Leah Stamm is hoping her past experience in the Division II state swimming and diving meet will help her this time around.
The Bexley High School sophomore competed at state last year when she attended Grandview and is eager to get back to the competition Thursday, Feb. 22, and Friday, Feb. 23, at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
Stamm qualified for the second consecutive season in the 100-yard backstroke after placing third (59.67 seconds) at district Feb. 16 at Ohio University. She is seeded 22nd of 24 competitors at state.
The top two district placers in each event automatically advanced to state. In addition, 16 at-large state berths were awarded in each event based on district times statewide.
"I'm glad to be going back to state because it was one of the best experiences that I have had," Stamm said. "I was new to the school after moving in and it took me a while to get acclimated. Also, I was fighting off injuries from soccer and illness in the early part of the season, so it's great to get back there."
Stamm placed 18th in the 100 back (59.19) last season and reached the awards podium as part of the Bobcats' seventh-place 200 freestyle relay (1:40.06).
She was a member of the Lions' 400 free relay that placed seventh at district in a program-record 3:50.49, but Waynesville earned the 24th seed at state in 3:47.04. Olivia Mitchell, Ally Grieshop and Libby Brown joined Stamm on the relay.
"That was a great experience last season with my teammates at state because we got so close," said Stamm, who also placed seventh at district in the 100 butterfly (59.63). "I was hoping we would get a relay across so I could share that experience again."
The 400 free relay broke its record of 3:54.8 that it set in a sectional Feb. 17 at Columbus Academy.
"We dropped four-plus seconds from last week and we have broken the previous school record by eight seconds now," Brown said. "We had great time drops throughout the meet and I'm proud of how we have done."
The Lions finished 10th (83 points) at district behind champion Columbus School for Girls (356) as 32 teams scored.
The boys team did not have any state qualifiers and finished 30th (5) behind champion Academy (324) as 31 teams scored.
"The kids swam really great and they dropped times in all events," coach Sandy Sliwowski said. "We brought a lot of boys up here and they gained a lot of valuable experience."
Bowlers end season at sectional tourney
The boys bowling team concluded its inaugural season by finishing 20th (2,892) in the Division II sectional tournament Feb. 16 at HP Lanes.
The top 12 teams and top 12 individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district Thursday, Feb. 22, at HP Lanes, and Bexley was 285 pins behind 12th-place London (3,177). Jonathan Alder (3,643) won.
Senior Douglas Munsell (464 three-game series, 48th of 185 competitors) led the Lions as Grandview's Brad Jagers (479, 36th) was the final individual qualifier. Jonathan Alder's Jason Schrock (620) was medalist.
Also rolling three games for the Lions were sophomore Tyler Roberts (434, 60th), senior John D'Alessandro (415, tied for 70th) and sophomore Zach Herman (406, 78th). Sophomore Jordan Herman had a 256 (tied for 139th) in two games and sophomore Haven Horton-Kunce had a 93 (180th) in one game.
The Lions finished 6-6 overall and placed sixth (5-5) in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-C Division behind champion Northland (10-0).
In the MSL-Ohio tournament Feb. 3 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl, Munsell was fourth of 39 bowlers with a 618 series to earn first-team all-league honors and the Lions were fourth (3,114) behind champion Whitehall (4,117).
D'Alessandro (13th, 478) and Roberts (14th, 476) were honorable mention all-league.
The team was coached by Michael Munsell.
Girls basketball team to begin postseason
The girls basketball team opens the Division II district tournament Friday, Feb. 23, at home against 11th-seeded Lakewood in the second round.
The fifth-seeded Lions are 16-6 and have not played the Lancers this season.
The winner plays third-seeded Independence, 16th-seeded Columbus East or 18th-seeded Marion-Franklin in a district semifinal Tuesday, Feb. 27, at a site to be determined. Bexley has not played any of these teams this season.
The district final is March 2 at Westerville Central.
The Lions closed the regular season with a 54-38 loss to Ready on Feb. 13. Amanda Frey led with 11 points.
Boys basketball team to begin district play
The boys basketball team opens the Division II district tournament Monday, Feb. 26, at home against 15th-seeded Bloom-Carroll.
The fifth-seeded Lions have won six consecutive games and are 17-5 overall. They defeated the Bulldogs 54-40 on Jan. 27.
The winner plays a second-round game March 3 against eighth-seeded Granville at the home of the better seed.
Bexley finished 6-4 in the MSL-Ohio after defeating Worthington Christian 46-30 on Feb. 16. Ryan Callahan scored 20 points and Shannon Stanley added 10.
Postseason to begin for wrestling team
The wrestling team opens the postseason with a Division II sectional tournament Friday, Feb. 23, and Saturday, Feb. 24, at Licking Valley.
The top four finishers in each weight class advance to district March 2 and 3 at Uhrichsville Claymont.
With a reduced lineup, the Lions finished 13th (66 points) of 14 teams in the St. Charles Nye Cardinal Classic on Feb. 17 behind champion Lancaster (315).
Grant Robinson was champion at heavyweight. Carter Brenner placed third at 113 pounds and Reece Wilson was fifth at 170.
Lions searching for girls volleyball coach
Athletics director Eli Goldberger said the girls volleyball program is looking for a new coach following the resignation of Cathie Ward after three seasons.
Candidates should email a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to apply is March 2.
@ThisWeekHennenAt a glance
*Record: 6-6 overall, 5-5 (sixth) in COHSBC-C
*Seniors lost: John D'Alessandro, Gavin Horton and Douglas Munsell
*Key returnees: Jordan Herman, Zach Herman, Haven Horton-Kunce and Tyler Roberts
Below are the members of the Bexley boys and girls swimming & diving teams who competed at district but did not qualify for state:
Boys -- Atticus Keels: 500 free (6:06.35, 26th); Gavin Levine: 200 IM (2:35.16, 27th); John Niermeyer: 50 free (23.98, 12th), 100 free (55.16, 24th); Jack Zwick: 100 back (1:11.9, 29th); 200 free relay (1:46.97, 26th); 200 medley relay (1:59.78, 23rd); 400 free relay (4:02.98, 22nd)
Girls -- Libby Brown: 50 free (26.45, 21st), 100 free (58.41, 19th); Grayson Denby: 500 free (6:07.7, 26th); Ally Grieshop: 200 free (2:06.02, 17th), 500 free (5:32.16, sixth); Arianna Martin: 100 back (1:09.79, 27th); Ailbhe McCann: 100 breast (1:18.15, 27th); Olivia Mitchell: 100 fly (1:09.37, 25th), 200 free (2:11.31, 26th); Lily Rosenthal: 100 breast (1:20.7, 30th); Leah Stamm: 100 fly (59.63, seventh); 200 free relay (1:51.64, 12th); 200 medley relay (2:02.72, 13th); 400 free relay (3:50.49, seventh)