Nerves may have cost Abby DiSabato of the Westerville South High School girls swimming and diving team a spot at the Division I state meet last year.

Nerves may have cost Abby DiSabato of the Westerville South High School girls swimming and diving team a spot at the Division I state meet last year.

She placed sixth (369.15 points) at district as the top five qualified. But DiSabato put that experience to work for her as she finished fourth (424.2) at district last Friday at Ohio State, earning her state berth.

She is seeded fifth for the diving competition today at Branin Natatorium in Canton. The state meet will end Saturday.

"Last year I was so nervous on every single dive," DiSabato said. "One of my coaches said to just go out there and have fun. Picture yourself like you're at practice. That's exactly what I did. I wasn't shaking at all."

DiSabato, who will be joined at state by teammate Jenna Lindner, has the highest seed among the Westerville state qualifiers.

At district, Westerville Central was sixth (128 points) in the girls field, Westerville North was eighth (88) and South was 11th (74) behind champion Upper Arlington (604). In the boys competition, South finished 11th (71), North was 16th (48) and Central was 18th (43) behind champion St. Charles (496).

"I'm really proud of Abby," South coach Kevin Kissling said. "The spot wasn't given to her, she earned it."

Lindner finished third in the 200-yard freestyle in 1 minute, 53.16 seconds and earned an at-large berth for the 500 free after placing fifth (5:07.39).

"I knew I could do it, " said Lindner, who was 23rd (1:58.7) in the 200 free at last year's state meet. "I just kind of went after it and didn't give it up."

"The good news is she is going to do even better (at state)," Kissling said. "It's tough to do well walking in there your first time. She's going to carry that experience with her."

Last year, Central junior Haley Agee felt like she and classmate Kimi Kentner were guaranteed a free pass to the state because they were on three relays with three state qualifiers. This year she wasn't so sure.

Agee ended up making it in four events. Taylor Schwartz, Agee, Kentner and Chelsea Staab were seventh in the 200 medley relay (1:52.24) and Alanna Paynter, Kentner, Schwartz and Agee were fourth in the 400 free relay (3:41.49). Agee was sixth in the 50 free (24.16) and fifth in the 100 breast (1:07.45) and Schwartz was seventh in the 100 back (59.89).

"It was cool to figure out how good we could be," said Agee, who was 13th (24.42 ) in the 50 free at state last year.

Central's Drew Thompson was the district runner-up in the 500 free (4:44.53) behind UA's Zach Kelch (4:35.5) and earned an at-large berth in the 200 free after facing placing fifth (1:44.66).

"I was surprised with how fast I went," Thompson said. "I'm finally swimming with the guys I've always been afraid of."

Courtney Fischbach of North finished fifth (58.49) in the 100 butterfly at district and joined Jen Bichsel, Elizabeth Roche and Allison Semmler to finish eighth (1:52.33) in the 200 medley relay. Bichsel was eighth (59.93) in the 100 back to advance.

"(Making it in the 100 fly) means the world to me," Fischbach said. "It's a lot harder to get there individually. You have to rely on yourself to get there."

"She's normally done the 200 free and the 100 fly and just couldn't recover fast enough," coach Jeff Riegler said. "This year we switched things around (putting her in the 100 free for her second event) so she could focus more on the fly. I know making it in the 100 fly meant a lot to her."

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:


Boys: Drew Thompson: 500 free (4:44.53, second, seeded 19th), 200 free (1:44.66, fifth, 21st); Girls: Haley Agee: 50 free (24.16, sixth, 14th), 100 breast (1:07.45, fifth, 22nd); Taylor Schwartz: 100 back (59.89, seventh, 21st); 200 medley relay: (1:52.24, seventh, 23rd); 400 free relay: (3:41.49, fourth, 24th)

Others who competed at district were:

