Olentangy girls swimmer Martina Peroni considered her performance at the Division I district meet Feb. 13 at Ohio State an example of what she can do when she is healthy.
Peroni placed second in the 500-yard freestyle (4 minutes, 58.29 seconds) and fourth in the 200 individual medley (2:05.22), leading the Braves to 118 points and seventh place behind champion New Albany (378) as 26 teams scored.
Peroni was Olentangy's only automatic qualifier to the state meet Friday, Feb. 21, and Saturday, Feb. 22, at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
The top two placers in each swimming event automatically advanced to state. In addition, 16 at-large state berths were awarded for each swimming event based on times statewide.
Peroni, a sophomore, dropped 8.45 seconds in the 500 free and 3.59 seconds in the 200 IM from sectional Feb. 8 at Kenyon College.
"I'm pretty happy with that just because of (the illness) I'm getting over," said Peroni, who also was on the seventh-place 400 free relay (3:37.54) and ninth-place 200 free relay (1:40.32) with Regan Blythe, Cameron Kuriger and Anna McGrath. "That was sectional for me, just getting over that, and I feel like I'm well on my way. This is about where I was at state last year. I'm very happy."
Kuriger was fourth in the 100 butterfly (55.4) and seventh in the 200 IM (2:09.42).
Also for the girls team, Ciara Szerencsits was 10th in diving (328.8), McGrath was 11th in the 200 free (1:57.55) and 13th in the 500 free (5:15.66), Regan Kauderer was 17th in the 200 free (1:59.2) and 23rd in the 50 free (25.41), Blythe finished 17th in the 100 free (54.89) and 19th in the 50 free (25.11), Liz Volpe was 21st in diving (136.4) and the 200 medley relay of Ellie Berry, Kauderer, Siena Madsen and Rory Van Gorder was 25th (2:02.6).
Led by Preston Kuriger's third-place finish in the 100 backstroke (51.71), the boys team finished 11th (58) behind champion Upper Arlington (381.5) as 23 teams scored. Kuriger also was seventh in the 100 free (46.76).
Also for Olentangy, Gunnar Carlson was 12th in diving (315.65), Max McAlister was 14th in the 100 fly (53.24) and 26th in the 50 free (22.54), Chris Sabharwal placed 20th in the 500 free (5:00.91) and 25th in the 100 back (57.81) and Connor Kilrain, Kuriger, McAlister and Sabharwal comprised both the 11th-place 200 medley relay (1:41.54) and 12th-place 400 free relay (3:23.27).
Here's a list of state qualifiers.
Gymnasts prepare for district meet
The gymnastics team almost extended its streak of OCC-Buckeye Division championships to four at the league meet Feb. 11 at Hilliard Darby, but Olentangy ultimately finished second by only .175 of a point.
Meg Morgan (33.725) and Ellie McIntyre (33.025) were second and third, respectively, in the all-around, leading the Braves to 130.95 points and second place behind Orange (131.125) and ahead of Liberty (128.9), Westerville Central (117.475) and Big Walnut (44.95).
McIntyre won floor exercise (8.85) and was second on vault (8.35) and third on balance beam (8.275). Morgan finished second on both bars (8.55) and beam (8.375).
"We fought hard. We had some falls that we don't always have, but we also had some girls who hit that don't always hit," coach Misty Lloyd-Matthews said. "They keep plugging away and getting better every meet. It wasn't our highest team score, but it was close. This is a small team but a powerful team. I couldn't be more pleased with their progress."
The Braves went 6-2 with 16 points to place second overall in the league, behind Orange (20, 8-0) and ahead of Liberty (12, 4-4), Central (8, 2-6) and Big Walnut (4, 0-8).
Olentangy will seek its fifth consecutive state team appearance when it participates in the district meet Saturday, Feb. 22, at Worthington Kilbourne.
The top three teams advance to state Feb. 28 at Hilliard Bradley and the top eight individuals in each event and the all-around advance to the state individual meet Feb. 29 at Bradley.
Girls team starting tourney
The girls basketball team will begin the postseason on the road, as the 28th-seeded Braves will visit 17th-seeded Dublin Scioto for a second-round game Friday, Feb. 21.
Olentangy is 10-12 and won four of its last five regular-season games, a run capped by a 46-40 home win over Licking Valley on Feb. 11 in which Bridget Stafford scored a game-high 13 points and Kennedie Doup added 11.
"I knew we wouldn't have a great seed, but so many teams are so similar, there's so much parity, that anything can happen," coach Kate Cummings said. "We wanted to target some teams close to us and see how it would go. That's what you want and that's how we'll determine how well this team has developed, getting a good matchup against a team similar to us."
The Olentangy-Scioto winner will play fifth-seeded Pickerington Central or 48th-seeded Whetstone in a district semifinal Wednesday, Feb. 26, at a neutral site. The district final is Feb. 29 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
Hockey team set for tournament
Seeded 12th in the 25-team district tournament, the hockey team will play 17th-seeded Watterson in the first round Saturday, Feb. 22, at OhioHealth Ice Haus, with the winner facing fourth-seeded New Albany in the second round Sunday, Feb. 23, at the Ice Haus.
The second-round winner will take on fifth-seeded Dublin Jerome, 14th-seeded Dublin Coffman or 16th-seeded Kettering Alter in a district quarterfinal Feb. 29.
On Feb. 14, Olentangy lost to Coffman 4-3 in four overtimes in a Blue Jackets Cup consolation quarterfinal to fall to 8-19-0-2.
The Braves were seeded 13th in the Blue Jackets Cup, one spot behind Coffman.
The bowling teams will open the postseason this week at HP Lanes.
The boys team will compete in the Division I sectional Friday, Feb. 21, with the girls competing the following day.