Seniors Trevor Karnehm and Mitchell Nottage are expected to lead the Whetstone High School boys swimming and diving team in the Division II state meet.

Nottage will compete in the 100-yard breaststroke as well as in the 200 medley relay with Connor Flanagan, Francisco Soto and David Maston during the preliminaries Thursday, Feb. 23, at Branin Natatorium in Canton. The finals are Friday, Feb. 24.

Video •Whetstone's Adreon Barrett pins Northland's Devon Carter to win the 132-pound title in the City League tournament Feb. 18.

Karnehm competed in diving Feb. 22. He was making his second state appearance after placing third in the district meet Feb. 17 at Ohio State, where he totaled 327 points in 11 dives. The top three advanced to state.

"I am so proud of Trevor because after his first two dives, we were wondering if he could make it because they weren't very good for his standards," coach John DeRing said. "He finally moved into third place after his ninth dive. He overcame his rough start and got his return trip to state."

Karnehm, who placed 22nd at state last year, finished behind Wellington's Eric Jacques (362.45) and Centennial's Daniel Edgington (344.1) at district.

The Braves set a school record in the 200 medley relay that finished third (1:42.49) at district and is seeded 21st at state, and Nottage finished fourth in a school-record 1:01.39 in the 100 breast and is seeded 30th.

Maston placed fifth in the 100 freestyle (49.3), Flanagan tied for fifth in the 100 backstroke (57.31) and the 200 free relay of Nottage, Flanagan, Maston and Soto finished eighth, tying the school record of 1:33.56.

The top two finishers in each swimming event at district automatically qualified for state. In addition, 16 at-large berths were awarded in each swimming event based on times statewide.

"We set seven personal records, broke two school records and tied a third, and yet we only got to state in three events," DeRing said. "I feel for the boys. They did great, swam their bests. But the times around the state this season are amazing and very comparable to Division I times, so I'm proud, disappointed and surprised all together."

The Braves totaled 129.5 points at district to place fifth behind champion Columbus Academy (353.5) as 39 teams scored.

"For a City League team to place fifth in the district shows how good our boys are," DeRing said. "It's a feather in their caps because it's a tremendous, small group. We were just planning to get more swims at state."

The girls team was represented in the Division I district meet Feb. 18 at Ohio State by two relays. The 200 free relay of Bryn van Dommelen, Mary Dogerty, Carrie Legg and Abigail Schaefer finished 27th (1:53.89) and the 200 medley relay of Shaefer, van Dommelen, Amelia Zamonski and Doherty was 28th (2:10.74).

The Braves were not among the 25 teams that scored in the meet, which was won by Upper Arlington (433.5).

Four wrestlers
win City titles

The wrestling team had the most champions in the City League tournament Feb. 18 at Linden-McKinley, but finished second (191) behind Walnut Ridge (202.5).

Winning titles were seniors Justin Rodriguez (120 pounds), Adreon Barrett (132) and Lawrence Dean (170) and junior Ibrahim Sesay (160).

Rodriguez beat West's Michael Cruz 7-5 in the final to improve to 13-1 entering a Division II sectional Saturday, Feb. 25, at Licking Valley.

Barrett pinned Northland's Devon Carter in 4:53 in the final to improve to 20-12, Sesay defeated Mifflin's Moutaga Sy 11-4 in the final to improve to 28-9 and Dean beat Linden's Cordell Calloway 6-4 in the final to improve to 23-5.

Junior Will Gibson (220) lost to West's Austin Sable 7-2 in the final and is 18-13.

"We reached 10 placement matches and we won nine of those and I was really pleased by that," coach Tom Jones said. "We gave Walnut Ridge a run for their money. Unfortunately, this is the third year in a row that we've finished second. I was hoping we'd snap that this year and move up a spot to the top."

Placing third were senior Justin McDaniel (195, 14-11) and freshmen Mike Lacy (138, 13-13) and Hassan Sesay (145, 16-8).

The top four finishers in each weight class at sectional advance to the district tournament March 3 and 4 at Heath.

"Legitimately, we have five to seven guys who can get through to district if things go right, but I would be on cloud nine if it happened," Jones said. "The most we've gotten to district in my 10 years is three. If we get any more than that, I'll be ecstatic. You have to remember that more than half of our guys have never competed at sectional before."

Boys basketball team
ready for Wildcats

The boys basketball team will play at second-seeded Newark in the first round of the Division I district tournament Thursday, Feb. 23.

Lamine Komara is averaging a team-high 9.5 points and 7.2 rebounds for the 43rd-seeded Braves, who are 4-18. Rayshawn Walker and Sean Jones both are averaging 8.3 points, Gerard Reynolds is averaging 7.8 points and Jack Staggs is averaging 7.0 points and a team-high 7.9 rebounds.

The Newark-Whetstone winner plays host to 46th-seeded West in the second round Tuesday, Feb. 28, with that winner advancing to a district semifinal March 8.

Newark, which was ranked fifth in last week's state poll, is 21-1. The Wildcats are led by 6-foot-6 senior post player B.J. Duling.

Bowlers set to
open postseason

The girls bowling team will compete in the 41-team Division I sectional Friday, Feb. 24, at Sawmill Lanes. The next day, the boys team will compete in the 45-team sectional at the same site.

The top 20 teams and top 20 individuals not on a qualifying team in both sectionals advance to the district tournament March 3 at Sawmill Lanes.

"We had been bowling well until the league rolloffs, where we struggled to make adjustments to tough lane conditions and that is something we need to prepare for when we play Briggs in the City final (Feb. 21) and then for the sectional," girls coach Larry Howell said. "We've studied the pattern Sawmill sent us, but we've never bowled there, so we're going to have some practice rounds over there ahead of time."

During the regular season, Abbi Swank led the girls with a 186.5 game average, followed by Bailey Waitkus (172.5) and Savannah Stuver (168).

Leading the boys were Alex Johnson (185.7) and Christian Jefferson (180.1). Joshua Roeder is averaging 217.7 in six matches since joining the team in late January.

Season concludes for
girls basketball team

The girls basketball team's season ended with a 102-12 loss to second-seeded Dublin Coffman in the first round of the Division I district tournament Feb. 18.

The host Shamrocks led 49-4 after the first quarter en route to improving to 21-2.

The 42nd-seeded Braves, who finished 6-17 overall, were led by Whitney Staggs' eight points.

Whetstone finished sixth in the City League-North Division at 4-10, behind Northland (14-0), Centennial (12-2), Beechcroft (9-5), Mifflin (8-6) and Linden (7-7) and ahead of International (2-12) and East (0-14).

The Braves, guided by first-year coach Rick McClanahan, had two seniors on the roster in Gwyneth Armstrong and Eden Hagen.

Staggs, a junior, averaged a team-high 10.9 points.

Others expected to return are juniors Ella Davies, Ava Kowalski, Hannah Reed, Hannah Rizzi and Haylee Thomas-Speigle, sophomore Mariyanna Lacy and freshman Hannah Scott.