Although the Division I girls state swimming and diving meet tends to be dominated by Upper Arlington - the Golden Bears won their eighth consecutive championship last weekend - Pickerington High School Central's Maddie Martin still found room to shine.

Although the Division I girls state swimming and diving meet tends to be dominated by Upper Arlington - the Golden Bears won their eighth consecutive championship last weekend - Pickerington High School Central's Maddie Martin still found room to shine.

Martin, a junior, captured her third consecutive 100-yard butterfly title on Feb. 25 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. She won in 54.27 seconds, edging runner-up Claire Van Fossen of UA by 1.48, but had no idea of her margin of victory right away.

"Actually I couldn't see anyone when I am swimming. I had no idea where she was," Martin said of Van Fossen. "It definitely made me nervous coming in and trying to win it again. I tried not to let the pressure get to me because I tend to do worse. No one really puts pressure on me but myself."

The race was considerably closer than last year, when Martin's state-record time of 53.34 was 3.35 ahead of second-place Van Fossen.

"She's very nice," Van Fossen said. "If anyone was to beat me, I'm glad it's her."

Martin also was ninth in the 100 freestyle (52.25) and helped the 200 medley relay finish 15th (1:51.61) with her older sister, senior Paige Martin, senior Lindsey Inkrott and sophomore Ashley Stewart. As happy as Maddie Martin was with her individual victory, the subject of Paige graduating made both emotional.

"We've swam together for the last 10 years and next year she is going to be gone," said Maddie, whose younger sister, Sidney, swam varsity this season as a freshman.

"It was a really fun experience for all of us. It's our last year that all of us are going to be together, so it's really emotional," Paige said. "Before the race it's not too hard to keep those emotions in check because we're really focused and stuff. But afterward, like right now, I am having a hard time holding myself together."

Inkrott finished 21st in the 100 backstroke (58.71).

Those departures, as well as those of seniors Kaylynn Fulton and Rachel Kramer, made coach Nicole Miller wistful at district. But as the Tigers waited for news of whether their 400 free relay would qualify for state - it did not after finishing eighth (school-record 3:41.16) - Miller also was optimistic about the future of the boys program, whose numbers she hopes are on the rise.

"This was a good group," Miller said. "Central kind of had a reign for these last couple years because we had such strong swimmers and it's like the end of an era. It's bittersweet."

The girls scored 33 points at state to finish 18th behind UA (300.5). At district Feb. 18 at Ohio State, they were eighth (115) behind champion UA (522).

The Tigers also were fourth (132) in the Feb. 11 sectional at UA behind the champion Golden Bears (446).

Central's girls set two other school records at district. The 200 medley relay's qualifying time of 1:49.85 was .15 faster than the record set in 2011, and Inkrott broke her 100 back record of 59.06 from 2011 with a 58.26.

The Tigers finished third in the OCC-Ohio Division meet Jan. 28, scoring 220 points to place behind champion Gahanna (241) and Pickerington North (238.5) and ahead of Grove City (198), Reynoldsburg (174.5), Lancaster (126) and Newark (1).

•The North boys got 14th-place finishes at state from the 200 medley relay (1:38.4) and sophomore Jacob Griffith in the 100 fly (51.8). Griffith participated on the 200 medley relay with seniors Paul Hintz and James Ross and classmate Andrew Martin, and on the 400 free relay that finished 23rd (3:17.99) with Martin, Hintz and sophomore Justin Mathews.

Martin was 22nd in the 100 back (53.99).

Junior Sara Sams of the girls team was 19th in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.04).

The Panthers boys scored nine points to tie for 36th behind champion Cincinnati St. Xavier (297.5), while the girls did not score.

North loses four seniors on the boys team - Nathan DeGeeter, Matthew Hamrick, Hintz and Ross - and two girls, Jessica Lumbard and Rachel Pearce. Hintz also advanced to state with the 200 free relay each of the past two years. It finished 23rd two years ago and 20th last year.

Six of the Panthers' nine returning district qualifiers - Griffith, Mathews, Kelly Mason, Durkin Ross, Meghan Terry and Clay White - are sophomores. The others are freshman Emily Howell and juniors Sams and Joshua Harris.

That should help the Panthers be favored to contend for the OCC-Ohio championship again next year. While the girls' string of three consecutive league titles was snapped by Gahanna this year, the boys won their second consecutive title, scoring 365 points to finish ahead of Gahanna (227), Lancaster (211), Grove City (151), Reynoldsburg (116), Central (80) and Newark (5).

The girls were fifth (100) in the UA sectional and 12th (59) at district. The boys were fourth (107) at sectional behind champion UA (397.5) and sixth (128) at district behind champion UA (435).

At a glance

CENTRAL GIRLS

•Finishes: Third (220) in OCC-Ohio, fourth (132) at sectional, eighth (115) at district, 18th (33) at state

•Seniors lost: Kaylynn Fulton, Lindsey Inkrott, Rachel Kramer and Paige Martin

•Key returnees: Maddie Martin, Sidney Martin and Ashley Stewart

NORTH

•Finishes: Boys - First (365) in OCC-Ohio, fourth (107) at sectional, sixth (128) at district, tied for 36th (9) at state; Girls - Second (238.5) in OCC-Ohio, fifth (100) at sectional, 12th (59) at district, didn't score at state

•Seniors lost: Boys - Nathan DeGeeter, Matthew Hamrick, Paul Hintz and James Ross; Girls - Jessica Lumbard and Rachel Pearce

•Key returnees: Boys - Jacob Griffith, Joshua Harris, Justin Mathews, Durkin Ross and Clay White; Girls - Emily Howell, Kelly Mason, Sara Sams and Meghan Terry