It was difficult for Delaware Hayes High School swimming and diving coach Bill Rietz to watch Brooke Glesenkamp and Kristen Puthoff climb out of the pool after competing in the 200-yard freestyle relay at the Division I girls state meet Feb. 25 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
It marked the last time the two seniors would compete as Pacers.
"I am so proud of them and the entire senior class," Rietz said. "It's difficult to talk about them because I get pretty emotional. There were eight girls who started in this program as freshmen and there were eight when they finished. It speaks volumes about their talent, passion, camaraderie and competitiveness.
"Those eight girls (Glesenkamp, Puthoff, Shannon Bertsch, Lindsey Pollock, Megan Rice, Molly Schul, Marisa Sulek and Hannah Weller) earned a combined 27 letters and left an indelible mark on the program They each had their personal strengths, but they all contributed and were leaders and role models."
The 200 free relay, which also included freshman Lauren Ertz and sophomore Valerie Keller, finished 12th in 1 minute, 38.57 seconds, missing the school record by .33 of a second.
Glesenkamp, who has committed to swim at Ohio State, also competed at state in two individual events, placing fifth in the 100 free (51.47) and ninth in the 50 free (23.87). She was a four-time state qualifier in both events and a four-time top-eight finisher in the 100 free.
Glesenkamp's time in the 100 free ranks second in program history behind her school-record 51.44 set last season. She also tied the program's highest state finish in the event set by Julie Schupp in 1981.
The girls team scored in all three of its events at state, totaling 33 points to place 18th behind champion Upper Arlington (246) as 53 teams scored.
In the district meet Feb. 17 and 18 at Ohio State, Glesenkamp finished second in the 50 free (23.66) and fifth in the 100 free (51.91) and the 200 free relay placed seventh (1:39.51), as the top two finishers in each swimming event automatically qualified for state. In addition, 16 at-large berths were awarded in each swimming event based on times statewide.
The 400 free relay of sophomore Dani Ward, Ertz, Puthoff and Glesenkamp finished seventh (3:37.55) as sixth-place Olentangy (3:37.52) earned the final at-large state berth. Puthoff, who has committed to swim at Wright State, finished ninth in the 200 free (1:55.26) and 10th in the 500 free (5:15.75).
Also competing at district in individual events were Ward, Ertz, Keller, Schul, Ward and Weller, as the Pacers finished ninth (100) behind champion UA (433.5) as 25 teams scored.
Among the season highlights for Delaware was its first league title since 2004. The Pacers scored 309.5 points in the OCC-Cardinal Division meet Jan. 28 to finish well ahead of runner-up Dublin Jerome (246.5) as well as host Thomas Worthington (217), Hilliard Darby (175), Worthington Kilbourne (148), Dublin Scioto (111) and Hilliard Bradley (64).
Other expected returnees include freshmen Elizabeth Abahazi and Emily Abahazi and sophomore Kelly Godfrey.
The boys team, which did not have any state qualifiers, finished 10th (75) at district behind champion St. Charles (302) as 30 teams scored.
Freshman Sam Sulek finished eighth (349.15 points) in diving as the top four finishers advanced to state, and senior Craig Klumpp placed ninth in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.62) and also competed in the 200 individual medley.
Others who competed in individual events at district were senior Noah Planisek, junior Andrew Parker, sophomores Paul Carter, Kael Gannon and Adryan Rojas and freshmen Caleb Bucher and Kyle Klumpp.
Sophomore Lucas Pape, Gannon, Parker and Planisek comprised the 200 free relay that placed sixth (1:29.39) and the 400 free relay that finished 11th (3:23.73), while the 200 medley relay of Rojas, Craig Klumpp, Pape and Bucher was 13th (1:44.01).
Delaware finished third (209) in the league meet, behind Jerome (428) and Thomas (205) and ahead of Kilbourne (149), Scioto (131), Darby (103) and Bradley (44).
"Craig and Noah are four-year (letterwinners) who helped build the closest boys team we've ever had," Rietz said. "It was the best OCC and district finish they had in their four years. They helped everyone overcome some obstacles after losing seniors Remy Curtin (academics) and Thomas Blackwood (family situation)."
qualify for district
Six wrestlers, including seniors Max Wright and Carter Davidson, advanced to the Division I district tournament held March 3 and 4 at Darby.
Wright (195 pounds) and Davidson (182) both won titles in the sectional Feb. 25 at Marysville.
Wright pinned Dublin Coffman's Dan Trifoni in 1:46 in the final and had a 25-1 record entering district, while Davidson defeated Marysville's Nathan DeWitt 10-1 in his final to improve to 33-12.
"Max and Carter were the top seeds in their weight (classes at sectional) and both are wrestling extremely well right now, peaking as they should at this time," coach Josh Heffernan said. "Max had first-period pins all the way through the tournament and Carter reached his 100th career win with a semifinal pin.
"I was really happy for Carter's achievement. He has wrestled alongside greats like Andrew Sierawski, Greg Brusco, Chris Martinez and now Max Wright, so many might not recognize that he will graduate as the ninth-winningest wrestler in Hayes history."
Also qualifying for district were junior James White IV (138, third), sophomore Zach Williams (126, third) and freshmen Corbin May (152, third) and Brystin Coldiron (106, fourth).
