Depth played a pivotal role in determining the winning clubs in the Varsity and Junior Varsity divisions in the Suburban East Swim League meet July 18 at Gahanna Swimming Pool.
The Eastmoor Swordfish captured their seventh consecutive title in Varsity and New Albany Links earned its fourth JV title in a row.
The Varsity Division had athletes in three age groups - 11-12, 13-14 and 15-18 - and the JV Division consisted of athletes 10 and under.
Eastmoor won 11 Varsity events and totaled 644 points to finish ahead of Foxboro (461), Hunters Ridge (368), New Albany (269) and Life Time Swim Ohio-Easton (45). But Foxboro won 15 events, and Hunters Ridge and New Albany also won eight events apiece.
"I don't know that this was our fastest team to begin with and then we had a number of swimmers unavailable to compete for various reasons," Eastmoor coach Tony Phillips said. "We had a bunch who had other commitments, but we also have a lot of kids who can score well that don't necessarily win a lot of events.
"They all did their jobs, so we were able to do what we needed to do to extend our streak of Varsity championships."
In the JV Division, New Albany won eight events, as did Foxboro, and Hunters Ridge won six times. New Albany (316) finished ahead of Eastmoor (296), Foxboro (266), Hunters Ridge (218) and Life Time (22).
Leading the Varsity swimmers for Eastmoor was Owen Kennedy, who won the 100-yard freestyle (52.74 seconds), 100 individual medley (57.99) and 100 backstroke (1:02.63) in the boys 15-18 competition.
"We've had a pretty good Varsity (lineup) for quite a few years in a row," Kennedy said. "So we wanted to live up to that and keep the streak alive. We've got good, quality swimmers who work hard."
Other winners included Chad Kegelmayer in the boys 15-18 100 breaststroke (1:08.02), Kayla Williams in the girls 15-18 100 back (1:09.56), Connor Monfort in the boys 11-12 50 breast (42.27) and Luke Allwein in the boys 11-12 50 free (30.23). The boys 11-12 group won the 200 free relay (2:22.08) and 200 medley relay (2:30.35), and the girls 15-18 won the 200 free relay (1:52.24) and 200 medley relay (2:03.85).
Katy Drummond led the Eastmoor JV by winning the 25 butterfly (16.17), 50 free (32.69) and 50 back (39.55) in girls 10U, which also won the 100 free relay (1:06.28) and 100 medley relay (1:14.88).
"This is my first year (with Eastmoor) and we're just focused on doing what we need to do to improve," Drummond said. "I always want to do my best and win, but we just wanted to have fun and enjoy the experience. I've made some really good friends, too."
Foxboro wins 23 of 70 event titles
In addition to 15 Varsity titles, Foxboro added eight JV titles in the 70 combined events.
The boys 13-14 group led the way, as Tuckor Lambert won the 50 back (SESL-record 27.34), 50 breast (33.88) and 50 free (25.21) and Luke Boltz was first in the 50 fly (29.74) and 100 IM (1:08.59).
Stella Brofford was first in the 50 free (27.86), 50 fly (29.37) and 100 IM (1:07.99) in girls 13-14, and Samantha York won the 50 back (33.69). The 13-14 girls also won the 200 medley relay (2:17.46).
The boys 15-18 group won the 200 free relay (1:40.52) and 200 medley relay (1:53.36). Other winners were Austin Wharton in the boys 15-18 50 fly (26.99), Kasey Lichtner in the girls 15-18 100 breast (1:12.4) and Isabella Felter in the girls 11-12 50 breast (39.45).
"We had a great meet and season and as a first-year coach, I'm very excited and proud of our team," coach Tannor Lambert said. "We finished second across the board in JV and Varsity in the dual-meet season and in the championships. We had so many kids swim their best. It was just a great day.
"My brother, Tuckor, set a league record and we're pretty excited about that, too."
In the JV competition, Xavier River won the 25 free (16.55), 25 back (21.86) and 25 fly (19.97) and Andrew Conway won the 25 breast (27.79) in boys 8U. Foxboro also won the 100 free relay (1:18.89) and 100 medley relay (1:42.28) in that age group.
In girls 6U, Audrey Moore won the 25 free (22.44) and Natalie Klein won the 25 back (27.9).
White leads balanced New Albany to JV title
In girls 8U, Kara White won the 25 fly (18.23) and 25 free (17.22), Abby Leimeister won the 25 breast (23.51) and New Albany also won the 100 free relay (1:23.21) and 100 medley relay (1:33.96) in that age group to set the tone for the JV championship.
Luca Ritchey won the 50 breast (54.25) in boys 10U, and New Albany also won the 100 free relay (1:12.53) and 100 medley relay (1:28.64) in that age group.
"Our kids swam great from top to bottom," coach John Sands said. "We had a ton of great times and swims. We were missing so many kids who had other obligations. It was a good opportunity for some of those kids who sometimes get overshadowed. They had their chance in the spotlight and really came through.
"That shows our depth, especially at the JV level. Our goal is to keep these swimmers with us and maintain our participation at the higher level. That's been our problem lately."
On the Varsity side, Marisa Downs won the 50 fly (28.03), 100 free (55.77) and 100 IM (1:04.43) in girls 15-18, and Luke White won the 50 back (37.05) and 100 IM (1:21.98) in boys 11-12.
In girls 11-12, Brooke Bambey won the 50 back (37.93) and the group won the 200 free relay (2:14.93) and 200 medley relay (2:28.99).
Letzelter, Ryan fuel Seahorses' efforts
Hilary Letzelter led the Hunters Ridge Seahorses on Varsity, winning the 50 fly (32.4), 50 free (29.4) and 100 IM (1:17.57) in girls 11-12, and Blake Weisenberger won the 50 fly (35.55) in boys 11-12.
In girls 13-14, Rene Fleege was first in the 50 breast (34.79) and the 200 free relay (1:56.58) also won. The boys 13-14 group won the 200 free relay (2:04.95) and 200 medley relay (2:17.46).
In the JV Division, Jack Ryan won the 25 fly (18.5), 50 back (43.64) and 50 free (36.43) in boys 10U, and Dylan Wicker won the 25 back (29.38) and 25 free (24.33) in boys 6U.
Annabelle Schmidt was first in the 50 breast (39.5) in girls 10U.
McCoy wins only title for Life Time-Easton
Emilee McCoy earned the lone event title for Life Time, winning the girls 8U 25 back (23.74).
Wesley Avery was fifth in the boys 10U 50 back (55.14).
Scott Valentine finished third in the 50 fly (37.59), 50 free (32.71) and 100 IM (1:25.21) in boys 11-12, and Alex Intres was fourth in the 100 back (1:38.33) in boys 15-18.