Charlie Ferguson has a chance at redemption in the Division II state swimming and diving meet.
The senior for the Grandview Heights boys team won the 100-yard butterfly (51.25 seconds) in the district meet Feb. 12 at Ohio State, advancing to state Thursday, Feb. 20, and Friday, Feb. 21, at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
Last season, Ferguson battled chest congestion from a cold, which limited his breathing and training. He finished 15th in the 200 individual medley (2:00.52) and 20th in the 100 fly (53.39).
"Not having the best state meet just made me want to come back and work even harder and try to push though to make things happen," said Ferguson, who also finished third in the 100 breaststroke at district in a program-record 1:00.86. "I might be a little nervous this year (going into state), but overall I want to have fun and enjoy my last state (meet). I'm more excited than nervous."
Also qualifying for state was Ferguson's sophomore sister, Phoebe Ferguson, who was second in the 200 IM (2:07.41) and swam on the runner-up 400 freestyle relay (program-record 3:40.51) with Annie Volker, Jada Heren and Sam Schaefer.
The top two finishers in each swimming event automatically advanced to state. In addition, 16 at-large state berths were awarded for each swimming event based on district times statewide.
Here's a list of state qualifiers.
"I think being at state last year will really help me because I was really scared then," Phoebe Ferguson said. "I feel more confident because more of my taper will be for state and I can put it all out there."
She also finished third in the 100 fly (program-record 57.25) and was on the third-place 200 free relay (1:41.14) with Volker, Heren and Schaefer.
"I think we did pretty well, especially since I was a little tired coming into the meet but that went away," Phoebe Ferguson said. "I had my best time in the 100 fly and the 400 free relay was close to a school record.
"After the 200 free relay, I was disappointed because we were so close (to Granville's second-place time of 1:41.03). I was still really happy about what we did."
Volker also finished fourth in the 100 backstroke (59.18) and 200 free (program-record 1:57.16), and the girls scored 148.5 points to finish sixth behind champion Columbus School for Girls (401) as 31 teams scored.
The boys were 12th (84) behind champion Granville (253) as 34 teams scored. Blake Yates was 10th in the 200 free (1:53.35) and joined Charlie Ferguson, Adam Ellis and Ethan Deis on the eighth-place 200 free relay (1:57.16).
"I'm really excited about (competing at state)," Charlie Ferguson said. "I need to work on the second 50 of my races because I had really good first 50s. If I can bring it home (this) week, I will have some incredible times."
Wrestling team closes season
First-year coach Mike Dodge said the wrestling team would forgo competing in the Division III postseason, so its season ended Feb. 15 in the MSL-Ohio Division tournament at Bexley.
"It was my decision since we have been getting our butts whipped all year," said Dodge, whose team was to compete in a sectional Feb. 28 and 29 at Morral Ridgedale. "We have so much to work on so we're going to spend that time practicing up until the state tournament, which is as long as we can."
The Bobcats finished fifth (23 points) in the MSL-Ohio tournament behind Buckeye Valley (83), Bexley (82), Whitehall (70) and Columbus Academy (35).
Freshman Walt Donahue (220 pounds) led Grandview by finishing second. Sophomore Lachlan Frank-Collins (heavyweight) and freshmen Jack Pulver (138) and Alasdair Schlesinger (113) all placed third. Junior Gabhran Downer (195), sophomore Harvey Pierce (126) and freshmen Owen Billeter (160) and Jason Reaser (145) all finished fourth.
The Bobcats had no seniors. Also expected to return are junior Layton Feast (120) and sophomores Carter Black (170), Mikael Black (138), Will Doolittle (heavyweight), Brennan Kell (152), Ian Matney (113) and Tazio Pintor (126).
"That's what I love about these kids," Dodge said. "(The league tournament) was a real eye-opener for them, but they want to keep working.
"Our numbers are looking up. Give us a couple of years, we'll be back."
Bowlers qualify for district tourney
The girls bowling team qualified for the Division II district tournament Thursday, Feb. 20, at HP Lanes along with Luke Berlin and Adam Narcelles of the boys team.
In a sectional Feb. 15 at HP Lanes, the girls were led by Leila Meyer, who placed second of 139 bowlers with a 532 three-game series. North Union's Kendra Nicol (564) was medalist.
The Bobcats finished ninth (2,802) behind champion Heath (3,175) as the top 12 teams advanced to district.
Emily Bullock (414, 28th overall), Paige DeNiro (379, 45th), Kyrsten Willmott (343, 66th) and Maddie Hollar (331, 69th) also competed for Grandview.
In a sectional Feb. 14 at HP Lanes, Berlin rolled a 568 to finish fourth of 155 competitors behind champion Nicholas Mann (681) of Caledonia River Valley.
Narcelles (471) was 36th overall and the ninth of 12 individual qualifiers. Jack Greer (404, tied for 68th) was the other Grandview bowler to roll three games.
The Bobcats finished 13th (3,087) behind champion Heath (3,756). Marion Elgin (3,096) was the 12th and final district qualifier.
The boys basketball team will open its postseason this week, and the girls basketball team played its postseason opener earlier in the week.
The boys team opens the Division III district tournament at home Thursday, Feb. 20, against Danville in the first round.
The girls team opened the Division III district tournament Feb. 18 against KIPP Columbus. The winner plays at Cardington on Saturday, Feb. 22, in the second round.