Calvin Furbee didn't reach his goals at the Division II state boys swimming and diving meet, but the Grandview Heights High School senior took it in stride.
Just as he had done last season, Furbee finished fifth in the 200-yard freestyle (1 minute, 42.57 seconds) at state, which concluded Feb. 23 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. He also was 11th in the 100 butterfly (program-record 50.76).
"I definitely wanted to place higher than last year, but that didn't happen," said Furbee, who will compete at Emory University in Atlanta. "In the end I still have a 200 free time (1:42.09) that I'm happy with from district (Feb. 16 at Ohio University).
"(The 100 fly was after the 200 free) so I ended on a high note, which is the way I'll remember the meet. I wish I could have reached the podium in the 100 fly (by finishing in the top eight), but it was extraordinarily fast here. I was seeded at pretty much the same (finals) spot if I had been swimming in Division I, but you cannot control how well others swim. You have to go out and do your best."
Furbee also was a member of the 400 free relay, placing 19th (3:23.41) with seniors Andrew Bergmann and Bo Hawkins and sophomore Charlie Ferguson.
Ferguson also placed 17th in the 200 individual medley, just missing the top 16 to reach the second day of competition. He tied Dayton Oakwood's Nathan Boyce for 16th in 2:00.5, but lost a swim-off.
"I had never been in a swim-off before," Ferguson said. "I was in the warm-down pool and my mom (coach Susan Ferguson) came over and said, 'You know you're in a swim-off, right?' and I didn't. I had to get as quick of a warm-down as I could. I wish I could have been more prepared. I felt good in the first half of the race and then I just didn't have enough in me."
The boys tied Williamsburg for 30th (20 points) behind champion Hunting Valley University School (219.5) as 54 teams scored. The girls team did not score as Gates Mills Hawken (345) won its 19th consecutive state title.
Senior Keelin O'Connor (200 IM, 2:15.11) and sophomore Annie Volker (100 backstroke, 1:00.94) both placed 23rd.
"I was really nervous at the beginning and kind of psyching myself out a little, but when I got behind the blocks that all went away," said O'Connor, who will compete at the University of Sioux Falls. "I knew I had done this before and that it was nothing new. I knew I could just swim with everything I have because it was my last time here."
O'Connor and Volker were on the 20th-place 400 free relay (3:47.26) with juniors Adelle Bechtel and Martina Moncolova.
"Last year I went to state in relays but this year I also went as an individual, and that was a good experience," Volker said. "It's challenging coming five days after district, but it was good to come up here and race against fast people."
The boys finished second (187) of 11 teams in the MSL meet Jan. 27 behind host Columbus Academy (334). The girls were third (181) of 14 teams behind Academy (342) and Bexley (220).
"This was a great experience as a first-year coach to come up to state with our largest group ever," coach Ferguson said. "We have a young group with several great performers coming back and four freshman girls coming in who can help us."
Four wrestlers qualify for district
Junior Hudson Jump won the 195-pound weight class for the wrestling team in a Division III sectional tournament Feb. 24 at Madison Plains, leading a group of four Bobcats to district Friday, March 2, and Saturday, March 3, at Heath.
The top four finishers in each weight class advanced. At district, the top four at each weight qualify for state March 8-10 at Ohio State.
Jump went 2-0 at sectional with two pins to improve to 33-1. He pinned Academy's Eric Menq in 1:19 in a semifinal and Liberty Union's Casey Fleahman in 1:18 in the final.
Senior Kyler Baker placed second at 145, going 2-1 with two pins to improve to 24-14. He lost to Ready's Andrew Halko 3-1 in the final.
Junior Derek Tullis was runner-up at 120, going 1-1 to move to 19-15. He was pinned in the championship match by North Union's Hayden Pacha in 1:10.
Senior Bryce Stanley placed third, going 2-1 with one pin to enter district at 15-9. He defeated Liberty Union's Adrian Abolins 19-15 in the consolation final.
Senior Jory Lust-George (138) and junior Jack Wallace (heavyweight) were fifth and are district alternates.