Boys: Dan Fay: 100 fly (59.82, 27th), 100 back (59.76, 19th); Atticus Jordan: 100 fly (56.93, 18th), 100 back (59.95, 21st); John Whitaker: 200 IM (2:10.78, 24th), 100 breast (1:06.5, 18th); 200 medley relay (1:55.18, 22nd); 200 free relay (1:35.73, 16th); 400 free relay (3:32.02, 12th); Girls -- Kimi Kentner:100 fly (59.55, sixth), 100 back (1:03.87, 21st); Shannon Mudd: 100 back (1:03.58, 17th), 200 IM (2:22.6, 18th); Alanna Paynter: 100 fly (1:04.49, 17th), 200 IM (2:20.07, 16th ); Schwartz: 200 free (1:57.72, eighth); Chelsea Staab: 500 free (5:24.89, 11th), 100 back (1:03.06, 15th); Paige Walters: 200 IM (2:28.85, 29th); 200 free relay (1:47.21, 16th)


Boys: No qualifiers; Girls: Jen Bichsel: 100 back (59.93, eighth, seeded 23rd); Courtney Fischbach: 100 fly (58.49, fifth, 20th), 200 medley relay: (1:52.33, eighth, 24th)

Others who competed at district were:

Boys: Kyle Bey: 50 free (24.34, 29th), 100 free (53.21, 28th); Shane Daugherty: 100 fly (53.21, 14th); Brad Jones: 100 breast (1:07.51, 22nd); Austin O'Connor: diving (241.75), Conor O'Rourke: 100 back (58.43, 15th), 200 free (1:54.34, 19th); Evan Straw: 100 back (1:01.48, 28th); 200 medley relay (1:44.52, eighth); 200 free relay (1:32.87, eighth); 400 free relay (disqualified); Girls: Bichsel: 200 IM (2:16.51, 11th); Lindsey Criswell: 100 free (58.31, 27th); Kirsten Evans: diving (193.3, 19th); Fischbach: 100 free (54.59, ninth); Lauren O'Connor: diving (117.1, 23rd); Onna Phillips: 500 free (5:50.38, 28th), 100 fly (1:04.63, 18th); Elizabeth Roche: 100 breast (1:12.79, 24th), 200 IM (2:28.58, 28th); Allison Semmler: 50 free (25.54, 17th), 100 free (56.1, 17th); Tory Speakman: 100 back (1:06.66, 29th), 100 fly (1:06.73, 28th); 200 free relay: (1:50.4, 20th); 400 free relay: (3:43.24, sixth)


Boys: No qualifiers; Girls: Abby DiSabato: diving (424.2, fourth, fifth); Jenna Lindner: 200 free, (1:53.16, third, seeded 17th), 500 free (5:07.39, fifth, 17th)

Others who competed at district were:

Boys: Danny Brooker: 200 IM (2:10.27, 22nd), 100 breast (1:05.01, 14th); Nick Daugherty: 200 IM (2:13.08, 26th), 500 free (5:14.85, 19th); Alex Fout: 50 free (22.6, 11th), 100 back (1:00.67, 23rd); 200 free relay (1:37.21, 17th); Hasso Opitz: 50 free (23.62, 23rd), 100 free (53.12, 27th); Kevin Sahlin: 200 IM (2:09.55, 21st), 100 fly (56.13, 16th); Austin Sprayberry: 100 free (52.17, 20th), 200 free (1:51.58, 15th); Matt Stiltner: diving (92.05, 21st) Drew Sweet: 100 fly (54.67, ninth), 500 free (5:10.93, 17th); 200 medley relay (1:44.15, seventh); 200 free relay: (1:37.21, 17th); 400 free relay (3:23.88, sixth); Girls: Kaleigh Carpenter: diving (202.05, 18th); Melanie Fry: 100 free (58.55, 28th), 100 back (1:06.86, 30th); Lizzie Gauen: 50 free (26.04, 24th); Alyssa Jennings: diving (312.8, 14th); Lindner: 500 free (5:07.39, fifth); Hannah Markle: 200 free (2:07.96, 21st); Taylor McKinney: diving (337.2, 11th); Megan Sweet: 200 free (2:10.85, 25th); Trisha Tee: 100 fly: (1:07.62, 29th), 200 IM (2:27.21, 25th); Natalie Zaborski: 500 free (5:54.23, 29th); 200 medley relay: (2:02.74, 18th); 200 free relay: (1:45.21, 13th); 400 free relay (3:50.66, 11th)