dawson, McConaghy, junior Matthew Lennon and senior Anton Rosi in the 200 medley relay (1:47.66), senior Nathan Blaine in the 500 free (5:07.64) and Dawson in the 100 breast (56.86).

Liberty then finished 20th (20) of the 26 teams that scored at district, behind champion UA (435).

Freshman Alex Kowal scored 434.7 points to finish fourth in diving, one spot from qualifying for state.

"Everybody on our boys team improved and most of our boys are coming back, so we're looking forward to next year," Karr said.