State swimming and diving tourney starts Thursday in Canton

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2008 state swimming and diving tournaments
Cincinnati St. Xavier (boys) and Gates Mills Hawken (girls, D-II) are looking to win their 10th straight state titles this weekend at the OHSAA boys and girls state swimming and diving tournaments at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton. Another storyline is whether or not Cincinnati Ursuline can break through for the D-I girls state title after five straight second place finishes. For more information on the entire weekend read on…


Another Cincinnati St. Xavier team will travel up to Stark County this weekend to compete for yet another state title in Canton.

While the Bombers’ football squad won its second state title in three years this past fall at Fawcett Stadium, the St. X swimming team is seeking to add its 10th consecutive state title to its legendary prep program.

But, St. X coach Jim Brower – who is first in state titles (14) among all coaches of male sports – said nothing will be easy the next three days for the district champion Bombers.

Columbus St. Charles offers very tough competition to St. X and a threat to end the streak of state titles.

But, Brower said his squad is looking forward everything Canton has to offer.

“We have worked hard to get where we are,” Brower said. “Our focus has always been on Canton.”

Indeed, the most talented swimmers in the state will converge on Canton McKinley’s Branin Natatorium to compete in the annual state meet, which begins a.m. Thursday morning with the Division I girls’ diving competition.

St. X isn’t the only team going for its 10th consecutive title. Hawken will be competing for its 10th consecutive team title in Division II girls’ competition.

Hawken has won the past eight Division II titles and won in 1999 when there was only one girls division.

St. X won the district title Feb. 15 with 425 points. Senior Steven Springer won the 50 freestyle in 21.03, while Alex Smit, an Ohio State recruit, won the 100 butterfly in 50.97.

Senior Jim Barbiere (Indiana), a defending state champion in the 100 backstroke, won last week in 51.46.

“I expect our seniors to be leaders. I cannot ask for more than that,” said Brower, who grew up in Canton and was a state breaststroke champion for GlenOak in 1982.

“The coaches could not be more proud of them for who they are and it will be their character that will carry us.”

While St. X is a favorite for a team title from the Cincinnati area, there are several individuals who could make a significant impact.

Turpin senior Nathan Butler (Northwestern), a defending state champ, and Mason senior Spencer Hewes (Ohio State) will be favorites in the 100 breaststroke.

Moeller senior Brian Howell (Florida), a defending state champ, set a meet record in the 200 individual medley in 1:49.66.

For diving, Indian Hill junior Michael Grainger won his third consecutive district title. Grainger was eighth at state last season. Mason’s Stephen Sargent was second at district.

For the girls, Upper Arlington is the runaway favorite in Division I. The Golden Bears are loaded.

Cincinnati Ursuline looks to pose the biggest threat to UA although it's unikely the Lions will unseat the Bears. Ursuline has been Division I state runner-up the past five seasons.

Ursuline won the district title last weekend and has solid experience when it arrives in Canton.

Senior Sarah Tanner (North Carolina) won district titles in the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly.

Ursuline also won the 200 freestyle relay.

“We also have a core group of seniors who have been there before,” Ursuline coach Tim Beerman recently told the Community Press. “They have competed at the highest level and they pass that experience down to the underclassmen.”

Tanner is one of five Ursuline seniors who have committed to Division I college programs.

Other individuals to watch include Mason’s Danielle Jansen, who was state runner-up in the 50 and 100 freestyles last season.

In diving, Mason sophomore Taylor Edwards was the Cincinnati area’s highest district finisher when she took second place last week.

In Division II, Wyoming won the district team title for the second consecutive season.

“We want to do as well up there (in Canton) as much as we can,” Wyoming coach David Elliott said.

Wyoming won the district title in the 400 freestyle relay in 3:42.80. Cincinnati Hills League rival Mariemont won the 200 freestyle relay in 1:40.64.

Other individuals to watch include Indian Hill’s Margaret Fish (Harvard), who won the 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle.

In diving, Monroe senior Nicole Brehm (Indiana) is a favorite after she won the district title Sunday afternoon. Brehm was state runner-up the past two seasons.

