The Dublin Jerome swimming and diving teams enter the Division I state meet feeling confident following their performances at district Feb. 13 at Ohio State.
Two boys individuals, one boys relay and one girl for the Celtics advanced automatically to the state meet Friday, Feb. 21, and Saturday, Feb. 22, at Branin Natatorium in Canton, while a slew of others also had strong meets.
"Our whole team has been doing really well," senior Reno James said. "We're on track. It's exactly what I was predicting we'd do. I'm not fully rested, so hopefully state will be even better. I'm really excited."
James helped the boys team finish third (272 points) at district behind Upper Arlington (381.5) and St. Charles (313) as 23 teams scored, while the girls were fifth (165) behind champion New Albany (378) as 26 teams scored.
The top two finishers in each swimming event advanced automatically to state. In addition, 16 at-large state berths were awarded for each swimming event based on times statewide. Here's a list of state qualifiers.
Senior Maya Geringer, who was state runner-up last season in the 500-yard freestyle, won the district title in that event in 4 minutes, 53.7 seconds to lead the girls team.
"I wasn't that concerned going into (district) because I knew my chances of going to state were pretty high, so I just had to go out there and race," Geringer said. "I just wanted to have fun since it was my last district."
James was runner-up in the 100 butterfly (50.94), sophomore Carson Smith was second in the 200 free (1:40.84) and the 400 free relay of James, Smith and seniors Austin Davis and Ian Smith placed second (3:07.43).
Also reaching the district podium for the boys were James in the 200 individual medley (third, 1:52.75), Carson Smith in the 500 free (third, 4:38.36), Ian Smith in the 100 free (fourth, 46.11) and 100 breaststroke (seventh, 58.25), Alex Davis in the 100 backstroke (eighth, 53.18), Austin Davis in the 200 IM (fifth, 1:53.72), Andy Lu in the 100 breast (eighth, 58.59), the 200 free relay of James, Austin Davis, Carson Smith and Ian Smith (fourth, 1:25.84) and the 200 medley relay of Alex Davis, Lu, Patrick Wellman and Austin Wyner (eighth, 1:36.64).
Other competitors were Austin Davis in the 100 breast (ninth, 58.64), Ronith Doddi in the 100 breast (22nd, 1:00.77), Wellman in the 100 fly (10th, 52.64) and 500 free (10th, 4:45.45), Wyner in the 100 free (19th, 49.03) and 50 free (25th, 22.53), Eddie Kelly in diving (21st, 134.7), Adam Bartlett in the 100 back (30th, 59.77), Alex Davis in the 200 IM (ninth, 1:55.03), D.J. Lloyd in the 100 fly (ninth, 52.5) and 200 free (23rd, 1:50.58), Nicky Leonard in the 500 free (19th, 4:59.63), Lu in the 200 IM (14th, 1:57.05), Dean Sherrer in the 200 free (14th, 1:46.41) and 500 free (ninth, 4:45.25) and Kai Van Bourgondien in the 100 fly (16th, 53.59) and 100 back (20th, 56.06).
Also reaching the podium for the girls team was Geringer in the 200 free (third, 1:50.7), Libby Grether in the 200 free (fifth, 1:52.36), Kelsey Cooper in the 100 back (eighth, 57.61), Alyssa Heinlen in diving (eighth, 348.35), the 200 medley relay of Cooper, Lauren Smith and Charlotte Laycock and Grether (seventh, 1:48.24), the 200 free relay of Macy Weeks, Zoe Musselman, Laycock and Geringer (seventh, 1:38.91) and the 400 free relay of Michelle Yang, Musselman, Grether and Geringer (fifth, 3:35.92).
Other competitors were Caitlyn Laycock in the 200 free (24th, 2:03.56) and 500 free (30th, 5:36.91), Weeks in the 50 free (22nd, 25.19) and 100 free (28th, 56.29), Claudia Sherrer in the 200 IM (29th, 2:19.13) and 100 back (26th, 1:01.72), Cooper in the 100 free (20th, 54.99), Lauren Smith in the 100 IM (16th, 2:11.93) and 100 breast (17th, 1:08.53), Yang in the 200 free (18th, 1:59.48) and 100 free (24th, 55.61), Morgan Erdmann in diving (29th, 108.3), Grether in the 100 back (11th, 58.04), Charlotte Laycock in the 100 fly (13th, 58.03) and 100 back (25th, 1:01.49), Ava Keener in diving (18th, 215.25), Charlotte Mallue in diving (11th, 325.25), Musselman in the 50 free (18th, 25.02) and 100 free (18th, 54.9), Lily Schwelgin in the 100 fly (tied for 25th, 1:00.22) and Ashlyn Walter in the 500 free (25th, 5:30.28).
Boys team getting ready for Orange
The boys basketball team will enter the Division I district tournament having won three of its past five games.
The 31st-seeded Celtics visit 20th-seeded Olentangy Orange on Saturday, Feb. 22, for a first-round game.
The winner plays 10th-seeded Coffman or 35th-seeded Hilliard Darby in the second round Feb. 28 at the home of the better seed.
Jerome closed the regular season Feb. 14 with a 51-41 loss to Scioto to drop to 10-12 overall and finish 5-9 in the OCC-Cardinal Division.
"We have shot the ball extremely well of late and are playing with a much better pace on offense," coach Richie Beard said. "The consistency on offense has been huge and we've seen huge growth."
Jerome lost to Orange 51-46 on Dec. 27. The Pioneers were district runners-up last season and are 14-8.
Senior Dan Lee had a team-high 24 points against Orange, but the Pioneers had five players score seven or more points, led by junior guard/forward Jason Foster with 14.
"Orange is very similar to us," Beard said. "We played them in a very close game earlier in the year. They're well-coached and will be well-prepared."
Hockey team falls in CBJ Cup semi
The hockey team was seeded fifth for the Blue Jackets Cup tournament but came close to advancing to the title game after winning each of the past three titles.
The Celtics defeated fourth-seeded New Albany 3-0 in a quarterfinal Feb. 13 at OhioHealth Ice Haus before losing to top-seeded Upper Arlington 2-1 in a semifinal Feb. 15 at the Ice Haus to drop to 18-14-1.
Nolan Kunzelman had two assists and Matt Kish, Evan Halligan and Joel Kunzelman each had one goal against New Albany in support of goaltender Ryan Norkin, who made 26 saves.
Jerome also is the fifth seed for the district tournament and has a first-round bye. The Celtics will play 14th-seeded Coffman or 16th-seeded Kettering Alter in a second-round game Saturday, Feb. 22, at Chiller North, with the winner facing fourth-seeded New Albany, 15th-seeded Olentangy or 17th-seeded Watterson in a quarterfinal Feb. 29 at the Ice Haus.
"Our team has been playing the best they have all season," coach Pat Murphy said. "Historically, when you've got to play the best is when you're going into the playoffs. We're not done yet."
The 19th-seeded girls basketball team opened the Division I district tournament Feb. 14 with a 42-21 victory over 35th-seeded Thomas Worthington to advance to a second-round game Friday, Feb. 21, at 11th-seeded Big Walnut.
The gymnastics team will compete in the district meet Saturday, Feb. 22, at Worthington Kilbourne.