The Southwest Ohio High School and Diving Classic will celebrate its 25th anniversary this weekend and it still remains the largest invitational of its kind in the country, according to meet officials.
The event will mark its silver anniversary with approximately 112 schools, including over 2,700 swimmers and 170 divers expected to participate.
The competitions begin Saturday with the preliminaries being held at seven locations for the 18th consecutive season.
The results will be posted at swimmeet.com.
Also, this season, Swimming World TV will produce several segments because of the 25th anniversary.
Former Olympians who competed in the meet will also be honored.
The meet is sponsored by the Southwest Ohio Swimming Officials Association. The organization will also help fund four $750 scholarships to two senior boys and two senior girls for the ninth consecutive year.
As for the competition, the diving preliminaries will be held at Miami University, Mason Community Center, Milford High School and Trotwood-Madison starting tentatively at 1 p.m. Saturday. The finals are at 9 a.m. Sunday at Sycamore.
Swimming prelims will be at the Beavercreek YMCA, Countryside YMCA, Miami, Mason, Milford and Trotwood-Madison starting at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The finals will be at Cincinnati St. Xavier's Keating Natatorium at 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
St. Xavier, the nine-time defending state champions, will go for its 25th consecutive boys’ team title.
The Bombers, which are ranked No. 1 in the Cincinnati Enquirer coaches’ poll, are led by several swimmers, including senior Jim Barbiere (Indiana).
Barbiere, who won the 100 backstroke state title last season, has been strong in several events, including the 200-yard freestyle, 50 free, 100 butterfly, 100 free, 500 free and the 100 backstroke.
St. X coach Jim Brower said Barbiere will likely compete in three events this weekend and also be on all the relay teams.
“Jimmy has been training harder than ever,” Brower said.
Matt Columbus, Will Lawley, Alex Smit (Ohio State), Sean Ransenberg and Evan Schwartz are among others to watch for the Bombers.
“Guys have been stepping up nicely for us lately,” Brower said.
Other individuals to watch for who have committed to colleges include: Turpin’s Nathan Butler (Northwestern), Mason’s Spencer Hewes (Ohio State) and Brad Langford (Cincinnati) and Moeller’s Brian Howell (Florida).
For the girls, Cincinnati Ursuline will try for its fourth consecutive team title. The Lions, who were second at the Division I state meet last season, return several individuals who have committed to compete in college.
Stephanie Conklin (Cincinnati), Katelyn Ishee (Indiana), Sarah Radke (Penn State), Amanda Rom (Bowling Green) and Sarah Tanner (North Carolina) have all committed, according to the school Web site.
Ursuline is ranked No. 1 in the Cincinnati Enquirer coaches' poll.
“We’re looking forward to a weekend of great racing,” Ursuline coach Tim Beerman said.
Others to watch for include: Indian Hill’s Margaret Fish (Harvard), Mariemont’s Christina Flessa (Ohio State), Monroe’s Nicole Brehm (Indiana) and Cara Lennon (Clemson).