32ND ANNUAL OHSAA GIRLS STATE SWIMMING & DIVING TOURNAMENT

WHEN/WHERE: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at C.T. Branin Natatorium (2323 17th St. N.W., Canton)

TIME/EVENTS:
Thursday

Girls Division I Diving Preliminaries, Semifinals and Finals (9:00 a.m.)
Girls Divisions II Diving Preliminaries, Semifinals and Finals (2:00 p.m.)
Friday
Girls Division I and Girls Division II Preliminaries (9:30 a.m.) and finals (6:00 p.m.) in first five swimming events
Saturday
Girls Division I and Girls Division II Preliminaries (9:00 a.m.) and Finals (6:00 p.m.) in final six swimming events.

ADMISSION: $7.00 per person for each of the five sessions (Thursday diving; Friday swimming preliminaries; Friday swimming finals; Saturday swimming preliminaries; Saturday swimming finals). Swimming admission is sold as an all-session ticket at $28.00 each. Diving admission is sold separately at $7.00.

TOURNAMENT INFORMATION: This is the ninth year in which there are two divisions for girls swimming & diving. Schools with enrollments of 367 females or more in grades 9 through 11 (from fall 2006 figures) compete in Division I, while schools with enrollments of 366 females or less in grades 9 through 11 compete in Division II. When sectional tournaments began two weeks ago, there were approximately 153 Division I teams and 155 Division II teams.

In Division I, the combined Central, East and Southeast districts qualified three swimmers and five divers to the state tournament; the Northeast district qualified five swimmers and nine divers; the Northwest district qualified one swimmer and three divers, and the Southwest district qualified four swimmers and seven divers.

In Division II, the combined Central, East and Southeast districts qualified four swimmers and seven divers to the state tournament; the Northeast district qualified three swimmers and six divers; the Northwest district qualified three swimmers and six divers, and the Southwest district qualified three swimmers and five divers. In addition, both divisions qualified 11 at-large swimmers to the state tournament based on times recorded at the district tournaments.

2007 IN REVIEW: 31st Annual OHSAA Girls State Swimming & Diving Tournaments, Feb. 22, 23 and 24, 2007, C.T. Branin Natatorium, Canton.

Division I: Upper Arlington won its third consecutive state championship and fourth in five years when it had 330 points. Cincinnati Ursuline Academy was runner-up for the fifth straight year with 202.5 points. UA was led by sophomore Darcy Fishback, who defended her championship the 100 butterfly and was on the winning 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams. Golden Bears junior Jenna Hillier defended her championship in the 50 freestyle (she swam for Dublin Jerome in 2006) and was on the winning 200 medley relay, and junior Abby Johnston, who set a state record in the district tournament, regained the one-meter diving championship she won as a freshman.

The other highlight was the performance of Cincinnati Anderson senior Anita Beck, who won her third straight 500 freestyle and second consecutive 200 freestyle.
Upper Arlington won last week’s district tournament at Ohio University.

Division II: Gates Mills Hawken won its eighth straight Division II championship, captured its 11th state title in 12 years and raised its all-time lead in girls state swimming & diving championships to 17 when it had 358 points. For the sixth straight year, Cincinnati Indian Hill was the runner-up with 145. Hawken was led by junior Brittany Strumbel, who defended her championship in the 200 freestyle, won the 500 freestyle and swam on the winning 200 and 400 freestyle relays. The 200 freestyle relay team set a tournament record (1:37.63). The Hawk’s other championship came in the 200 medlay relay.

Other highlights of the tournament saw Indian Hill senior Amanda Smith set state and tournament records in winning the 100 butterfly (55.65); Indian Hill junior Margaret Fish win the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke; Milford Center Fairbanks freshman Margo Geer, who set a state record in the 50 freestyle at the district tournament, set a tournament record in winning the 50 freestyle (23.60) and also capture the 100 freestyle, and Millbury Lake senior Brittany TenEyck defend her championship in one-meter diving.

Hawken won last week’s district tournament at Cleveland State University.

