CANTON — The area’s two champions in the Division I girls state swimming meet Feb. 23 at Branin Natatorium had another thing in common besides their lofty position on the awards stand.
Neither Dublin Coffman High School sophomore Ellie Andrews, who won the 200-yard individual medley (1 minute, 59.73 seconds) and later finished second in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.76), nor the members of the winning 400 freestyle relay from New Albany (3:25.62) could believe their good fortune.
“I can’t even process this right now,” said Andrews, who also helped the 400 free relay place second (3:26.07) and the 200 medley relay place fourth (1:43.74). “After getting ninth last year (in the 200 IM), I put my head down and started to work on my IM and I really wanted it. I really think I wouldn’t be as good in this event if I didn’t have my breaststroke.”
New Albany freshman Ava Lachey secured the title in the 400 free relay with an anchor split of 50.2 seconds, edging Coffman anchor Hannah Bailey. The rest of the Eagles’ relay consisted of junior Lexi Elkovitch, freshman Olivia Hovorka and junior Mia Lachey.
“This is extremely special,” Ava Lachey said. “The last 25 (yards), I was fighting as hard as I could so we could win. It was very exciting. I knew it was close, but in the last 25, I felt like I started to pull away and get ahead a little bit.”
Coffman was the area’s top team for the second consecutive year, finishing fourth (160 points) behind champion Mason (204) as 55 teams scored.
Bailey was runner-up in the 100 butterfly (54.45) and placed sixth in the 100 breast (1:02.66) and Shamrocks junior Kristyn Sabol was runner-up in the 200 free (1:48.26) and placed seventh in the 100 fly (55.99).
Olentangy freshman Cameron Kuriger placed fifth in the 100 fly (55.02).
Led by fifth-place finishes in the 200 medley relay (1:43.89) and 200 free relay (1:35.65), Upper Arlington finished fifth (155.5). Freshman Riley Huddleston placed fourth in the 100 free (50.76) and sixth in the 50 free (23.44) and the 400 free relay was eighth (3:31.4).
Ava Lachey placed third (50.54) and Elkovitch was sixth (51.24) in the 100 free to help pace New Albany, which finished seventh (129). The Eagles’ 200 free relay was fourth (1:34.87).
Other top-eight finishers were Dublin Jerome junior Maya Geringer in the 500 free (second, 4:51.74), Olentangy freshman Martina Peroni in the 200 IM (fifth, 2:04.08) and 500 free (fifth, 4:58.11) and Worthington Kilbourne’s 200 free relay (eighth, 1:37.83).