Partly because he maintained the same time from preliminaries to finals in the 100-yard breaststroke in the Division I state meet and partly because he was there to begin with, Blake Fry of the Canal Winchester High School boys swimming team was not too hard on himself after a 10th-place finish Feb. 23 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.

"I'd say it was a 10 out of 10. This weekend was amazing," Fry said. "I enjoyed the atmosphere. I soaked it all in. I wanted to drop (time) coming in (to the consolation final), but I am very happy with staying the same. My goal was (making the championship) final, but I am not mad. I have next year to shoot for that."

Fry, a junior who was competing in his third state meet, swam 57.65 seconds both in the preliminary Feb. 22 and the consolation final. He had been seeded 10th after winning the district title Feb. 14 at Ohio State in 57.04 and was 11th after the preliminary.

Fry also placed 19th in the 500 freestyle (4:41.13) at state.

"It's severely impressive just to be here," first-year coach Shaun Elizondo said. "It gets faster every year."

Fry earned the Indians seven points and a tie for 42nd place with Findlay behind champion Cincinnati St. Xavier (310) as 49 teams scored. The Bombers won their 10th consecutive state title and 40th overall.

Despite having qualified for state every year of his high school career, Fry said the meet never gets easier.

"This gets better every year. It's a meet like no other with the energy and excitement and all this love for the sport," Fry said. "It's something I'm proud to be a part of. You know what to expect (being a returning qualifier) and you can use that energy to your advantage, but it's always hard to come in here and compete."

The girls team's only state qualifier, senior Grace Riddle, finished 19th in the 100 backstroke (57.72). Although she added .02 of a second from district, Riddle finished four spots better than she was seeded entering state.

Riddle, an Ohio University recruit, was making her third appearance at state but her first as an individual since finishing ninth in the 100 back as a freshman.

Fry is among three boys district qualifiers eligible to return, along with sophomores Lucas Elizondo (200 medley relay) and Korbin Martino (50 free, 200 medley relay).

Three girls district qualifiers are eligible to return in junior Mikaela Vojacek (200 free relay) and freshmen Madison Burris (200 free relay, 200 medley relay) and Grace Terflinger (100 breast, 200 medley relay).

"We had the largest team (38 swimmers) that we've ever had and we're losing a lot of seniors, but we have a ton of talent returning," coach Elizondo said. "It was a new experience for me, but I am very happy. The kids train very hard and those results showed. For them to compete as well as they did and keep such a camaraderie, that says a lot about their attitudes."

Two wrestlers prep for district tourney

Chance Brown and Gabe Sanfillipo will represent the wrestling team in the Division I district tournament Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2, at Hilliard Darby.

Brown placed third at 152 pounds and Gabe Sanfillipo was fourth at 113 in a 10-team sectional Feb. 23 at Marysville, leading the Indians to 75 points and eighth place behind champion Dublin Coffman (291.5).

The top four finishers in each weight class advanced to district.

Brown went 3-1 and is 27-10 on the season. Sanfillipo was 2-2 at district and is 24-18 overall.

Also competing but failing to advance were Cameron Cross (145, fifth, 2-2), Jared Mattox (160, fifth, 2-2), Ethan McGlone (138, sixth, 1-3), Calvin Trigg (106, sixth, 1-3), Connor Well (220, sixth, 1-3) and Patrick Self (170, 0-2).

At district, the top four finishers in each weight class qualify for the state tournament March 7-9 at Ohio State.

Boys basketball team survives Celtics

The boys basketball team will play host to 25th-seeded Dresden Tri-Valley in the second round of the Division I district tournament Friday, March 1, after having staved off upset-minded Dublin Jerome 60-59 in a first-round home game Feb. 23.

Brady Snyder's layup off an Avery Musick assist with 20 seconds left in overtime capped a wild game that saw Snyder give 10th-seeded Canal Winchester a 52-49 lead with six seconds left in regulation, only to have Jerome's Dan Lee hit a game-tying 3-pointer from just inside half-court at the buzzer.

The Celtics were seeded 18th.

Bilal Sow had 18 points to lead the Indians, who are 19-4. Cole Metzler added 13 points and Snyder scored 11.

The second-round winner plays fifth-seeded Pickerington North or 41st-seeded Briggs in a district semifinal Wednesday, March 6, at a site to be announced. The district final is March 9 at Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Canal Winchester defeated Briggs 82-71 on Dec. 15 and lost to North 62-45 on Feb. 5.

Girls basketball team loses in overtime

The girls basketball team's season came to an end Feb. 22 with a 59-53 overtime loss at 11th-seeded Teays Valley in the second round of the Division I district tournament.

Natalie Rarick had 16 points and Amanda Rarick scored 11 for the 18th-seeded Indians, who finished 13-10.

Canal Winchester trailed 14-9 after a quarter but used an 18-7 second-quarter advantage to lead 27-22 at halftime. The Vikings outscored the Indians 13-7 in the third quarter and 10-4 in overtime.

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave