In order to advance the 200-yard and 400 freestyle relays to the Division I state meet, all Westerville Central High School senior Haley Agee had to do was look at her teammates for inspiration.

In order to advance the 200-yard and 400 freestyle relays to the Division I state meet, all Westerville Central High School senior Haley Agee had to do was look at her teammates for inspiration.

Agee anchored Sally Thompson, Taylor Schwartz and Marissa Kramer to a third-place finish in the 200 free relay in 1 minute, 39.13 seconds and Thompson, Chelsea Staab and Schwartz to a fifth-place finish in the 400 free relay (3:38.69) at the district meet last Saturday in Ohio State's McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.

"Making the state meet in a relay is the greatest thing you can do," said Agee, whose 200 free relay is seeded eighth and 400 free relay is 20th. "You're not swimming for yourself any more. You're swimming for the three other girls."

The Warhawks finished eighth (136), Westerville North was 10th (82) and Westerville South was 14th (57) behind champion Upper Arlington (472) in the girls meet. The Warhawks tied Olentangy Liberty for fourth with 134 points in the boys meet while the Wildcats placed ninth (103) and the Warriors were 15th (73). St. Charles was first with 399.5 points, edging Upper Arlington (399).

The top three finishers in each swimming event automatically advance to the state meet, which began last Wednesday and concludes Saturday in Canton's C.T. Branin Natatorium. Additionally, there are 13 at-large berths given out statewide based on time. Preliminaries for the swimming events are Friday with the top 16 finishers advancing to the finals Saturday.

Also advancing were Schwartz (seeded 14th in the 100 backstroke after placing sixth at the district in 59.05) and Staab, (seeded 21st in the 100 back after placing eighth in 1:00.0).

Seniors Drew Thompson and Nick Schuttinger helped push the Central boys team to their best finish at the district meet. Schuttinger, who placed second in the state in the 100 butterfly (49.62) while competing for St. Charles last year, was second (50.6) to former teammate Sandy Whitaker (49.16) in the event at the district meet. Whitaker was seeded No. 1 and Schuttinger is No. 3 for the state meet. Schuttinger is also seeded 13th in the 100 free after placing fifth (47.06) at district.

Drew Thompson, who placed 11th in the 500 free (4:40.45) at last year's state meet, is seeded 11th in the 500 free after placing third (4:42.21) and 13th in the 200 free after finishing fourth (1:43.87) last Saturday.

Thompson, Schuttinger, John Whitaker and Atticus Jordan are seeded 21st in the 200 free relay after placing fifth (1:29.62)

"I never expected the boys to finish fourth overall," coach Ron Staab said. "The first half of the meet wasn't going the way I wanted it to, but everyone came through."

Thompson said he needs to work on finishing he can reach Saturday's finals. In the 500 free, Thompson was first in the event for the first 350 yards but couldn't hold on to his lead.

"Hopefully that last 150 will come together next week," Thompson said. "I'm one of a couple of the swimmers in the event who was not full (tapered) yet. I know I'm going to have another huge drop."

South coach Kevin Kissling said senior Alex Fout is the perfect illustration of what someone can accomplish with persistence. Fout failed to make the district as a freshman and was 29th in the 100 back (1:00.27) at the district as a sophomore. However, he will complete his career at the state meet.

Fout is seeded 12th in the 50 free after finishing fourth (21.44) at the district meet. Fout, Jared Higdon, Dustin Chan and Hasso Opitz are seeded 20th in the 200 free relay after placing fourth (1:29.59) last Saturday.

Riley Buer, who is seeded 15th in the100 breaststroke after placing third (1:07.03) at the district meet, is the girls team's lone representative.

"I was really proud of the kids," Kissling said. "Kids surprised themselves with how much time they dropped."

Fout dropped nearly .75 of a second from his sectional time to earn an at-large berth.

"This has been my dream since I started swimming," Fout said. "I knew I wanted to go under 22 for sure, but I can't believe I went as fast as I did."

It took North's Jenn Bichsel 59.79 seconds to finish seventh in the 100 backstroke. It took another 24 hours to find out if that time was good enough to return her to the state meet.

Bichsel, who was 24th in the 100 back (1:01.88) at the state meet last year, grabbed an at-large berth and was seeded 19th. Bichsel, Elizabeth Roche, Rachel Jackson and Lindsey Criswell are seeded 23rd in the 200 medley relay after placing seventh (1:51.62) last Saturday.

"(Returning to the state meet) means everything. That's pretty much what I worked for," said Bichsel, who has qualified for the state meet every year. "I told the girls on the relay who haven't been there before, making the state meet is an accomplishment in itself. You need to have fun, but swim your heart out. There is no where else you can go after this.

