Swimming & Diving: Upper Arlington boys finish second in Division I state meet

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group
Upper Arlington's Avery Voss celebrates after winning the 100-yard freestyle in the Division I state meet Feb. 27 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. Voss helped the Golden Bears finish second as a team.

CANTON – Hanging around in third place after a sometimes disappointing first half of the Division I state meet Feb. 27, the Upper Arlington boys swimming and diving team had a feeling its best was yet to come.

Two first-place finishes later, the Golden Bears proudly hoisted the runner-up trophy for the second consecutive year at Branin Natatorium.

Stanford recruit Avery Voss won the 100-yard freestyle (44.47 seconds) after coming up .1 of a second short of first place in the 50 free (20.33), then anchored the victorious 200 free relay (1:21.76) to lead UA to 190 points and second place behind Cincinnati St. Xavier (260.5), which won its 13th consecutive title and 42nd overall.

“It was a real team effort. Everybody showed up. Our last half of the meet was amazing,” said Voss, who celebrated his first individual and relay titles. “Usually our second half is a little stronger but when everybody got their chance to swim, they stepped up. I’m happy with how I did. I am proud of how I was able to bounce back.”

Grant Gooding, Hayden Jay and Joe Miller rounded out the 200 free relay.

Gooding was second in the 100 breaststroke (55.02).

“Once we got going, and that happens at these meets, it was awesome,” UA coach Mike de Bear said. “Avery is as analytical a kid as I’ve had. … He thinks so much that we’ve been telling him to just go race. Don’t think about stroke counts or turns. Just go.”

Dublin Coffman's Zac Stump celebrates after winning the 500 freestyle in the Division I state meet Feb. 27 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.

Dublin Coffman’s Zac Stump captured the area’s only other championship, winning the 500 free in 4:28.06 – a drop of 4.28 seconds from district six days earlier at Bowling Green. He also tied for seventh in the 100 backstroke (50.12).

“My coach and I talked about setting ourselves up to go fast at this meet and that’s what happened,” Stump said. “My yardage has gone up a ton this year and it’s really helped. I’ve focused on small details.”

Led by Spencer Aurnou-Rhees’ second-place finish in the 100 free (44.92) and third in the 200 free (1:39.18), St. Charles finished fifth (135) as a team. He also anchored the third-place 400 free relay (3:04.33) and sixth-place 200 free relay (1:24.45).

Olentangy Liberty’s Hudson Williams was second in the 200 IM (1:49.63) and fourth in the 100 breast (56.82).

Other top-eight finishers from the area were Reynoldsburg’s Nate Gaver in the 50 free (third, 20.36) and 100 breast (seventh, 57.15), New Albany’s Patrick Daly in the 200 IM (fourth, 1:50.16), Dublin Jerome’s Carson Smith in the 200 free (fourth, 1:39.25) and 100 free (seventh, 45.58), Westerville Central’s Chase Swearingen in the 100 butterfly (fourth, 49.46), Liberty’s Christian Hosler in the 50 free (fifth, 20.74), Jay in the 100 free (sixth, 45.48) and 200 free (seventh, 1:39.25), Hilliard Davidson’s Sergio Suarez in the 50 free (sixth, 20.83), Liberty’s 200 free relay (seventh, 1:25.13), Jerome’s 400 free relay (seventh, 3:06.93), St. Charles’ 200 medley relay (seventh, 1:33.68), Olentangy Berlin’s Brogan Robinson in the 100 breast (eighth, 57.18) and 200 IM (sixth, 1:51.67), Dublin Scioto’s Colson Wenzel in the 50 free (eighth, 20.9), New Albany’s 200 free relay (eighth, 1:25.21) and UA’s 200 medley relay (eighth, 1:33.69).

Olentangy Libery's Kaden Springfield finished second in diving in the Division I state meet Feb. 27 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.

In the diving competition earlier Feb. 27, Liberty’s Kaden Springfield finished second (485.4), one of three freshmen to place in the top five. Springfield led from the fourth round on until Solon freshman Dominic Roberto passed him by scoring 63 points on a reverse 1 1/2 somersault 2 1/2 twist on his 11th and final dive and won with 491.45 points.

“We freshmen were incredible and I can’t wait to compete with (Roberto) the rest of the way. I felt pretty confident in all my dives and that I had a really good performance,” Springfield said. “I thought I was pretty consistent. My strongest was probably my last dive (a back 1 somersault 2 1/2 twist free). I came in knowing I had to get a good amount of points to be in contention to win and I did (52.65), but obviously it wasn’t enough.”

Hilliard Darby senior Hayden Apel was third (459.65) and New Albany freshman Hamish Patel placed fifth (454.4).

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave