Swimming & Diving - State Meet

Upper Arlington finishes second again despite record-breaking relay performance

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CANTON — For the second consecutive year, the Upper Arlington High School girls swimming and diving team came up one place short of a Division I state championship.

But it wasn’t for a lack of trying.

The 200-yard freestyle relay set a new state record in 1 minutes, 33.87 seconds, Gracie Long was second in the 100 free (49.93) and fourth in the 200 free (1:48.67), and Jenny Smith was second in the 200 IM (2:02.6) and third in the 500 free (4:52.97). Still, Cincinnati Ursuline got the better of UA again, amassing 281 points to UA’s 264, as 52 teams scored at Branin Natatorium.

Ursuline snapped UA’s eight-year title streak in 2013.

“We’ve been talking for a week now that (the outcome of the meet) could very well come down to the last relay. It almost did,” Bears coach Dan Peterkoski said before discussing the 200 free relay. “It (that record) was something we talked about and thought we had a shot at. For us to be able to win that one was very special.”

Central Ohio got another top-10 team, as Thomas Worthington finished eighth (96). The Cardinals’ Kaylee Witkiewicz was third in the 50 free (23.77) and helped the 200 medley relay to second (1:44.67).

On the boys side, Cincinnati St. Xavier won its sixth consecutive title and 35th overall, scoring 255 points to finish ahead of Toledo St. Francis (238), as 61 teams scored. Dublin Coffman was eighth (79) and Upper Arlington was ninth (74).

Other top area performers were UA’s Thomas Trace, who won the boys 50 free (20.61) and was second in the 100 back (49.36); and Westerville North’s Mason Miller, who won the boys 100 butterfly (48.32) and was third in the 100 free (45.51).

Olentangy Liberty diver Olivia Ball won her third consecutive Division I state title, scoring 553.85 points to outdistance runner-up Estee Pryor of New Albany (521). New Albany freshman Nikki Watters was third (486.1).

Ball, a Georgia signee, and Pryor shattered two records — the state mark of 517.65 set by Upper Arlington’s Abby Johnston in 2007, and Ball’s state tournament record of 493.2 from two years ago. Ball also broke the pool record (542.85), set by Canton McKinley’s Ann Kelley in 1988.

“I was just trying to keep as calm as I could, then I finally realized what I had done. It’s just exciting,” Ball said. “If I look at my scores, it psyches me out. I didn’t know what I needed or what the score was, really.”

Politi, Donley lead Unicorns in Division II meet

In the Division II finals Feb. 21, Columbus School for Girls’ Rachel Politi finished second in the 100 butterfly (55.63) to lead the area. Politi also helped the Unicorns’ 200 free relay to second (1:36.83) with Erin Balasky, Miranda Donley and Eleanor Smith.

Village Academy’s Reed McCraw was third in the boys 200 IM. Donley was fourth in the 50 free (23.43).

The Unicorns were sixth (146) behind champion Gates Mills Hawken (217) as 49 teams scored.

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