In her second appearance in the Division I state swimming and diving meet, Haley Banner improved her 100-yard freestyle finish by nearly a full second and eight places.
The lone representative for the Worthington Kilbourne High School girls team, the junior finished in 52.9 seconds to place 16th in the meet held Feb. 23 and 24 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
"I was really excited to come up here," Banner said. "My swim (Feb. 23) felt a little bit better than (in finals), but that's all right. My one goal was to make it to finals this year because last year I didn't.
"So, to go a little bit further than last year was awesome."
Banner swam a 52.82 in her preliminary heat to reach the consolation final and scored one point for Kilbourne, which tied for 54th behind champion Mason (236) as 55 teams scored. Last year at state, she finished 24th in 53.89.
Banner advanced to state by placing seventh in a personal-record 52.47 at the district meet that concluded Feb. 17 at Ohio University.
At district, the top two finishers in each swimming event automatically qualified for state. In addition, 16 at-large berths were awarded in each event based on times statewide.
Banner also had a personal-best 24.29 in the 50 free at district to place ninth, as the Wolves (40) tied for 17th behind champion Upper Arlington (274) as 30 teams scored.
In a sectional Feb. 10 at Thomas, Banner was runner-up in both the 50 free (24.62) and 100 free (53.27) as Kilbourne placed sixth (96) of 15 teams, behind champion New Albany (401).
Also scoring at district were junior Arianna Garver in diving (326 points, 16th), the 200 free relay (1:42.1, 13th) and the 200 medley relay (1:53.25, 12th). Both relays were comprised of Banner, sophomores Ellie Ishida and Angela Lu and freshman Lauren Richner.
In the OCC-Cardinal Division meet that concluded Jan. 27 at Thomas, Kilbourne finished sixth (137) behind Dublin Jerome (412), Delaware (244), Thomas (204), Hilliard Darby (172.5) and Dublin Scioto (154) and ahead of Hilliard Bradley (79).
Ava Burson was the lone senior on the roster. Other expected returnees include sophomores Melanie Fisher and Cleo Melvin and freshman Ella Brown.
The boys team's season ended at district, where the Wolves finished 27th (6) behind champion Jerome (303) as 29 teams scored. Sophomore Nolan Wilson provided all of the points by placing 15th (284.9) in diving.
Senior Quentin Bartram, junior Jack Begley and sophomore John Cuozzo all competed in two individual events at district and in two relays apiece, as the Wolves participated in all three relays. Senior Matthew Yap, junior Nathan Martin and sophomores Aaron Chen and Mitchell Fisher participated in relays as well.
Kilbourne placed sixth (107) of 12 teams at sectional, behind champion New Albany (300), and finished fifth (137) in the league meet behind Jerome (412), Delaware (222), Thomas (150) and Scioto (145) and ahead of Darby (115) and Bradley (60).
Girls bowling team, Barnewall advance
Junior Aleks Tavella found her groove to help lead the girls bowling team into the Division I district tournament Saturday, March 3, at HP Lanes.
Tavella, who had a 137.4 game average during the regular season, rolled a 536 series (198-180-158) to place ninth of 208 competitors in the 37-team sectional Feb. 24 at HP Lanes, as the Wolves finished seventh (3,013) behind champion Gahanna (3,642).
The top 16 teams and top 16 individuals not on a qualifying team advanced to district.
Also competing in three games for Kilbourne were Meghan Gaines (39th, 453), Casey Knuth (51st, 433) and Taysia Curry (62nd, 416).
Senior Michael Barnewall will represent the boys team at district after rolling a 538 (135-192-211) at sectional Feb. 23 at HP Lanes. He was the seventh individual district qualifier.
The Wolves finished 21st (3,132) of 38 teams, behind champion Westerville Central (3,836). Groveport was 16th (3,208).
Also competing in three games for Kilbourne were Evan Place (67th, 466), Zach Legue (83rd, 450) and John Catanzarite (129th, 372).
At district, the top three teams and top three individuals not on a qualifying team advance to the state tournament March 9 (boys) and March 10 (girls) at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
Buell headed to district in wrestling
Sophomore Kuric Buell will represent the wrestling team in the Division I district tournament Friday, March 2, and Saturday, March 3, at Hilliard Darby.
Buell won a sectional title at 132 pounds on Feb. 24 at Upper Arlington, beating UA's Joey Orlando 6-1 in the final. Buell went 3-0 in the sectional and is 22-5 entering the district, where he will face Central Crossing's Ryan Fahy (25-15) in the first round.
The top four finishers in each weight class at district advance to the state tournament March 8-10 at Ohio State.
