After winning five individual races and three relays at the Division I district, St. Francis de Sales heads to the state swimming and diving meet with great optimism.
“We have a great opportunity to win the state championship,” Knights first-year coach Brent Ransom said. “[Cincinnati] St. Xavier is still the favorite.”
The Knights won a district team title for the 48th time in school history, compiling 468 points to runner-up Strongsville’s 315.
The state meet begins with diving today (Thursday) and the finals taking place on Saturday at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
Jack DiSalle, a senior, and Christian Sobczak, a junior, each captured two events and swam on two winning Knights relays.
DiSalle, a district champ for the 100 and 200-yard freestyle events, owns the fourth-best time (45.85 seconds) among state qualifiers for the 100 and fifth best (1 minute, 41.29 seconds) in the 200.
Sobczak holds the third-best time (50.61) in the 100 backstroke and is fifth best in the 200 individual medlay at 1:52.54, the two events he won at district.
The Knights’ other individual district champ was junior Ben Gordon in the 100 butterfly (50.79).
Among other state qualifiers, Aaron Borgman, a junior, has the fifth-best state time in 500 free at 4:35.63.
Mike Minor, a senior, is among the top 1-meter divers. His 441.50 score at the district ranks sixth, while sophomore Jecorlin Frazier also qualified to state.
The Knights’ 200 medley relay team (Evan Williams, Jack Barone, Gordon, and Nick Brodie) is considered a favorite after winning the district at 1:33.61.
The 200 free relay with the team of DiSalle, Barone, Sobczak, and Brodie has the second-best qualifying time (1:24.60).
The 400 freestyle relay team (DiSalle, Gordon, Borgman, and Sobczak) won the district with the fourth-best state qualifying time of 3:08.31.
Brodie, a senior, qualified to state in the 50 free and 100 free (47.02). Barone, a junior, advanced in the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM.
St. John’s Jesuit senior Mitchell Layman qualified in the 1-meter diving.
Findlay’s 200 medley relay and 400 free relay advanced, while sophomore Justin Hopkins moved on in the 500 freestyle (4:34.11), third best among qualifiers. He will also compete in the 200 freestyle.
Fremont Ross sophomore Trent Williams advanced in the 100 back (52.64).
Among the girls, Findlay senior Bethany Glick, Waite freshman Anna Campos, and Notre Dame senior Taylor Wilson qualified in the 1-meter diving.
St. Ursula and Findlay are among the 200 medley relay field. Fremont Ross and St. Ursula are competing in the 400 freestyle relay.
St. Ursula junior Zhada Fields enters state with the third-best qualifying time for the 200 freestyle (1:48.39).
Bowling Green junior Emmy Sehmann (1:50.73) is ranked sixth. Fields also owns the third-best qualifying time (54.95) for the 100 backstroke.
Fremont Ross junior Haley Fisher, St. Ursula junior Mikayla Murphy and Findlay’s Hannah Clinger will compete in the 200 IM. Murphy is also a qualifier in 500 freestyle.
Fremont Ross sophomore Meghan Moses owns the fifth-fastest qualifying time (23.91) for the 50 freestyle, while sophomore teammate Morgan Waggoner advanced in the 100 butterfly. Moses is also competing in the 100 free (52.63).
Findlay freshman Hannah Clinger reached state in the 100 breastroke with a time of 1:06.71.
In Division II boys, Oak Harbor sophomore Cooper Hicks and senior Bryce Buderer are among qualifiers in the 1-meter diving.
Napoleon senior Ben Kuhlman is a state qualifier for the 50 and 100 free. Napoleon’s Rex Hunter and Bryan’s Brandon Poncsak are contenders in diving.
Bowling Green’s Trae Gulgin will compete in the 100 backstroke.
Napoleon’s 200 medley relay advanced, as well as Port Clinton’s 200 freestyle relay.
Among the D-II girls, Wauseon freshman Patience Bachman and junior Jordan Sloan qualified for state in diving, as well as Napoleon senior Aspen Flood and Port Clinton junior Emily Zibert.
Maumee senior Morgan Brebberman advanced to state in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle.
Eastwood sophomore Alyssa Decker reached state in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly.
Port Clinton senior Cheyenne Meek owns the third-best qualifying time for state in the 50 freestyle at 23.50 and qualified in the 100 free. Bryan freshman Ashleigh Franks will also compete in both events.
Wauseon sophomore Kasey Darnell qualified in the 500 free. Bryan junior Lauren Chaney is set to compete in the 100 breastroke. Bryan and Napoleon are in the 200 medley relay.