Wherever Bridget Parker or Martina Peroni goes in the pool for the Olentangy High School girls swimming and diving team, the other probably is close by.
That was the case in the Division I district meet Feb. 15 at Ohio State, and the pair do not expect that to change during their final weekend as teammates when they compete in two individual events and on two relays in the state meet Friday, Feb. 22, and Saturday, Feb. 23, at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
Peroni, a freshman, earned an automatic berth to state as district runner-up in the 200-yard individual medley (2 minutes, 5.37 seconds) and also got an at-large berth in the 500 freestyle by placing fourth (5:00.6).
"I knew it was going to be tough, but this season has gone well so far," Peroni said. "We have a lot of good competition and great teammates."
Peroni and Parker, a senior and Dartmouth recruit, finished next to each other in both of their individual events as well helping two relays to state.
Parker finished third in the 200 IM (2:05.6) and fifth in the 500 free (5:03.2) to earn at-large berths in both events. She and Peroni were on the fourth-place 400 free relay (3:33.52) with Cameron Kuriger and Anna McGrath and the 200 medley relay that finished seventh (1:48.54) with Emily Espy and Kuriger.
"We do feed off each other. We're in the same distance groups and all of the same events," said Parker, who will compete in her fourth state meet. "I didn't really see her at all. I was racing the girl in the lane next to me (in both races). We were racing the same people but not each other."
Kuriger was second in the 100 butterfly (54.94), helping Olentangy to 180 points and fourth place behind champion Upper Arlington (306) as 27 teams scored.
Kuriger is seeded third at state in the 100 fly.
Peroni is seeded ninth in the 200 IM and 10th in the 500 free. Parker is the 10th seed in the 200 IM and 13th in the 500 free.
The 400 free relay is seeded 17th and the 200 medley relay earned the last qualifying spot with the 24th seed.
Although she was not thrilled with her times, Parker credited her club coach, Kyle Goodrich, for helping her during the meet. Goodrich was present as a volunteer coach for St. Charles.
"My times weren't awesome. (Goodrich) was able to watch my swims and help me improve for (this) week. He just reminded me that (state) is our focus, not (district), and we know where to focus," Parker said.
"My times weren't what I wanted, but my splits were fine. I know where I need to be faster."
No Olentangy boys swimmers qualified for state. The Braves finished 21st (23) behind champion Dublin Jerome (301) as 27 teams scored.
Boys team gets time off before tourney
The boys basketball team had 10 days after finishing the regular season Feb. 19 at Marysville to prepare for its Division I district tournament opener March 1 at home against Northland.
Olentangy, which is seeded 16th of 47 teams, was 12-9 overall before playing the Monarchs and finished OCC-Buckeye Division play at 4-6 after an 83-62 home loss to Liberty on Feb. 15. Alex Sieve had 20 points and Caleb Steele added 10 to pace the Braves, who have a first-round bye in the tournament.
A win could mean a district semifinal matchup against sixth-seeded Hilliard Davidson, which Olentangy defeated 61-54 on Feb. 5.
Northland is seeded 19th.
"I think it's a pretty good seed for us. We got to have some choices (of where to go), which was good," coach John Feasel said. "We played Davidson once and did fairly well. I think it's a decent path to a district final. (Having a bye) is like getting some spring practice in football. You get some time to get better, loosen up, rest up and get anybody healthy who needs to."
The loss to the Patriots snapped a four-game winning streak. Olentangy defeated host Marion Harding 61-30 on Feb. 12 behind 15 points from Jake Elmore and 14 from Sean Marks.
Wrestlers turn focus to postseason
After finishing OCC-Buckeye competition with a 36-30 loss at Orange on Feb. 14, the wrestling team began preparation for what is expected to be a competitive Division I sectional Saturday, Feb. 23, at Newark.
The Braves, who went 2-3 in the OCC-Buckeye, are seeded seventh of 45 teams in the district.
Among other teams in the 10-team Newark sectional are top-seeded Liberty, eighth-seeded Dublin Scioto and ninth-seeded Lancaster.
The top four finishers in each weight class will advance to the district tournament March 1 and 2 at Hilliard Darby.
Hockey team advances in tourney
After controlling its first two district tournament games from start to finish, the hockey team will take on second-seeded UA in a quarterfinal Saturday, Feb. 23, at OhioHealth Ice Haus.
The seventh-seeded Braves, who are 19-12-0-3, beat ninth-seeded Orange 4-0 in the first round Feb. 16 at Chiller North. The next day at the same facility, Landon Johnson scored four goals as the Braves maintained control throughout a 6-4 win over eighth-seeded Cincinnati St. Xavier.
Olentangy is 0-2 against UA this season, losing 4-1 on Dec. 2 and 5-2 on Feb. 7 in the first round of the Blue Jackets Cup.
The winner will play third-seeded Liberty or sixth-seeded Cincinnati Moeller in a semifinal Sunday, Feb. 24, at the Ice Haus. That winner will advance to the district final March 2.
Olentangy lost to Liberty 3-2 on Jan. 13.
Bowling teams head to sectional
The boys and girls bowling teams will participate in Division I sectional tournaments this weekend at HP Lanes.
The girls sectional is Friday, Feb. 22, followed by the boys sectional the next day.
From both tournaments, the top 16 teams and top 16 individuals not on qualifying teams will advance to district March 2 at HP Lanes.
The boys were 10-5 overall and the girls were 9-7 overall before finishing the regular season Feb. 19 against Berlin, Liberty and Orange at Sawmill Lanes. The boys finished 7-4 in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-A and 4-3 in the OCC-Buckeye, and the girls were 5-5 and 4-3 in those leagues, respectively.
Gymnastics team preps for district
The gymnastics team will seek its fourth consecutive state berth when it participates in the 35-team district meet Saturday, Feb. 23, at Worthington Kilbourne.
The top three teams advance to compete March 1 at Hilliard Bradley. The top eight individuals in each event and the all-around advance to the state individual meet March 2 at Bradley.
Girls basketball team concludes season
Despite getting within three points early in the third quarter, the girls basketball team could not get over the hump and lost 49-36 at 10th-seeded Liberty in the first round of the Division I district tournament Feb. 16.
Olivia Margolies had 16 points and four rebounds and Meg Spohn added eight points, four rebounds and four steals for the 32nd-seeded Braves, who finished 10-12 and lost to the Patriots for the third time this season.
Olentangy finished its regular season with a win two nights earlier, 53-39 at Licking Valley as Spohn scored 13 points and Bridget Stafford added 12.