81ST ANNUAL OHSAA BOYS STATE SWIMMING & DIVING TOURNAMENT

WHEN/WHERE: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at C.T. Branin Natatorium (2323 17th St. N.W., Canton)

TIME/EVENTS:
Thursday

Boys Division I Diving Preliminaries, Semifinals and Finals (7:00 p.m.)
Friday
Boys Division I Preliminaries (9:30 a.m.) and finals (6:00 p.m.) in first five swimming events
Saturday
Boys Division I Preliminaries (9:00 a.m.) and finals (6:00 p.m.) in final six swimming events.

ADMISSION: $7.00 per person for each of the five sessions (Thursday diving; Friday swimming preliminaries; Friday swimming finals; Saturday swimming preliminaries; Saturday swimming finals). Swimming admission is sold as an all-session ticket at $28.00 each. Diving admission is sold separately at $7.00.

TOURNAMENT INFORMATION: The boys continue to have one division since there have been less than 251 boys teams (seven or more participants make up a team) throughout the state. When sectional tournaments began two weeks ago, there were approximately 244 teams. The combined Central, East and Southeast districts have qualified three swimmers and six divers to the state tournament; the Northeast district qualified four swimmers and eight divers; the Northwest district qualified three swimmers and five divers, and the Southwest district qualified three swimmers and five divers. In addition, 11 at-large swimmers qualified to the state tournament based on times recorded at the district tournaments.

2007 IN REVIEW: 80th Annual OHSAA Boys State Swimming & Diving Tournament, Feb. 22, 23 and 24, 2007, C.T. Branin Natatorium, Canton.

Cincinnati St. Xavier won its 16th state championship since 1990, ninth in a row and increased its lead in all-time state swimming & diving championships to 29 when it had 250 points. Columbus St. Charles was runner-up for the second straight year with 177 points. It was also the 14th state championship for Head Coach Jim Brower, giving him the all-time lead in Ohio state championships for a head coach in any sport. Leading the Bombers were senior David Mosko and junior Jim Barbiere. Mosko defended his championship in the 500 freestyle with a state and tournament record (4:20.56) and won the 200 freestyle, Barbiere defended his title in the 100 backstroke and both were on the winning 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams.

Another standout of the tournament was Westerville Central senior Austin Staab. He defended his championship in the 100 butterfly, where he tied a national record (47.10) and set Ohio state and tournament records, and also took his second straight 100 freestyle crown.

St. Xavier won last week’s district championship at Miami University.

2008 DISTRICT CHAMPIONS

GIRLS
Ohio University: Upper Arlington 618 (DI); New Albany 330 (DII)
Cleveland State: Solon 248 (DI); Gates Mills Hawken 456 (DII)
Bowling Green: Findlay 301 (DI); Napoleon 338 (DII)
Miami University: Cincinnati Ursuline Academy 363 (DI); Cincinnati Wyoming 281 (DII)

BOYS
Ohio University:
Columbus St. Charles 524
Cleveland State: Hunting Valley University School 286
Bowling Green: Toledo St. John’s Jesuit 369
Miami University: Cincinnati St. Xavier 425

RETURNING STATE CHAMPIONS

GIRLS DIVISION I
Darcy Fishback, Jr., Upper Arlington (2007-100 fly; 2006-100 fly)
Jenna Hillier, Sr., Upper Arlington (2007-50 free; 2006-50 free)
Lindsay Lash, Sr., Westerville North (2007-100 back)
Ashley Specht, Jr., Powell Olentangy Liberty (2007-100 breast)
Sarah Tanner, Sr., Cincinnati Ursuline Academy (2007-200 IM)
Alisa Vereshchagin, Sr., Solon (2006-100 breast)

GIRLS DIVISION II
Margo Geer, So., Milford Center Fairbanks (2007-50 free; 2007-100 free)
Margaret Fish, Sr., Cincinnati Indian Hill (2007-200 IM; 2007-100 back)
Brittany Strumbel, Sr., Gates Mills Hawken (2007-200 free; 2006-200 free; 2007-500 free)

BOYS DIVISION I
Jim Barbiere, Sr., Cincinnati St. Xavier (2007-100 back; 2006-100 back)
Nathan Butler, Sr., Cincinnati Turpin (2007-100 breast)
Spencer Hewes, Sr., Mason (2006-100 back)
Brian Howell, Sr., Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (2007-200 IM)

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