The Upper Arlington High School girls swimming and diving team captured only one event at the Division I state championship, held last Wednesday through Saturday in Canton's C.T. Branin Natatorium but had more than enough depth to capture its sixth consecutive state title.
CANTON -- The Upper Arlington High School girls swimming and diving team captured only one event at the Division I state championship, held last Wednesday through Saturday in Canton's C.T. Branin Natatorium but had more than enough depth to capture its sixth consecutive state title.
UA scored 295 points to finish ahead of Watterson (186) and Cincinnati Turpin (149). Dublin Scioto was seventh (112). The Bears had an athlete place in the top eight in every event except the 100-yard freestyle.
"We had a lot of people step up and perform (during last Friday's preliminaries) to get in those top spots," UA girls coach Dan Peterkoski said. "I preach to them the state meet is won in the prelims. Our girls did great setting themselves up for (last Saturday's finals)."
The Bears' finish in the Division I girls meet was part of a strong showing for central Ohio. In Division I boys, Upper Arlington was third (187) and St. Charles fourth (164). Cincinnati St. Xavier won its 31st state title with 228 points edging out rival Toledo St. Francis DeSales (218).
In the Division II girls state meet, Hartley placed second with 157 points as Gates Mills Hawken won its 20th title with 333 points. In Division II boys, Columbus Academy (fifth with 119 points) and Hartley (eighth, 84) were highest central Ohio finishers as Hunting Valley University School captured its second consecutive title with 298 points.
•DIVISION I GIRLS: UA's Krysten Fulcher, Nicole Wagner, Katie Vanfossen, and Lauren Comer started last Saturday by winning the 200 medley relay in 1 minute, 46.23 seconds. Fulcher (56.46) and Comer (57.05) were second and third in the 100 backstroke and Comer (2:04.85) and Fulcher (2:05.39) were second and third in the 200 individual medley. Abby Chin was second in the 500 free (4:53.6) and the Bears took second in the 200 free relay (1:35.97) and the 400 free relay (3:29.67).
Dublin Scioto's Kate McNeilis, the Division I girls swimmer of the meet, and Watterson's Gracie Finnegan turned electrifying performances.
After setting a pool record in the 100 backstroke with a 54.21 in last Friday's preliminaries, McNeilis won titles in the 100 back (54.53) and the 200 free (1:49.53) last Saturday.
Finnegan closed her career with four first-place finishers, winning the 50 free (23.2) and the 100 free (50.06) individually. She also anchored Camey Rabold, Michele Rielly and Samantha Schuttinger to wins in the 200 free relay (1:35.08) and 400 free relay (3:27.09).
"(Being the defending champion in the 50 and 100 free) added pressure, but I came in knowing it's my senior year and I kind of wanted to go out with a bang," Finnegan said. "You have to go in there and be completely focused. If you don't, you're out of luck."
Olentangy Liberty's Kellie Carmendy was first in diving (418.65) and Pickerington Central's Maddie Martin won in the 100 butterfly (54.85).
•DIVISION I BOYS -- After finishing second to his former St. Charles teammate Sandy Whitaker in the 100 butterfly at the 2009 state meet, Westerville Central's Nick Schuttinger was determined to win the rematch.
Nick Schuttinger, who transferred from St. Charles last summer, swam a 47.74 in the 100 fly to lead a 1-2-3 central Ohio finish. Whitaker (50.11) and New Albany's Matt Gleason (50.71) were second and third.
"Last year I got second place to Sandy and that has been all I have been working for the last 365 days," he said. "It was great to see all that work pay off."
The Central District produced two other Division I boys champions.
Upper Arlington's John Spangler came from lane one to surprise the field and win the 100 free (45.66). Dublin Scioto's Jacob Schuster was second (45.82) and Nick Schuttinger (46.07) was third. Schuster placed first in the 200 free (1:38.7) as the Irish placed first in the event in both the Division I boys and girls meets.
•DIVISION II GIRLS -- Hartley coach Tony Phillips had a hard time believing all that his girls team accomplished. The Hawks closed the meet with solid finishes in the last four events to overtake Napoleon for second place.
"I don't know if I've had time to process it yet," Phillips said. "It's pretty overwhelming. We kind of continued to surprise ourselves all season."
The Hawks' Jessica Carpenter, Andrea Cottrell, Brianna Archambeau and Tyler Shotwell won the 200 medley relay (1:48.02). Carpenter, Hope Kahrig, Cottrell and Tiffany Aeling placed third in the 400 free relay (3:36.69).
Cottrell was the runner-up in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.96) and placed third in the 200 individual medley (2:07.18).
Fairbanks senior Margo Geer won the 50 free (22.48) and the 100 free (48.85) to finish her career with eight state titles.
In diving, Academy's Natalie Ritter was second (414.3) and DeSales' Andrea Acquista was fourth behind Bay Village Bay's Nikki Craft (449.9) who won her third consecutive state title.
•DIVISION II BOYS -- Columbus Academy used a strong performance by William Rosler to finish in the top eight for the first time since placing eighth in 2003. Rosler was first in both the 100 free (46.63) and the 100 fly (50.62).
DeSales' Cooper Stanton was first in the 50 free (20.98), finishing ahead of University's Andrew Malone (21.28) and Hartley's Ronnie Bolden (21.41).