While competing in the 500-yard freestyle during the Division II girls swimming and diving district meet, Worthington Christian High School freshman Becca Knapper noticed the tight competition she was receiving from Warsaw River View sophomore Lydia Els.
By the end of the race Feb. 15 at Ohio State, Knapper had separated herself enough to earn a runner-up finish in 5 minutes, 15.32 seconds. Els placed third (5:27.3).
Knapper anticipates experiencing that kind of competition when she competes in the state meet Thursday, Feb. 21, and Friday, Feb. 22, at Branin Natatorium in Canton. Swimming begins at 5 p.m. both days.
"I saw (Els) in lane (No.) 4 right next to me and I sprinted," she said.
"It was a close race. I've been swimming competitively since about the sixth grade, but it definitely feels more intense (at this point in the postseason)."
Knapper was an automatic state qualifier in the 500 free behind Granville's Sydney King (4:54.48) and is seeded 14th. She also will be competing at state in the 200 free after placing fifth at district in 1:57.81. She is seeded 18th in that event.
Her district performances in both events were personal-best times.
"I'm super pumped to go to state," Knapper said. "I'm looking forward to dropping a lot of time."
The top two placers in each swimming event at district automatically advanced to state. In addition, 16 at-large state berths were awarded for each swimming event based on times statewide.
"She controlled herself in the first half of the race (in the 500 free)," coach Jim Peterfish said of Knapper.
"I thought it would take a little faster time than that to make it. I didn't think 5:15 would be second place. She's such a hard worker and has done everything right throughout the season."
The boys team was represented at district by two relays and in three individual events, but none advanced to state.
Junior Matt Watterson placed sixth in the 100 butterfly, but his time of 53.98 was .16 away from earning an at-large state berth.
Junior Luke Proxmire finished eighth (23.53) in the 50 free and 13th (1:07.15) in the 100 breaststroke and sophomore Kameron Early was 16th (24.27) in the 50 free and 16th (1:04.78) in the 100 backstroke.
Early, Proxmire, Watterson and freshman Grant Lawrence placed 13th (1:40.8) in the 200 free relay and 13th (1:55.21) in the 200 medley relay.
"I got my goal time, so that was great," Watterson said of the 100 fly. "For the past three years, that would have made state."
"Eighth was pretty good for me (in the 50 free)," Proxmire said.
Girls basketball team advances in tourney
The girls basketball team beat Wellington for the second time in less than two weeks to advance to the second round of the Division IV district tournament.
After defeating the host Jaguars 64-12 on Feb. 5, the second-seeded Warriors improved to 17-5 when they opened the postseason with a 70-16 home win over 17th-seeded Wellington on Feb. 16.
Worthington Christian faced 18th-seeded Millersport in the second round Feb. 19. The winner plays fifth-seeded Morral Ridgedale or 14th-seeded Grove City Christian in a third-round game at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at the higher seed.
The third-round winner will play third-seeded Shekinah Christian, sixth-seeded Granville Christian, eighth-seeded Tree of Life or 15th-seeded Northside Christian in a district semifinal at 8 p.m. Feb. 28 at Lakewood. The district final is 7 p.m. March 2 at the same site.
"We started out slow, but we got into our rhythm and played as hard as we could (in the tournament win over Wellington)," senior post player Audrey Rettstatt said. "We had a lot of assists. I think our team aspect has gotten a lot better. One of the things we've worked to do is have a lot of assists, and I think we showed that."
The regular-season game against Wellington was special for Rettstatt, too.
She entered the game needing seven points to reach 1,000 for her prep career and she got reached the milestone during the first quarter. She entered the Millersport game with 1,040 career points.
"I think it shows the hard work I've put in, but it also shows how well my team has distributed the ball and given the ball to me," Rettstatt said.
Senior guard Abbie Moss scored her 500th career point during a 50-25 win over Marion Pleasant in the Warriors' regular-season finale Feb. 9.
According to Rettstatt, the team made signs that said "500" on them in anticipation of Moss' accomplishment.
Smith reaches district in bowling
The boys bowling team just missed qualifying for the district tournament for the first time in the sectional Feb. 16 at Eastland Lanes.
The Warriors placed 10th (3,335) of 30 teams as the top nine teams advanced to district Friday, Feb. 22, at HP Lanes. Westerville South (3,766) won the sectional title and Westerville Central (3,344) earned the final district-qualifying berth
The top nine individuals not on a qualifying team advanced to district, and junior Ben Smith qualified by rolling a 589 series to place fifth overall of 168 competitors.
Also competing for the Warriors were senior Aaron Hamilton (tied for 31st, 505), junior Luke Palmateer (46th, 473), senior Jess Meyers (tied for 92nd, 378) and freshman Josh Krebs (106th, 350).
The top three individuals not on a qualifying team at district advance to the state tournament March 2.
Smith finished 67th (476) of 127 competitors at district last season after finishing 96th (451) as a freshman.
Boys basketball team set for tourney opener
The boys basketball team will play host to 10th-seeded West Jefferson or 17th-seeded Northridge in the second round of the Division III district tournament at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27.
Seeded sixth of 24 teams, the Warriors would play second-seeded Columbus Academy, 21st-seeded Cardington or 22nd-seeded Howard East Knox in a district semifinal at 6 p.m. March 5 at Delaware if they win their postseason opener. The district final is at 8:30 p.m. March 7 in the Fairgrounds Coliseum.
Worthington Christian beat Grove City Christian 88-57 on Feb. 14 in its regular-season finale to improve to 14-8. Junior guard Sam Condon and sophomore forward John Routzahn each had 20 points and senior forward Nate Morris and junior guard Jarrett Malone both scored 12.