At a glance

Below are the state qualifiers with district result and state seed for the Central, North and South boys and girls swimming and diving teams:

CENTRAL

Boys -- Nick Schuttinger: 100 butterfly (50.06, second, third), 100 free (47.06, fifth, 13th); Drew Thompson: 200 free (1:43.87, fourth, 13th), 500 free (4:42.21, third, 11th); 200 free relay: (1:29.62, fifth, 21st); Girls -- Taylor Schwartz: 100 back (59.05, sixth, 14th); Chelsea Staab: 100 back (1:00.0, eighth, 21st); 200 free relay (1:39.13, third, eighth); 400 free relay (3:38.69, fifth, 20th)

Others who competed at the district were: Boys -- Dan Fay: 100 back (58.71, 19th), 100 butterfly (57.37, 19th); Spencer Harris: Diving (269.05, 12th); Atticus Jordan: 500 free (5:03.79, 12th), 100 butterfly: (55.512, 14th); Jared Kay: 200 IM (2:21.27, 30th); John Whitaker: 100 breast (1:03.52, 18th), 100 butterfly (56.07, 16th); 400 free relay (3:19.37, fifth); 200 medley relay (1:51.79, 16th); Girls -- Adrienne Agee: 50 free (25.92, 19th), 100 breast (1:13.32, 25th); Haley Agee: 50 free (24.81, seventh); Morgan Johnson: Diving (111.45, 25th); Marissa Kramer: 100 breast (1:12.94, 23rd), 100 butterfly (1:01.91, 15th); Chloe Meririss: Diving (118.7, 23rd); Shannon Mudd: 200 IM (2:21.07, 16th), 100 back (1:04.64, 26th); Alanna Paynter: 100 back (1:04.3, 25th), 100 butterfly (1:02.24, 19th); Chelsea Staab: 500 free (5:09.14, sixth), 100 back (1:03.52, 14th); Sally Thompson: 100 free (54.04, eighth); Paige Walters: 200 IM (2:29.66, 28th); 200 medley relay (1:2.99, 10th)

NORTH

Boys -- No qualifiers; Girls -- Jenn Bichsel: 100 back (59.79, seventh, 19th); 200 medley relay (1:51.62, seventh, 23rd)

Others who competed at the district were: Boys -- Erick Bey: 50 free (23.72, 30th); Kyle Bey: 50 free (23.38, 24th), 100 free (51.05, 28th); Shane Daugherty: 50 free (22.77, 15th); Danny Donovan: 100 back (1:02.93, 30th), 200 IM (2:17.82, 24th); Kevin Duhl: Diving (317.65, eighth); Austin O'Connor: Diving (272.3, 11th); Conor O'Rourke: 200 free (1:52.85, 20th), 100 back: (57.12, 14th); Evan Straw: 100 breast (1:03.65, 19th); 200 free relay: (1:32.41, 10th); 400 free relay (3:22.99, 10th); 200 medley relay (1:40.77, seventh); Girls -- Jenn Bichsel: 50 free (25.09, 10th); Lindsey Criswell: 50 free (26.46, 26th), 100 free: (57.73, 26th); Mary Dybdahl: Diving (344.85, seventh); Rachel Jackson: 100 back (1:03.33, 21st), 100 butterfly (59.65, seventh); Lauren Kosanovich: 100 butterfly (1:06.25, 28th); Devoney Miller: 50 free (26.32, 25th), 100 free (57.94, 28th); Elizabeth Roche: 100 breast (1:11.0, 16th), 200 IM (2:27.24, 24th); Tory Speakman: 100 back (1:06.97, 30th), 100 butterfly (1:04.16, 24th); 200 free relay (1:49.55, 17th); 400 free relay (3:52.09, 10th)

SOUTH

Boys -- Alex Fout: 50 free (21.44, fourth, 12th); 200 free relay (1:29.59, fourth, 20th); Girls -- Riley Buer: 100 breast (1:07.03, third, 15th)

Others who competed at the district were: Boys -- Cade Buer: 200 IM (2:14.93, 23rd); Dustin Chan: 100 butterfly (58.08, 22nd); Jack Dunlope: 500 free (5:20.84, 26th); Alex Fout: 100 free (48.34, 10th); Jared Higdon: 100 back (56.32, 11th), 100 butterfly (53.2, eighth); Benson Jung: 200 free (1:59.15, 30th), 100 breast (1:07.2, 24th); Hasso Opitz: 50 free (22.87, 18th); Matt Stiltner: Diving (177.5); 400 free relay (3:19.88, sixth); 200 medley relay (1:47.68, 18th); Girls -- Riley Buer: 200 IM (2:14.01, seventh); Lizzie Gauen: 50 free (25.22, 12th), 100 free (59.18, 30th); Hannah Markle: 100 free (56.09, 19th), 200 free (2:03.45, 21st); Taylor McKinney: Diving (272.3, 15th); Nikki Miser: Diving (97.9, 31st); Megan Sweet: 200 IM (2:33.38, 29th); Trisha Tee: 200 IM (2:24.14, 21st); 200 free relay (1:48.56, 14th); 400 free relay (3:48.64, 12th); 200 medley relay (1:56.09, 14th)