Olentangy Valley News

Boys Swimming & Diving

Liberty features talent, experience, potential

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The Olentangy Liberty High School boys swimming and diving team enjoyed perhaps its best season in 2010-11, winning an OCC-Cardinal Division title and finishing 21st in the Division I state meet.

Senior captain Tommy Dawson, who was a freshman on that squad, said this is the most talent and experience the Patriots have had since.

"This has the potential to be the best team we've had since my freshman year," Dawson said. "We have a lot more guys on our team this year and we're dropping our times left and right. We've added some new kids and everyone on our team is improving."

On Dec. 7, Liberty opened by finishing 13th (109 points) in the Ned Reeb Invitational at Ohio State behind champion Cincinnati St. Xavier (485) as 44 squads scored.

In diving, sophomore Cameron Thatcher placed second (511.4 points) and junior Alex Kowal was ninth (403).

Sophomore Jack Saczawa finished fourth in the 100-yard backstroke (53.15 seconds) and 11th in the 100 butterfly (54.42), and Dawson was sixth in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.07).

Saczawa, Dawson, junior captain Matt Helton and junior Nicholas Tracewell also were 12th in the 200 medley relay (1:42.34).

Sophomore Jeremy Karr also has returned for the Patriots, who have added talented move-ins from Japan in sophomore Takezo Fishburn and Ukraine in junior Mykola Artemenko.

"Our boys team is more talented, deep and experienced than it has been in a few years," coach Laurie Karr said. "Tom Dawson is a strong leader. Jack Saczawa is really talented and Tracewell has worked hard to become a sprinter. Our two move-ins have helped our depth a lot, too."

The Patriots finished second (229) in the OCC-Central meet last season behind Upper Arlington (428). They then placed fourth at sectional and seventh at district, where Thatcher finished second (528.45) in diving, Saczawa was sixth in the 100 back (53.45) and Dawson took fifth in the 100 breast (59.66).

Saczawa, Dawson, 2013 graduate Matt Lennon and Tracewell also placed sixth in the 200 medley relay in a team-record 1:39.82.

At state, Thatcher placed sixth in diving (468.2), Saczawa finished 20th in the 100 back (53.99) and Dawson finished 24th in the 100 breast (1:00.88).

"A lot of us have goals of placing high at district and swimming in the state meet and we're working hard toward those goals," Dawson said.

Pioneers feature 'dedicated bunch'

Juniors Andrew Haidet, Carson Miller and Ric Reynolds have returned to lead Orange, which didn't score in the Ned Reeb Invitational.

Last season at sectional, Miller set team records while placing 26th in the 200 freestyle (1:54.52) and 28th in the 100 free (51.56).

At district, Reynolds, 2013 graduate Alex Chugh, Haidet and Miller placed 20th in the 200 free relay (team-record 1:38.78) and 18th in the 400 free relay (team-record 3:33.6).

Reynolds also set team records while finishing 19th in the 50 free (23.13) and 23rd in the 100 back (1:01.56).

Other top performers for Orange are seniors Robert McHale and Skyler Siles, junior Tommy Zabonik and sophomores Jacob Christofi, Matthew Gallegos, Matthew Hu, Ben Messner and Rio Siles.

"With 20 boys this is the biggest team we've ever had and this is a very dedicated bunch," coach Dan Harris said.

The Pioneers finished fourth (166) in the OCC-Capital meet last season behind champion New Albany (335) and then placed seventh at sectional and failed to score at district.

"We're going to use the conference meet to measure where we're at and get ready for sectional and district," Harris said.

Braves start strong at Ned Reeb

Olentangy finished 14th (101) in the Ned Reeb Invitational.

Junior Keanan Fomich finished eighth in the 200 free (1:48.19) and ninth in the 100 back (55.08), junior Tyler Norris placed 12th in the 200 free (1:47.72) and sophomore Winston Kuriger finished 18th in the 200 individual medley (2:04.09).

Junior Andrew Davis, Fomich, Kuriger and Norris placed seventh in the 200 free relay (1:30.69) and ninth in the 400 free relay (3:20.96).

"I feel like our team is closer this year and we're starting to peak in our training," Norris said. "We're all dropping time and we beat our school record in the 200 free relay here."

After finishing second (274) in the OCC-Capital meet last season, the Braves took sixth at sectional and 17th at district, where Norris placed eighth in the 200 free (1:45.19) and 500 free (4:50.19).

Fomich, Kuriger, 2013 graduate Mitchell Newman and Norris also finished 12th in the 200 medley relay (1:46.16).

"We almost won the OCC last year, so we probably can win it if we swim well this year," Fomich said. "Qualifying for state is definitely the main thing on our minds, and I think we can improve upon our times and make it there if we keep working hard."

Schedules

LIBERTY

Dec. 7 -- Ned Reeb Invitational at Ohio State

Dec. 13 -- Dive meet at Thomas Worthington

Dec. 14 -- NEK Pancreatic Cancer Crush at Westerville Community Center (diving) and Thomas Worthington (swimming)

Dec. 21 -- Delaware County Classic at Ohio Wesleyan

Dec. 27 -- Mount Vernon at Kenyon College

Jan. 3 -- DeSales and Reynoldsburg at TBA

Jan. 4 -- Dive meet at New Albany

Jan. 17 -- Delaware and Olentangy at Delaware YMCA

Jan. 18 -- Westerville North and Westerville South at TBA

Jan. 24-25 -- OCC-Central meet at TBA

OLENTANGY

Dec. 7 -- Ned Reeb Invitational at Ohio State

Dec. 14 -- NEK Pancreatic Cancer Crush at Westerville Community Center (diving) and Thomas Worthington (swimming)

Dec. 20 -- at Columbus Academy

Dec. 28 -- Orange at Delaware YMCA

Jan. 4 -- Dive meet at New Albany

Jan. 11 -- Olentangy-Hilliard Showdown at TBA

Jan. 17 -- Delaware and Liberty at Delaware YMCA

Jan. 24 -- Hartley at Delaware YMCA

Jan. 24-25 -- OCC-Capital meet at TBA

Jan. 31-Feb. 1 -- Ken Gipe Relays at Port Clinton

ORANGE

Dec. 7 -- Ned Reeb Invitational at Ohio State

Dec. 13 -- Dive meet at Thomas Worthington

Dec. 14 -- North Robinson Colonel Crawford Relays

Dec. 20 -- Westerville Central at Westerville Community Center

Dec. 21 -- Delaware County Classic at Ohio Wesleyan

Dec. 28 -- Olentangy at Delaware YMCA

Jan. 4 -- Marysville at Union County YMCA

Jan. 10 -- Wellington at TBA

Jan. 11 -- Olentangy-Hilliard Showdown at TBA

Jan. 17 -- Centennial at Columbus Aquatics Center

Jan. 24-25 -- OCC-Capital meet at TBA

Jan. 31-Feb. 1 -- Ken Gipe Relays at Port Clinton

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