A 40-point loss to Plain Township in a dual meet June 27 ultimately did not affect the Delaware Aquatic Racing Team’s nearly decade-long stranglehold on the Greater Columbus Swim League, but it was a stern reminder to Stingrays swimmers to take nothing for granted.

“I told them before we swam that this would be the toughest competition we’d see until (July 17),” Delaware coach Bill Rietz said of a 945-905 loss to the Gators. “It was a wake-up call. We knew they would be stiff competition and as it turned out, we had some phenomenal swims.”

In the league meet that concluded July 17 at Jack Florance Pool, the Stingrays’ home facility, 19 first-place finishes and 134 top-eight performances powered Delaware to 3,057.5 points and its ninth consecutive overall league championship.

Kael Gannon won the boys 18-and-under 100-yard butterfly (53.99 seconds), 100 individual medley (56.04) and 100 freestyle (49.01) and was on the first-place 200 free relay (1:29.53) and 200 medley relay (1:41.36). Owen Thomas won the 12U 50 backstroke (32.77), 50 fly (29.03) and 50 free (26.57).

Plain Township was second (2,810), followed by the Highland Park Otters (1,978), Worthington Wave (1,814), Westerville JC Poolcats (1,594), Northwest Tigersharks (1,179) and Gahanna Sea Lions (1,138.5).

Gannon, who will be a senior at Delaware Hayes High School, shrugged off his performances.

“I laid out my expectations coming in and in the back of my mind, I thought this was a possibility,” he said. “I wasn’t worried about the winning, just doing my best for the team. I am very happy with my races. I focused a lot on technique in long-course training this summer and I’m happy with what I put together in a short-course pool.”

In the senior division, for swimmers 11 and older, Delaware scored 1,891.5 points to edge Plain Township (1,865), Highland (1,724), Westerville JC (1,018), Gahanna (768.5), Worthington (726) and Northwest (675).

Other winners in senior races were Mark Dulek in boys 14U diving (166), Natalie Fiant in the girls 12U 50 free (27.12), Joey Hanks in the boys 14U 50 free (24.13), Olivia Oyster in the girls 14U 50 breaststroke (31.55), Sam Sulek in boys 18U diving (252.2) and the girls 14U 200 free relay (1:44.57) and 200 medley relay (1:58.95).

The Stingrays also won the junior division, scoring 1,166 points to finish ahead of the Wave (1,088), Gators (945), Otters (754), Poolcats (576), Tigersharks (504) and Sea Lions (370).

Junior winners were Reid Stultz in boys 8U diving (55.6), Owen Wion in the boys 8U 25 free (15.85) and the girls 8U 100 free relay (1:15.74) and 100 medley relay (1:26.11).

Diving was held July 13 and 14 at Gahanna Swim and Racquet Club.

“We knew this would be our toughest year to get the overall award,” Gannon said. “It’s great to keep (the championship) in the community. It gives everybody a spark and helps us at the high school level. We want to keep this going for years to come.”

Schimmings, Shur lead Gators

Although Plain Township has no divers, the Gators took pride in winning the senior swimming events. They finished 83.5 points ahead of Delaware before diving was factored in.

After celebrating his team’s championship, Rietz made a beeline to the Gators’ camp to offer his congratulations.

“We’re coming for you guys,” a smiling coach Megan Labuhn told Rietz.

Kelly Shur won the girls 18U 100 breast (1:10.44) and 100 IM (1:01.83), was second in the 100 free (54.7) and also was on the first-place 200 medley relay (1:52.21).

“I gave my all in the IM (in the preliminaries) but coming back, I had a good lunch and I just worked out my nerves,” Shur said. “I just swam my heart out. I was surprised at a 1:01, and the team really helped. They are my No. 1 cheerleaders. …

“My 100 breast is definitely my top event but freshman and sophomore year, I became an IM’er. My coaches put me in the 50 so I did well in being a freestyler and breaststroker. I have three top events right now, and I love being able to choose between them and not just focus on one.”

Other multiple winners were Caleb Schimming in the boys 14U 50 back (28.19), 50 breast (32.91) and 100 IM (1:01.25), Max Gao in the boys 8U 25 back (19.26) and 25 fly (17.49), Sean Le in the boys 12U 50 breast (34.19) and 100 IM (1:06.86) and Hope Schimming in the girls 12U 50 back (30.36) and 100 IM (1:05.05).

