Sam Decker of the Canal Winchester High School boys swimming and diving team wasn't able to compete in the postseason last season because of the effects of mononucleosis.

Sam Decker of the Canal Winchester High School boys swimming and diving team wasn't able to compete in the postseason last season because of the effects of mononucleosis.

However, the junior continued his comeback at the Division II district meet on Feb. 18 at Ohio State by winning the 100-yard freestyle in 46.81 seconds ahead of DeSales' Cooper Staton (46.89) and winning the 50 free in a district-record 20.55 ahead of Staton (20.96).

With Decker leading the way, the Indians scored 132 points to finish fifth at district behind champion Granville (256).

"It's nice to finally be able to show people what I'm really made of," Decker said. "I thought my sophomore season was going to be a breakout year for me, but a horrible case of mono put me on bed rest with a swollen spleen and a lot of other problems. I've been waiting a long time to show what I'm capable of."

Decker is seeded first in the 100 free and second in the 50 free behind Hunting Valley University School's Andrew Malone (20.55) for the state meet, with the swimming events being held Thursday, Feb. 24, and Friday, Feb. 25, at the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton.

"I want to beat my district times in both events and do as well as I can at state," Decker said. "I'm shaved and I've got a brand-new suit, and I'm going to leave everything in the pool."

Senior Tyler Simonton won the 100 backstroke in a district-record 52.33 ahead of Hartley's Patrick Kelly (53.52) and placed third in the 200 free (1:46.03) behind Olentangy's Trevor Askins (1:43.44) and Columbus Academy's Conrad Wuorinen (1:45.21) at district.

Simonton, who placed seventh in the 100 back (53.07) at state a year ago, is seeded fifth in the 100 back and 15th in the 200 free for state.

"Standing on the state podium was the greatest feeling and I want to experience it again," Simonton said. "I started my taper for district and I'm going to do a full taper for state to try to drop my times even further. My birthday is Feb. 28 and I want to give myself an early present like I did last year."

Wyatt Meade, Decker, Simonton and Brandon Hutchins finished third in the 200 medley relay (1:42.76) at district behind Granville (1:41.40) and Olentangy (1:42.1) and are seeded 16th for state.

The same four boys also finished seventh in the 200 free relay (1:34.25).

"I think our medley relay has a very good chance to do well at state if we all swim our best legs of the season," Decker said. "This is the first year our team has ever put together relays, so making it to state is a big accomplishment."

The top three finishers in each swimming event at district automatically qualified for state. In addition, 11 at-large state berths were awarded for each swimming event based on statewide times.

The girls team didn't score in the Division I district meet on Feb. 19 and did not have any state qualifiers.

Kasey Pastor finished 25th in the 100 butterfly (1:03.97), and Paige Klatt, Devon Shull, Kasey Pastor and Kori Pastor finished 19th in the 200 free relay (1:52.3) and 21st in the 200 medley relay (2:05.61).

The top three in each swimming event automatically qualified for state. In addition, 11 at-large state berths were awarded for each event based on statewide times.

•The boys basketball team lost to Teays Valley 62-53 in a MSL-Buckeye Division game on Feb. 15 but bounced back to defeat Logan Elm 43-38 in its regular-season finale on Feb. 18 to earn a share of the league championship.

Canal Winchester and Teays Valley tied for first in the MSL-Buckeye standings at 11-3.

Kyle Schriml scored 20 points and Michael Walker scored 14 against Teays Valley, and Walker had 14 points and Schriml scored nine against Logan Elm.

"It's definitely a great feeling for the seniors and everyone else on the team to win a championship," said senior guard Sam Jones, whose squad is 14-6 overall. "It was special to beat Logan Elm in our last home game, because they beat us handily (43-20 on Jan. 22) at their place and we had lost three straight to them. We've improved a lot since then."

The fourth-seeded Indians had a first-round bye in the Division II district tournament and play Watterson or Linden-McKinley in the second round on Friday, Feb. 25, at Lakewood. The winner advances to a district semifinal March 3 at the Fairgrounds Coliseum.

Watterson beat DeSales 60-48 on Feb. 18 to improve to 7-13, as 6-foot-3 senior wing player Connor Geraghty scored 15 points and 6-3 senior wing player Brian Dunlay scored 14.

Linden, which was 1-18 before playing Watterson in the first round Feb. 22, is led by 6-6 senior forward Storm Patterson, who was averaging 11 points and 10 rebounds, and 6-0 junior guard Demetrus Beard, who was averaging eight points.

Canal Winchester beat Watterson 58-51 on Dec. 18, as Walker scored 19 points and Schriml scored 12. The Indians have not played Linden this season.

"Watterson should be a tough test for us, because we beat them early in the year when they were still getting guys back from the football team," Jones said.

"We need to be patient with the ball, and take and make good shots. Defensively, we need to execute and play like we did in our first 10 games."


Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Canal Winchester girls basketball and wrestling teams:


Feb. 22 - Played second-seeded Eastmoor Academy in second round of Division II district tournament. Winner plays fifth-seeded Big Walnut or 10th-seeded Beechcroft in district semifinal, 8 p.m. Feb. 28 at Pickerington North. Winner plays in district final, 6 p.m. March 3 at Ohio Dominican University.

Of note: The Indians were 5-15 overall before Feb. 22.


Feb. 19 - Finished second (209) in 13-team Division II sectional at Licking Heights behind Licking Valley (222.5). District qualifiers were Emmanuel Barnes (103, 2-1, second), Joe Boswell (130, 4-0, first), Nick Brady (112, 3-1, second), Royce Calloway (152, 2-2, fourth), Justin Emmons (119, 2-1, second), Brady Hutchins (125, 4-0, first), Dalton Tullius (135, 2-1, third), Max Lacey (215, 3-1, third) and Nathan Pressley (heavyweight, 2-1, second). Others competing were Eric Banks (189, 3-2), Kyle Rohrig (160, 1-3) and Zach Snyder (145, 0-2).

Feb. 25-26 - District tournament at Columbus East. The top four in each weight class advance to state March 3-5 at Ohio State.