The boys and girls swimming and diving sectional tournaments start this week and that means so does something else – Cincinnati St. Xavier's quest for yet another boys state swimming title. The Bombers have won nine consecutive state titles and 29 overall. The state meet will be at Canton McKinley's Branin Natatorium Feb. 21-23 in Canton.
The swimming and diving sectional tournaments will begin this week as Cincinnati area competitors take the first step toward making a state meet berth.
The district meets are next week, but the annual state meet will be at Canton McKinley's Branin Natatorium Feb. 21-23 in Canton.
The boys' sectional diving meet will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Miami University. The boys' swimming begins at 6 p.m. Friday at Cincinnati St. Xavier's Keating Natatorium. It will also be at Mason at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Cincinnati St. Xavier, which is ranked No. 1 in the Cincinnati Enquirer area coaches' poll, is certainly the favorite again this season.
The Bombers have won nine consecutive state titles and 29 overall as a program.
St. X recently won its 57th Greater Catholic League championship.
“I am very happy with the effort the team is putting forth,” St. X coach Jim Brower said. “At the sectional meet we'll have to be sharp to make sure we advance as many swimmers and divers as possible. It should also give us a good feel for the things we need to focus on in the weeks to follow.”
St. X senior Jim Barbiere, an Indiana recruit, continues to impress. Barbiere had Cincinnati's top times in the 200 yard freestyle, 100 freestyle, 500 freestyle and 100 backstroke at the end of last week.
Senior Alex Smit (Ohio State) had the top time in the 100 butterfly and senior Steven Springer had the top time in the 50 freestyle.
“I am very proud of our seniors. Jimmy, Alex and Steven are all looking very sharp,” Brower said. “A lot of the other guys are also looking good. This is the time of year we spend months training for, and the excitement is growing, but we also know we need to keep getting better.”
Other swimmers to watch for include Moeller senior Brian Howell (Florida), who had a top time in the 200 individual medley.
Moeller, which is ranked No. 2 in the poll, was second in the GCL meet.
Turpin's Nathan Butler (Northwestern) had a top time in the 100 breaststroke.
Mason seniors Spencer Hewes (Ohio State) and Brad Langford (Cincinnati) have also done well for the Comets, who won the Greater Miami Conference last weekend.
Hewes broke the league record in the 100 breaststroke during the GMC meet.
“He is a such a great competitor,” Mason coach Mark Sullivan said. “It was really neat to see him get that win. It was a great start for him for the final month.”
The Division II girls' diving is 6 p.m. Tuesday at Miami University and the Division I girls' diving is Thursday night.
The Division I swimming begins Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at St. Xavier and also at Mason at 9:30 a.m. The Division II swimming is at Mason at 2:30 p.m.
Cincinnati Ursuline, which is ranked No. 1 in the Cincinnati Enquirer coaches' poll, is a favorite in Division I.
The Lions recently won the Girls' Greater Cincinnati League championship for the 24th consecutive season.
Senior Sarah Tanner (North Carolina) won the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly.
Mason, which is ranked second, should also have an impact after the Comets won the Greater Miami Conference last weekend.
Sophomore Danielle Jansen, who was the swimmer of the meet, broke the 50 free and 100 free league records.
“She just keeps going,” Sullivan said. “She has a great mindset on what she is doing.”
In Division II, Cincinnati Hills League teams Wyoming, Mariemont and Indian Hill are among the favorites.
Wyoming won the CHL league meet last weekend. Mariemont's Christina Flessa (Ohio State) was named the swimmer of the year.