Entering district, White was 29-6, Williams was 30-15, May was 22-17 and Coldiron was 11-13.
The top four finishers in each weight class at district qualified for the state tournament Thursday, March 9, through Saturday, March 11, at Ohio State.
"Brystin Coldiron was a pleasant surprise," Heffernan said. "He was unseeded and registered two pins. He's gaining confidence every day. I think it surprised some that Corbin May earned the second seed. His record didn't warrant it, but he has beaten a number of quality opponents, including a pin over the (Grove City's Hunter Barker), who was (sectional) runner-up, earlier this year. Corbin lost to (Hilliard Davidson's Reid Conrad) 7-5 in the quarterfinals and they met again in the third-place match and Corbin pinned him. That's the sort of growth we are seeing from our freshmen."
Delaware finished third (154.5 points) in the 11-team sectional, behind Marysville (244.5) and Dublin Coffman (217.5).
"Third place was a tremendous team accomplishment and an indicator of great things in store for our future," Heffernan said.
Girls bowlers, Cocherl
advance to district
The girls bowling team and D.J. Cocherl of the boys team advanced to the Division I district tournament held March 3 at Sawmill Lanes.
In their respective sectionals at Sawmill Lanes, the girls team finished fourth (3,329 pins) of 38 teams Feb. 24 and the boys team finished 26th (3,381) of 42 teams Feb. 25, as the top 20 teams and top 20 individuals not on a qualifying team advanced to district.
Alicia Halstead finished fifth of 146 competitors who bowled three games with a 608 series (201-212-195). Emma Wasielewski was 17th with a 525, included a 235 game, and Jenna VanGundy was 52nd (446). Competing in two games were McKenzie Cooke (308) and Reagan Olson (297).
Cocherl advanced with the ninth individual district berth by rolling a 564 (191-204-169) to finish 36th of 159 competitors who bowled three games. Dylan Jebode was 114th (459), while Shaun Bendele (359) and Dillon Murfield (356) both rolled two games.
At district, the top four teams and top four individuals not on a qualifying team advanced to the state tournament at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl. The girls compete Friday, March 10, and the boys compete Saturday, March 11.
Boys basketball team
ousted by Irish
The boys basketball team lost at 16th-seeded Scioto 56-40 in the first round of the Division I district tournament Feb. 25 to finish 11-12 overall.
Senior Will Yoakum had 21 points and sophomore Terin Kinsway scored 13 for the 20th-seeded Pacers, who trailed 26-23 at halftime and were down by only four points with just over two minutes remaining.
The Pacers also lost twice to Scioto in OCC-Cardinal play, 40-39 at home Dec. 16 and 50-48 in overtime on the road Jan. 27.
Season concludes for
girls basketball team
The girls basketball team lost to 11th-seeded Gahanna 59-22 in the second round of the Division I district tournament Feb. 24 to finish 10-13 overall.
The 33rd-seeded Pacers had a first-round bye.
Freshman Abby Weller scored 11 points to lead Delaware, which went 0-12 in its first season in the OCC-Cardinal to place seventh, behind co-champions Bradley and Thomas (both 11-1), Darby (6-6), Jerome and Kilbourne (both 5-7) and Scioto (4-8).
Junior Madison Eldridge was named special mention all-league and Weller was honorable mention all-league.
In addition to Eldridge and Weller, expected to return are juniors Rachel Bourget, Jessica Walker and Maddie Wilson, sophomore Piper Adkins and freshman Sydney McMillin.
season at district
The gymnastics team's season ended in the district meet Feb. 25 at Thomas.
The Pacers finished 17th (120.8) of 23 teams, as Thornville Sheridan (138.65), Olentangy (137.425) and Dresden Tri-Valley (135.825) advanced to the state team meet held March 3 at Bradley.
Sophomore Elise Mays led Delaware in the all-around with a 32.175, tying for 33rd of 90 competitors. She finished 14th of 134 competitors on balance beam (8.7), 43rd of 128 on vault (7.9), tied for 33rd of 131 on floor exercise (8.425) and tied for 63rd of 128 on uneven bars (7.25).
The top nine finishers in each event and the all-around advanced to the state individual meet held March 4 at Bradley.
Also competing in the all-around were freshmen Elizabeth White (31.125, tied for 46th) and Chelsey Co (27.7, 79th) and senior Kailyn Maynard (26.15, 85th). White was 26th on floor (8.525) and 44th on beam (8.025), and senior Jaima Schulte had a team-best 7.25 on bars.
Sophomore Aubri Herning and freshman Leeza Vernon also competed at district.
Also on the roster were junior Sierra Roesch and freshmen Morgan Barry and Caitlin Lipps.
Delaware went 1-5 in OCC-Cardinal duals and placed fifth (118.6) in the league meet Feb. 11 behind host Bradley (133.95), Darby (128.3), Kilbourne (126.5) and Jerome (121.625) and ahead of Thomas (117.9) and Scioto (55.4).
The Pacers placed sixth (10 points) in the overall team standings, behind Bradley (28, 6-0), Kilbourne (22, 5-1), Darby (22, 4-2), Jerome (14, 2-4) and Thomas (12, 3-3) and ahead of Scioto (4, 0-6).