Brady McInerney met most of his goals in his first Division II state swimming meet.
The DeSales High School freshman finished 10th in the 200-yard individual medley (1 minute, 57.39 seconds) and 20th in the 100 backstroke (55.19) in the meet that concluded Feb. 22 at Branin Natatorium in Canton, an experience McInerney hopes will catapult him toward greater achievements the next three seasons.
"It's exciting as a freshman to be able to make state and even get into a final. That's exciting," McInerney said. "I'm happy. My goal was to get either first or second (in the 200 IM consolation final) and I did. Next year, I hope to make some (championship) finals."
McInerney, who won CCL championships in the 100 butterfly and 500 freestyle and was sectional champion in the 100 back and 200 IM, was DeSales' only state qualifier.
The Stallions scored seven points and tied Norwalk St. Paul for 46th place behind champion Hunting Valley University School (331) as 61 teams scored.
"To be able to be in the top 10 in the state as a freshman, that's a phenomenal feat," coach Ryan Buechner said. "I knew he could make it to state. When I first saw his times at club meets, I was like, 'Oh my goodness, he's going to make state.' When I saw him swim with us for the high school team, I knew he was going to be really good because his work ethic is phenomenal. He really works hard.
"He didn't do as well as he wanted to in the backstroke, but that's motivation. You have to work that much harder to get back and do better in that one next year."
Dayton Oakwood's Nathan Boyce edged McInerney for ninth place in the 200 IM by .21 of a second.
"He got beat in the last two yards," Buechner said. "(Boyce) was three lanes away from him, so (McInerney) couldn't see him coming up on him."
In addition to McInerney, three of DeSales' other seven district qualifiers are eligible to return in junior Aaron Spittell (100 free, 200 IM, 200 medley relay, 400 free relay) of the boys team and sophomore Annamarie DeGuzman (200 free relay, 400 free relay) and freshman Libby Ruff (200 free, 200 free relay, 400 free relay, 500 free) of the girls team.
"This year was quite a ride," Buechner said. "We have a lot to look forward to."
Two wrestlers heading to district
Kody Goffin and Cole Potts of the wrestling team will compete in the Division II district tournament Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2, at Heath.
Potts placed second at heavyweight in a 23-team sectional that concluded Feb. 23 at Licking Valley, and Goffin was third at 120 pounds. The top four finishers in each weight class advanced to district.
Potts, who went 2-1 at sectional and lost to Hartley's Nate Jackson 5-2 in the final, is 31-3 on the season. Goffin went 4-1 at sectional and is 31-10 this season.
Also competing but failing to advance were Josh Morse (126, fifth, 3-2), Romiaun Speed (132, 1-2), Evan Campbell (113, 0-2) and Andrea Offie (138, 0-2).
At district, the top four finishers in each weight class advance to the state tournament March 7-9 at Ohio State.
Girls bowler advances to district
Skyla Blumenscheid will represent the girls bowling team in the Division I district tournament Saturday, March 2, at HP Lanes.
The sophomore finished 25th (518) of 222 individuals in the sectional Feb. 22 at HP Lanes. That led DeSales to a 33rd-place finish (2,422) behind champion Westerville Central (3,777) as 37 teams scored.
The top 16 teams and top 16 individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district.
Also scoring for the Stallions were Catharina Le (tied for 114th, 363), Olivia Houlihan (117th, 360), Tam Ordonez (145th, 319) and Ella Otu-Danquah (tied for 177th, 196).
At district, the top three individuals not on one of the three qualifying teams advance to the state tournament March 8 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
The boys team's season came to an end Feb. 21 in the Division II district tournament at HP Lanes, where James Jackson tied for 36th (546) of 76 individuals and fell short of a berth in the state tournament March 2 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
Boys basketball team begins postseason
The third-seeded boys basketball team played host to 18th-seeded Independence in the first round of the Division II district tournament Feb. 25.
The winner plays 15th-seeded Sparta Highland in a second-round game Saturday, March 2, at the home of the higher seed. That winner will take on fifth-seeded Granville, eighth-seeded London or 12th-seeded Hamilton Township in a district semifinal Tuesday, March 5, at a site to be announced.
The district final is March 9 at Ohio Dominican.
DeSales, which was 14-8 before playing Independence, defeated Highland 57-38 on Jan. 8 and Granville 61-53 on Jan. 22.
The Stallions are seeking their first district championship since 2016.
Gymnasts end season at district
Led by freshman Cidney Barron, the gymnastics team's season came to an end Feb. 23 when it finished 21st (112.925) in the district meet at Worthington Kilbourne behind champion Thornville Sheridan (145.205) as 25 teams scored.
Barron finished 40th on floor exercise (8.525), tied for 61st on uneven bars (7.3), tied for 70th on vault (7.9), tied for 80th on balance beam (7.75) and was 44th in all-around (31.475).
The top three teams advanced to the state team meet Friday, March 1, at Hilliard Bradley, while the top eight individuals in each event and the all-around advanced to the state individual meet Saturday, March 2, at Bradley.
The entire roster is eligible to return, including junior Mykaella Romain and freshmen Jade Forte and Lauren Mahle.
"It was an up-and-down season, but when you only have four gymnasts and they battled some injuries, that's bound to happen," coach Misty Lloyd-Matthews said. "But they worked hard and fought hard and battled through it to get better and I'm proud of them for that."