Also earning first-place finishes were Miles Baker in the boys 10U 50 breast (48.21), Kiara Crumbley in the girls 14U 50 fly (27.53), Mia Gregory in the girls 12U 50 fly (30.02), Rio Hall in the girls 10U 100 IM (1:07.76), Henry Lyaker in the boys 8U 25 breast (23.0), Carly Meeting in the girls 14U 100 IM (1:02.32), Isaac Myhal in the boys 14U 50 fly (27.52), Emili Toppari in the girls 18U 100 fly (59.31) and Brennan Walsh in the boys 18U 100 back (56.76).

Winning relays were the boys 8U 100 free (1:12.51) and 100 medley (1:22.86), girls 10U 200 free (1:06.58), boys 12U 200 free (1:55.47) and 200 medley (2:06.49), girls 12U 200 free (1:51.99) and 200 medley (2:04.86) and the girls 18U 200 free (1:41.62) and 200 medley (1:52.21).

Bosler, Yeager pace Otters

Madelyn Bosler’s win in the girls 12U 50 breast (33.22) and runner-up finishes in the 50 fly (30.75) and 100 IM (1:06.26) led Highland Park.

Hayden Yeager won the boys 18U 100 breast (102.2) and was second in the 100 IM (56.68). Marco Archambault was second in the boys 12U 50 breast (35.27) and Logan Frazier was runner-up in the boys 8U 25 fly (18.31).

The Otters added points in diving as A.J. Keir won boys 10U (83.1) and Eva Lane scored 128.1 to win girls 14U.

Wave rides balance to fourth place

Worthington swimmers won five individual events and the Wave also benefited from four relay wins.

Zach Barnes won the boys 14U 50 back (28.91) and placed second in the 50 free (24.7). Cooper Florence was first in the boys 10U 50 back (38 seconds), Summer Gabel won girls 8U diving (71.35) and Abi Goodrich won the girls 10U 50 back (37.48) and 50 fly (36.17) and finished second in the 50 free (34.13).

The Wave also won the boys 10U 100 free (1:01.54) and 100 medley relay (1:11.1) and the boys 14U 200 free relay (1:42.55) and 200 medley relay (1:54.32).

Ellsworths help lead Poolcats

Abigail Ellsworth took first in the girls 10U 50 back (1:00.36) and 100 free (54.29) and was fourth in the 100 fly (1:02.19) to pace Westerville JC, which benefited from 14 runner-up finishes.

Emily Ellsworth won the girls 14U 50 back (28.85) and was second in the 50 breast (32.11) and 50 fly (27.97).

Peiffer Blackford won the girls 8U 25 back (21.04) and finished second in the 25 fly (17.74) and 25 free (16.19). Jamal Deek was runner-up in the boys 10U 50 fly (34.81) and 100 IM (1:20.68) and third in the 50 back (38.83).

Other runners-up were Pyper Blackman in girls 10U diving (82), Alexandria Knodel in girls 14U diving (128.05), Erika Knodel in the girls 18U 100 fly (1:00.26) and 100 IM (1:03.1), Lily Morgan in girls 12U diving (125.15), Zander Murnieks in boys 12U diving (145.45), Gavin Stefan-Adams in the boys 14U 50 breast (33.77) and the girls 14U 200 medley relay (1:59).

Multi-talented Graham paces Tigersharks

Cameron Graham racked up four wins – three in the pool and another in diving – to lead Northwest.

Graham won the girls 8U 25 back (19.77), 25 fly (16.51) and 25 free (15.78) and took first in diving (67.6).

Leah Nebraska was first in the girls 10U 50 free (31.71) and second in the 50 back (37.7). Skylar Richards won the girls 10U 50 breast (42.93) and was second in the 100 IM (1:12.85) and fourth in the 50 free (34.7).

The Tigersharks had two other champion divers in Marin Brush (girls 10U, 99.9) and Marie Rudzinski (girls 12U, 142.25).

Anneke Nederveld finished second in the girls 8U 25 back (21.5) and fourth in the 25 fly (18.78) and 25 free (18.33).

The girls 10U 100 medley relay also won (1:14.8).

Huang wins three events for Gahanna

Andy Huang’s wins in the boys 10U 50 fly (29.8), 50 free (27.73) and 100 IM (1:07.89) paced the Sea Lions.

Kendall Hitler was second in the girls 14U 50 back (29.56) and tied for third in the 50 fly (28.31).

In diving, Lina Alli was first in girls 18U (181.2) and Madden Vieta won boys 12U (152.6).

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave