Senior Ashley Specht of the Olentangy Liberty High School girls swimming and diving team will attempt to pull off two major accomplishments in the same race when she competes in the Division I state meet, which will be today through Saturday at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton.

Senior Ashley Specht of the Olentangy Liberty High School girls swimming and diving team will attempt to pull off two major accomplishments in the same race when she competes in the Division I state meet, which will be today through Saturday at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton.

Not only will Specht attempt to win her third consecutive title in the 100-yard breaststroke, but she also is shooting for the state record. Solon's Alisa Vereshchagin set the current record of 1 minute, 2.31 seconds in 2006.

Specht won state the last two seasons, finishing in 1:03.47 last year and in 1:03.58 in 2007.

"I started thinking about wanting to break the state record last year, but then I got sick before state and was just hoping to swim well enough to win," said Specht, whose team finished 16th (44) behind champion Upper Arlington (400) at state last year. "I'm feeling good right now, so I'm looking forward to taking another shot at it. I swam a faster time (1:02.21) at a club meet in December, so I'm hoping I can do it again at state."

Liberty finished third (259) in the 20-team district meet last Friday and Saturday at Ohio State, behind UA (60) and Watterson (262) and ahead of 17th-place Olentangy (36).

Specht won her fourth consecutive district title in the 100 breast (program-record 1:02.92) ahead of Pickerington North's Janel Mathews (1:06.79).

"It's still just as exciting as the first time I won district because it's still a very competitive meet and there's no guarantee that I'll win a meet just because I've won in the past," Specht said.

Specht is seeded first for state, ahead of Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame's Rachael Dzierzak (1:04.36) and Miamisburg's Megan Davis (1:04.92).

"There's more pressure on you when you are the defending champion because people are counting on you to win," Specht said. "You never know who is going to swim fast on that particular day. I was seeded second last year and third as a sophomore for state, so you just never know. I don't pay attention to the district times anyway because some pools are faster than others. I'm just going to focus on myself and swimming my best race like I have the past two years."

Liberty's 200 medley relay of Lauren Rosenberg, Specht, Alyssa Heydorn and Rachel Chickerella was second (1:47.82) at district behind UA (1:43.19). The 200 medley relay is seeded fifth for state.

The 200 medley relay of those same four was disqualified at state last year. The previous season, the 200 medley relay of Rosenberg, graduate Kelli Reynolds, Chickerella and Specht finished fourth (1:50.04) at state.

"I think our medley can get top four, just like we did my sophomore year because we're so much faster than we were back then," Specht said. "A lot of our other girls, and our 200 free relay, have potential to make the podium, too."

Orange finished 10th (70) in the 37-team Division II district meet last Friday at Ohio State behind champion New Albany (527).

•The Olentangy boys team finished a program-best second (296) in the 36-team Division II boys district meet last Friday at Ohio State behind New Albany (353). Orange tied Steubenville Catholic Central for 35th (1).

The Olentangy 400 free relay of Jay Haney, Tom Carpenter, Aaron Norris and Ben Bailey finished first (program-record 3:15.55) ahead of New Albany (3:18.62).

Bailey won the 100 backstroke (52.77) and the 200 individual medley (1:56.02). Norris won the 500 free (program-record 4:47.1).

Haney won the 200 free (1:44.52) and Bailey, Eric Evans, Haney and Carpenter were second in the 200 medley relay (program-record 1:42.21),

Three other program records fell as Carpenter was fifth in the 50 free (22.36), Evans was sixth in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.12) and Trevor Askins was seventh in the 100 free (50.74).

"This was an unbelievable day for our team," coach Steve Gipe said. "Breaking six school records and getting a total of eight boys and all three relays to state is an awesome accomplishment."

Bailey is seeded third in the 200 IM for state behind Cincinnati Summit Country Day's Bryan Bedacht (1:55.03) and Hunting Valley University School's Nicholas Crane (1:55.3) and is seeded fourth in the 100 back behind Little Miami's Steven Zimmerman (51.22), Steubenville Catholic Central's Patrick McHugh (51.92) and Canfield's Ryan King (52.53).

The 400 free relay is seeded sixth and the 200 medley relay is seeded eighth. Haney, who is seeded seventh in the 200 free and 100 butterfly (51.72).

"We definitely have an excellent chance to make an impact in the team scoring and reach the state podium several times," Gipe said. "The pressure of getting to state is off of us, but I think our guys can still go faster and finish ahead of where they're seeded in several events."

Liberty finished sixth (106) in the Division I boys district meet behind champion St. Charles (496).

At a glance

Below are the state qualifiers with district result and state seed for the Liberty, Olentangy and Orange boys and girls swimming and diving teams


Girls -- Ashley Specht: 100 breast (1:02.92, first, first), 200 IM (2:08.37, fourth, 15th); Lauren Rosenberg: 100 back (57.4, sixth, ninth), 200 IM (2:09.51, seventh, 20th); Kellie Carmendy: diving (421.55, fifth, sixth); Rachel Chickerella: 100 back (1:00.13, ninth, 24th); 200 free relay (1:39.17, fourth, 10th); 200 medley relay (1:47.82, second, fifth); 400 free relay (3:39.15, third, 16th)

Others who competed at district were:

Boys -- Doug Culbertson: 200 free (1:48.91, ninth), 500 free (5:02.41, 11th); Dmitry Dolgov: 100 breast (1:01.26, sixth), 200 IM (2:02.94, eighth); 200 free relay (1:37.71, 19th); 400 free relay (3:25.46, seventh); 200 medley relay (1:42.19, fourth); Frazier Thomas: 50 free (23.91, 26th); Lee Van Farowe: 200 free (1:55.26, 23rd), 100 back (59.27, 18th); Doug Brubaker: 500 free (5:30.13, 27th), 100 fly (57.11, 19th); John Smilges: 200 IM (2:04.99, 15th), 100 breast (1:02.83, eighth); Trent Kaufman: 100 breast (1:09.67, 27th); Girls -- Audrey Penza: 200 free (2:05.99, 17th), 100 back (1:06.57, 28th); Kathryn Anderson: 500 free (5:45.97, 23rd); Rachel Chickerella: 100 free (55.11, 13th); Hannah Schramm: 50 free (24.85, 11th), 100 free (55.03, 11th); Ashleigh Rissmeyer: 100 back (1:03.86, 20th); Sarah Folk: 100 breast (1:09.45, 12th); Victoria Ljubi: 200 free (2:07.79, 20th); Alexa Kaufman: 200 free (1:59.98, 10th), 500 free (5:23.29, eighth); Katy Basore: 200 free (2:07.28, 19th); Taylor McCabe: 100 breast (1:07.54, seventh), 200 IM (2:11.63, eighth); Alyssa Heydorn: 100 breast (1:12.89, 25th), 100 fly (1:03.84, 14th); Samantha Gaiss: 500 free (5:39.06, 21st), 100 fly (1:05.3, 20th); Morgan Helgreen: 500 free (5:46.93, 24th), 200 IM (2:24.29, 19th); Alex Clay: diving (363.6, ninth); Ali Swafford: diving (348.1, 10th)


Boys -- Jay Haney: 200 free (1:44.52, first, seventh), 100 fly (51.72, third, seventh); Ben Bailey: 200 IM (1:56.02, first, third), 100 back (52.77, first, fourth); Tom Carpenter: 50 free (22.36, fifth, 18th); Aaron Norris: 500 free (4:47.1, first, 10th), 200 IM (2:00.37, third, 12th); 200 free relay (1:32.23, fifth, 19th); 400 free relay (3:16.66, first, sixth); 200 medley relay (1:39.26, second, eighth)

Others who competed at district were:

Boys -- Dagur Fridriksson: 50 free (23.62, 18th), 100 back (1:01.81, 19th); Tim Ratcliff: 50 free (23.3, 13th), 100 free (51.59, 10th); Trevor Askins: 100 free (50.74, seventh), 100 fly (58.11, 13th); Greg Guidarelli: 100 free (52.11, 14th), 200 free (1:54.79, ninth); Aaron Diestler: 200 free (2:00.4, 17th), 500 free (5:11.66, 10th); Eric Evans: 100 breast (1:04.12, sixth), 200 IM (2:07.22, ninth); Billy Larick: 100 breast (1:10.37, 23rd); Quentin Bowden: 100 breast (1:12.68, 26th); Girls -- Katie Schrader: 100 fly (1:05.94, 26th); Megan Shaffer: 200 IM (2:24.65, 21st); Courtney Hilty: 100 fly (1:05.60, 23rd); 200 free relay (1:46.4, 14th); 400 free relay (4:01.23, 17th); 200 medley relay (1:56.01, 10th); Madison Wolfe: 200 free (2:01.13, 11th), 500 free (5:23.3, ninth); Madeline Alexander: diving (284.4, 16th); Julie Jefferis: diving (207.45, 17th)


Competing at district were:

Boys -- Kevin Lin: 500 free (5:30.22, 16th); Girls -- Morgan Miller: 50 free (26.83, 23rd), 100 free (58.5, 18th); Victoria Calvert: 200 free (2:07.15, 14th), 500 free (5:39.29, seventh); Kaitlin Milburn: 200 free (2:06.2, 11th), 500 free (5:35.73, sixth); 200 free relay (1:50.94, 11th); 400 free relay (4:02.21, seventh)