Pickerington High School North senior Billy Ross qualified for the Division I state swimming and diving meet in the 100-yard breaststroke for the third time. But for the first time, he is headed to state as a district champion.

Pickerington High School North senior Billy Ross qualified for the Division I state swimming and diving meet in the 100-yard breaststroke for the third time. But for the first time, he is headed to state as a district champion.

Ross, who placed sixth in the 100 breast last year in 58.17 seconds after finishing 12th (59.8) in 2008, won the event in 59:04 at the district meet last Saturday at Ohio State. He enters the state meet, which began last Wednesday and runs through Saturday at the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton, as the 10th seed.

"That was awesome," Ross said of winning the district title. "I've been wanting to do that ever since I first swam here. Since I was a freshman, that was my goal -- win district. It's an awesome feeling.

"Last year, I had a 103-degree fever, I think it was. I felt awful. This is one of the first (district meets) that I've felt fine."

Central also had a district champion and state qualifier, as Maddie Martin won the 100 butterfly in 56.51 seconds.

Ross also qualified for state in the 50 freestyle, placing fifth in 21:45, and as a member of the 200 free relay, which placed sixth in 1:29.69. He is seeded 13th at state in the 50 free and 23rd in the 200 free relay, which also features juniors Matt Riordan and Adam Ingram and sophomore Paul Hintz.

The top three finishers in each swimming event automatically qualified for state. Eleven at-large berths per swimming event also were awarded based on times statewide.

"There will be a lot of fast people there," Ross said. "Everyone's always trying to win, right?"

The swimming preliminaries at state begin at 9 a.m. Friday, with the finals beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday.

"He wants to swim his fastest time at state," coach Eric McFerin said of Ross. "All you can control in swimming is your time, so wherever that puts him, that will be great for him."

Also competing at district for the boys team were Hintz in the 50 free (22.7, 13th) and 100 free (48.93, 14th), Riordan in the 50 free (23.52, 27th), Matt Greene in the 100 breast (1:07.72, 27th) and 200 individual medley (2:21.08, 29th), Jimmy Ross in the 100 breast (1:08.33, 28th) and the 200 medley relay of Hintz, Jimmy Ross, Billy Ross and Riordan (1:42.59, 11th).

The Panthers scored 79 points to tie Dublin Jerome for 12th behind champion St. Charles (399.5). Upper Arlington (399) placed second, with New Albany (148), Olentangy Liberty (134) and Westerville Central (134) rounding out the top five.

Competing at district for the girls team were Katey Fisher in the 100 butterfly (1:00.18, eighth) and 100 backstroke (1:01.59, 15th), Logan Griffith in the 200 free (2:02.53, 17th) and 500 free (5:33.14, 18th), Sara Sams in the 100 breast (1:09.29, ninth) and 200 IM (2:14.88, ninth), Rachael Vacek in the 100 fly (1:02.15, 18th) and 200 IM (disqualified), Morgan Grodesky in the 50 free (25.75, 17th), 100 free (57.57, 25th), Jessica Kaiser in the 50 free (26.15, 23rd), Carlie Focke in the 100 breast (1:14.36, 27th), the 200 free relay of Griffith, Fisher, Kaiser and Grodesky (1:41.53, eighth), the 400 free relay of Griffith, Kaiser, Sams and Vacek (3:48.33, 11th) and the 200 medley relay of Fisher, Sams, Vacek and Grodesky (1:53.7, 11th).

North scored 77 points to finish 11th behind champion Upper Arlington (472). Watterson (286) was second, with Liberty (204), Dublin Coffman (183) and Dublin Scioto (163) rounding out the top five.

•For Central Martin, a freshman, qualified for state in the 100 butterfly after winning the event at district in 56.51.

"We knew coming up that she had the capability of doing this," coach Nicole Miller said. "We're just glad that she's exceeded our expectations of what we thought she could do. She's real laid-back until a championship meet, and then the tough girl comes out in her."

Martin is seeded third at state.

Also competing at district were Martin in the 100 free (53.93, seventh), Paige Martin in the 100 breast (1:09.3, 10th) and 100 fly (1:01.72, 13th), Lindsey Inkrott in the 100 back (1:00.65, 13th) and 500 free (5:36.68, 21st), Kelsey Culp in the 100 back (1:04.88, 27th), the 400 free relay team of Culp, Inkrott, Paige Martin and Maddie Martin (3:44.78, seventh) and the 200 medley relay of Inkrott, Maddie Martin, Paige Martin and Culp (1:52.12, ninth) and the 200 free relay of Culp, Alexis Fry, Annette Fairchild and Sydney Jones (1:57.09, 27th).

The girls team scored 89 points to place ninth.

The boys team did not have any district qualifiers.

At a glance

Below are the state qualifiers with district times and state seeds for the Central and North boys and girls swimming and diving teams:

CENTRAL GIRLS

Maddie Martin: 100 fly (56.51, third)

NORTH BOYS

Billy Ross: 50 free (21:45, 13th), 100 breast (59.04, 10th); 200 free relay (1:29.69, 23rd)