CANTON — Throughout much of the Division I state boys swimming and diving meet Feb. 23 at Branin Natatorium in Canton, Olentangy Liberty High School sophomore Jack Matthews hung with two-time defending state champion and senior Lyle Yost from Shaker Heights in the diving competition.
One of Matthews’ best dives came on his last one, but his strong finish wasn’t quite enough to catch Yost, who added another title with 571.2 points while Matthews earned a second consecutive runner-up finish (534.0).
“Especially on the 1-meter (board), it helps to be able to jump to the moon (like Yost),” Matthews said. “I’m really happy with (my last dive). It’s good to end on a good note.”
Also in diving, New Albany sophomore Jordan Rzepka finished third (505.45) and Olentangy Orange senior Luke Cheetham finished eighth (430.7).
“It was my first time competing (at state) because I was out last year with a broken thumb,” Rzepka said. “I was fine this year and was happy to be out there.”
Matthews helped Liberty tie for 15th (42 points) and Rzepka helped New Albany tie for 20th (35) behind champion Cincinnati St. Xavier (310) as 49 teams scored.
Dublin Jerome led central Ohio with a seventh-place finish (95), while St. Charles finished 11th (63) and Upper Arlington was 12th (61). Dublin Coffman (22nd, 33), Westerville North (23rd, 30) and Grove City (24th, 29) also made the top 30.
Senior Max Scott led Jerome with a third-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle (20.42 seconds) and placed seventh in the 100 free (46.26). He also anchored the 400 free relay that placed third (3:05.34) and included juniors Ian Smith, Reno James and Austin Davis.
“It’s the most exciting meet I’ve ever been to,” James said.
Also placing third were Grove City senior Spencer Tussing in the 500 free (4:32.25) and Westerville North senior Andrew Bernsdorf in the 200 individual medley (1:49.29).
“I haven’t swam high school (the last) two years, so I wasn’t sure what was going to happen,” Tussing said. “I swam freshman year and made the B final, so I’m glad to be in the ‘big boy’ heat this year. I had a lot of fun doing it and am glad I could come out and swim as best as I could.”
Tussing added a sixth-place finish in the 200 free (1:40.19) and Bernsdorf added a fifth-place finish in the 500 free (4:33.6).
The St. Charles 200 medley relay of sophomores Will Elsrod and Mitchell List, junior Alex Nash and senior Jonathan Sugar was eighth for part of its race but rallied to tie for fourth (1:33.32).
Placing for UA were its 400 free relay of sophomores Hayden Jay and Avery Voss, senior Alec Caswell and junior Antonio Ventresca (eighth, 3:10.47) and Voss in the 50 free (seventh, 20.88) and 100 free (eighth, 46.33).