Heading into the Division I district tournament last Saturday at Ohio State, Matt Gleason of the New Albany High School boys swimming and diving team was concerned about the competition.

Heading into the Division I district tournament last Saturday at Ohio State, Matt Gleason of the New Albany High School boys swimming and diving team was concerned about the competition.

A state qualifier last season when the Eagles were in Division II, he knew getting back to state would not be easy, especially after seeing the times from the Division II district meet last Friday at Ohio State.

"It's a little bit more challenging this year because of (being in) Division I," he said.

Gleason accomplished his goal, however, as he qualified for state in the 100-yard butterfly (50.89 seconds) and the 100 breaststroke (1:00.24). He is seeded sixth in the 100 fly and 22nd in the 100 breast.

"I was checking the times in Division II and we've kind of blown those out of the water," he said. "But I definitely feel better about this year than last because I've been training a lot harder and gotten stronger."

The top three placers in each swimming event at district automatically qualified for the state meet, which began last Wednesday and runs through Saturday at the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton. In addition, 11 at-large berths per event were awarded based on times statewide.

Gleason automatically qualified for state in the 100 fly, as he placed third at district. He received an at-large berth in the 100 breast after placing sixth at district.

"I have some doubts about my butterfly off and on," he said. "It's a race that kind of messes with my head. I get real nervous about it. It gets really shaky, so I'm just excited when I drop time."

Gleason also qualified for state as a member of the 200 medley relay (1:37.73) and 200 free relay (1:28.26), both of which placed third at district. The former is seeded 10th at state and the latter is seeded 12th.

Also on the 200 medley relay were Robert Huey, David Huddle and Alex Alfonso. Joining Gleason on the 200 free relay were Alfonso, Huddle and Chase Honeycutt.

New Albany, which finished fourth at state last year in Division II, finished third (148 points) at district behind St. Charles (399.5) and Upper Arlington (399).

Cincinnati St. Xavier won last year's Division I state title, scoring 322 points to finish ahead of runner-up St. Charles (265). Cincinnati Moeller (202) was third and Upper Arlington (169) was fourth.

•The girls team finished sixth (154) at the district meet behind champion Upper Arlington (472) and advanced all three relays to state. The Eagles had no individual state qualifiers.

"We did have a lot of people score points, but around the state you can never control what the other districts are doing," coach Dave Wharton said. "The girls 500 free, it's 5:08 just to make a heat (at state). That has scored at state usually. Now it's just to make it up to the meet. That's exciting for Ohio swimming."

The 200 medley relay of Suzanne Sliwowski, Franciska Mandy, Fanny Mandy and Stephanie Jones finished eighth (1:51.69) at district and is seeded 24th at state.

Haley McLellan competed instead of Sliwowski on the 200 free relay, which placed fourth (1:39.75) and is seeded 12th at state. The 400 free relay of McLellan, Franciska Mandy, Fanny Mandy and Jacqueline Barnes finished fourth (3:38.42) at district and is seeded 18th.

At a glance

Below are the state qualifiers with district result and state seed for the New Albany boys and girls swimming and diving teams:


Matt Gleason: 100 fly (50.89, third, sixth); 100 breast (1:00.24, sixth, 22nd); 200 medley relay (1:37.73, third, 10th); 200 free relay (1:28.26, third, 12th)

Others who competed were:

Alex Alfonso 50 free (22.1, eighth), 100 free (48.68, 12th); Zach Berks 100 breast (1:09.8, 30th), 200 IM (2:20.89, 27th); Cullen Challacombe: 100 back (1:00.63, 24th), 200 IM (2:09.57, 17th); Chase Honeycutt: 200 free (1:54.77, 25th), 100 fly (58.85, 25th); David Huddle: 100 fly (53.59, ninth); Robert Huey: 100 breast (1:01.15, seventh), 100 fly (57.46, 20th); Fredrick Jenny: 200 free (1:54.77, 26th); Samuel Moore: 100 back (1:00.97, 26th); Corey Ziegler: 100 back (1:00.33, 22nd); 400 free relay (3:22.68, ninth)


200 medley relay (1:51.69, fourth, 24th); 200 free relay (1:39.75, fourth, 12th); 400 free relay (3:38.42, fourth, 18th)

Others who competed were:

Jacqueline Barnes: 200 free (1:58.41, 11th), 500 free (5:18.21, ninth); Stephanie Jones: 50 free (25.16, 11th), 100 free (54.89, 12th); Franciska Mandy: 50 free (25.24, 13th); Fanny Mandy: 50 free (25.26, 14th); Haley McLellan: 200 free (1:57.66, ninth), 500 free (5:20.87, 10th); Suzanne Sliwowski: 200 free (1:57.93, 10th), 500 free (5:10.96, eighth); Dominique Suarez: 100 back (1:03.13, 20th), 100 fly (1:03.78, 22nd)