COLUMBUS – Perrysburg is sending 11 qualifiers to this week’s Division I state swimming and diving meet, including two divers and four relay teams.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association’s first winter state tournament will take place this week as the swimming and diving state tournament will be held in Canton at C.T. Branin Natatorium, which has the largest spectator capacity of any natatorium in the state (1,700).
Perrysburg divers qualifying are senior Owen Recker (540.05) and freshman Trevor Madigan (479) after they finished first and second at the district meet out of 26 competitors.
At Bowling Green State University, Recker had a 249.6 in the prelims and a 382.8 in the semifinals, and Madigan scored 232 and 344.25.
Two Perrysburg boys individual swimmers qualified, including Steven Green in the 100 backstroke (52.85), plus he also broke the school record in the 50 freestyle (21.94).
Senior Nik Neceski qualified in the 500 freestyle with a best time this season of 5:13.14.
However, three boys relay teams qualified, including the 200 medley squad of Green, junior Seth Merriman, senior John Majerus and junior Ewan Fisher, which broke a school record (1:38.35).
The 400 freestyle relay (3:19.25) team, Majerus, Fisher, Merriman and Green qualified, and so did the 200 freestyle relay (1:34.44 best time this year), which includes Majerus, Fernando Garcia, Braden Poland and Josh Poland.
Individual girls state qualifiers include sophomore Natalie Sanders in the 200 freestyle, where she set a school record of 1:53.35 this year, and Sanders also qualified in the 100 freestyle (52.92).
Perrysburg senior Haley Gano qualified in the 200 intermediate medley (2:09.76). Plus, the girls 400 freestyle relay team, Gano, Sanders, Claire Gerken and Sylvia Freeman, qualified for state.
In Division II, Eastwood senior Ian Sander (1:58.72) and sophomore Eric Sander (2:01.85) qualified in the 200 IM. Ian Sander also qualified in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.49).
In the 200 IM district meet, Sander finished third behind the champion, New Bremen sophomore Andy Jiang (1:54.71) and second place Lexington junior Ivan Prykhodko (1:58.58).
Bluffton senior Riley Verb (1:58.84) was fourth, Ontario freshman Grantham Trumpower (2:00.69) was fifth and Eric Sander sixth.
In the district 100 breaststroke, Ian Sander placed fifth behind Prykhodko (56.43), Lexington sophomore Trey Nickoli (59.59), Clyde senior Grayson Morgan (1:00.06), Oak Harbors senior Karson Lajti (1:00.24), and Celina freshman Jackson Newcomb (1:00.39).
Eastwood senior Emily O’Brien qualified for the D-II girls state meet in the 500 freestyle (5:25.79). O’Brien placed third at districts behind Wauseon freshman Reese Ankney (5:20.43) and Shelby sophomore Emma Montgomery (5:21.62).
In the boys 500 freestyle, Eastwood sophomore A.J. O’Brien (5:08.89) finished fifth at district, but his time was not good enough for him to qualify for state as he left over 11 seconds between him and fourth place at the district meet.
A.J. O’Brien finished behind Lexington freshman Cooper Watters (4:50.32), Huron senior Granthem Brown (4;50.45), Sandusky St. Mary senior David Grant (4:56.16), and Napoleon senior Alex Gyde (4:57.42).
In addition to the Division I and II state tournaments, there will also be two events for para swimmers on Friday night during the Division II state finals.