The only other Kilbourne wrestler to win a sectional match was sophomore Jay Thompson (220), who went 2-2 to finish fifth and is 18-10 on the season. He is a district alternate.
Junior Kyle Watson (126), sophomores Sean Hoffman (138), Alex Rader (145), Andrew Rice (152) and George Coldiron (160) and freshmen David Straveler (106), Terrique Grey (170) and Jorge Carbajal (195) all went 0-2.
Boys basketball team to face Wildcats
The boys basketball team will open the Division I district tournament with a second-round game Friday, March 2, at eighth-seeded Westerville South.
Kilbourne, which is seeded 28th, is 9-13.
The winner plays 12th-seeded Logan or 13th-seeded Olentangy Orange in a district semifinal Wednesday, March 7, at a neutral site to be determined. That winner advances to a district final March 10 at Ohio Dominican.
Gymnasts end season at district
The gymnastics team finished 12th (126.125) of 24 teams in the home district meet Feb. 24 and did not have any individual state qualifiers.
Thornville Sheridan (145.425), Olentangy (139.5) and Bradley (135.425) qualified for the team state meet Friday, March 2, at Bradley. The top eight finishers in each event and the all-around advanced to the individual state meet Saturday, March 3, at Bradley.
Emily Mosic placed 18th of 93 competitors in the all-around with a 33.425. She finished 18th of 134 competitors on vault (8.5) and 20th of 138 competitors on floor exercise (8.775).
Trinity Leo (34th, 31.875) and Tania Craig (68th, 28.95) also competed in the all-around and Sophie Seculov had a team-best 8.65 on balance beam to place 17th of 141 competitors.
Mosic led the team on uneven bars, placing 44th (7.775) of 136 competitors.
Girls basketball team losing four seniors
The girls basketball team will have some holes to fill next season, as the Wolves will lose four seniors, including starting guards Maggie Crozier and Morgan Schutte.
Crozier, a four-year starter, averaged 17.1 points and 5.1 rebounds and was named first-team all-OCC-Cardinal, and Schutte averaged 4.7 points and was honorable mention all-league.
Crozier set four program records this season: single-game points (32), single-season points (394), career points (1,213) and career field-goal percentage (48.0). She set the single-game points record and the career points mark on Jan. 3 during a 64-54 win at Walnut Ridge.
Kayla Pack, a 2014 graduate, owned the previous career points mark (1,018) and 1998 graduate Tara Brinkman had set the previous single-game points record (31).
"It goes without saying that we're going to miss our seniors," said coach Jim Strode, whose team was seeded 37th in the Division I district tournament and lost at 20th-seeded Lancaster 43-33 in the first round Feb. 17 to finish 7-16 overall. "Maggie is a one of the better rim attackers I've seen in high school.
"When she came in as a freshman, she benefitted by having a nice veteran core around her. She was able to play within the system and still lead us in scoring all four seasons. When she began to take the reins, she developed into a very strong leader."
The Wolves finished 4-8 in the league to place sixth behind co-champions Thomas and Scioto (both 9-3), Bradley and Jerome (both 7-5) and Darby (5-7) and ahead of Delaware (1-11).
The other seniors were Olivia Durbin and Keagan Rayner, who was injured and missed most of the season.
Three starters are expected to return in freshman point guard Amya Harris (5.5 points), freshman guard Arissa Maynard (4.1) and sophomore guard Julia Taylor (5.9).
Also expected back are junior forward Sarah Baxter, junior guard Reilly St. Meyer and sophomore forward Meagan Rosenfeld. Baxter averaged 4.1 rebounds.
@Brad_ThisWeekAt a glance
*Record: 7-16 overall, 4-8 (sixth) in OCC-Cardinal
*Seniors lost: Maggie Crozier, Olivia Durbin, Keagan Rayner and Morgan Schutte
*Key returnees: Sarah Baxter, Amya Harris, Arissa Maynard and Julia Taylor
SWIMMING & DIVING
*Finishes: Boys -- Fifth in OCC-Cardinal, sixth at sectional, 27th at district; Girls -- Sixth in OCC-Cardinal, sixth at sectional, tied for 17th at district, tied for 54th at state
*Seniors lost: Boys -- Quentin Bartram, Tyler Fickell and Matthew Yap; Girls -- Ava Burson
*Key returnees: Boys -- Jack Begley, Aaron Chen, John Cuozzo, Mitchell Fisher, Nathan Martin, Michael Richardson and Nolan Wilson; Girls -- Haley Banner, Ella Brown, Melanie Fisher, Arianna Garver, Ellie Ishida, Angela Lu, Cleo Melvin and Lauren Richner