The Bobcats finished fourth (104) of 12 teams at sectional behind champion North Union (186).
Bowlers fail to reach state tourney
The boys and girls bowling teams had three participants in the Division II district tournament Feb. 22 at HP Lanes, but none advanced to state.
Sophomore Emily Bullock had a 416 to finish 43rd of 77 bowlers in the girls tournament, and sophomore Leila Meyer tied for 52nd (385). Allyia Nicol (548) of North Union was medalist, and Marion Pleasant's Brooke Flickinger (534, third overall), Cardington's Laynee Wilson (530, fifth) and Lakewood's Madison Darnes (529, sixth) advanced as individuals.
Senior Brad Jagers competed for the boys team and finished 55th (397) of 79 bowlers. Ethan Walton (635) of Heath was medalist, and Centerburg's Colton Hogg (565, fourth), Worthington Christian's Seth Parsell (564, fifth) and Pleasant's Bobby Davis (545, eighth) advanced as individuals.
Boys basketball team begins district play
The boys basketball team opened the Division III district tournament Feb. 26 at home against 17th-seeded Fairbanks.
The seventh-seeded Bobcats entered the game 18-4 and had won 11 of 12 contests.
The winner advanced to play ninth-seeded Johnstown in the second round Saturday, March 3, at the home of the better seed. Luke Lachey led with 13 points as the Bobcats lost to Johnstown 61-40 on Dec. 29 in the championship game of the Bobcat Holiday Classic.
The second-round winner advances to a district semifinal against fourth-seeded Wellington, 19th-seeded Fredericktown or 21st-seeded Heath on Tuesday, March 6, at a site to be determined. The Bobcats have not played any of these teams this season.
The district final is March 9 at Ohio Dominican.
Girls basketball team exceeds expectations
The girls basketball team lost at ninth-seeded Ready 59-44 on Feb. 20 in the first round of the Division III district tournament.
The 11th-seeded Bobcats finished 13-9 overall. They placed fourth (5-5) in the MSL-Ohio behind Bexley (9-1), London (8-2) and Worthington Christian (6-4) and ahead of Academy (2-8) and Whitehall (0-10).
The team exceeded the expectations of fourth-year coach Brian O'Mara.
"I think we had a great season," said O'Mara, whose team was 15-7 last season with a senior-laden roster. "We won 13 games, and we had some young, inexperienced players coming back. I can't say enough for the way the team played."
Senior forward Jayla Coplan led the Bobcats in the district loss with 16 points and three 3-pointers. Freshman point guard Hannah Yochem had 12 points and freshman guard Tayler Pierce added nine.
Pierce averaged 14.2 points and was first-team all-league. Yochem averaged 9.9 points and was second-team all-league, and Coplan averaged 7.9 points and was honorable mention all-league.
Junior guard Makenzie Bush and sophomore forward Emma Hall also are expected to be top returnees.
"When I look at it, I tried to set the expectations at a reasonable level," O'Mara said. "We graduated 95 percent of the points from last season and replaced that with two freshmen. These girls went from being eighth-graders to 14-year-old varsity players going against 17- and 18-year-olds, and they played without fear the entire season. Emma Hall also showed great improvement, especially in her defense and rebounding."
@ThisWeekHennenAt a glance
*Record: 13-9 overall, 5-5 (fourth) in MSL-Ohio
*Seniors lost: Jayla Coplan, Isabel Girardi and Kacey Murphy
*Key returnees: Makenzie Bush, Emma Hall, Tayler Pierce and Hannah Yochem
SWIMMING & DIVING
*Finishes: Boys -- Second in MSL, second at sectional, fourth at district, tied for 30th at state; Girls -- Third in MSL, first at sectional, seventh at district, did not score at state
*Seniors lost: Boys -- Andrew Bergmann, Calvin Furbee and Bo Hawkins; Girls -- Sarah Anne Kauffman, Erin McLaughlin and Keelin O'Connor
*Key returnees: Boys -- Charlie Ferguson; Girls -- Adelle Bechtel, Martina Moncolova and Annie Volker