The podium was a popular place among area standouts over the weekend as several of the county’s best had performances to remember at Saturday’s OHSAA Division I Swimming and Diving Championship in Canton.

Olentangy Liberty’s Rachel Peroni was just one of several who made a serious splash. The senior went out with a bang, finishing second in the state in the girls 100 butterfly. Peroni finished in 54.68 seconds, missing out on a state title by just more than a second. Cincinnati Ursuline Academy’s Megan Glass won the event in 53.51 seconds.

Peroni, along with teammate Kate Saczawa, also competed in the A final of the 100 backstroke. Saczawa, a sophomore, finished third in 55.60 seconds while Peroni closed right behind her in fourth with an effort of 55.62 seconds.

Olentangy senior Benjamin Kuriger ended his high school career in style as well, finishing third in the boys 200 yard freestyle and 100 butterfly.

He finished the freestyle race in a time of 1:37.90 — a mark less than half a second behind runner-up Jay Johnson from Hudson and state champ Carson Foster, a sophomore from Cincinnati Sycamore who took top honors with a new state-record time of 1:34.19.

Kuriger’s time of 47.93 seconds in the butterfly, meanwhile, was less than half a second away from earning him a state title. Brecksville’s David Madej won the crown with an effort of 47.48 seconds.

Others who earned spots on the podium included Olentangy’s Bridget Parker, who finished eighth in the state in the girls 200 IM (2:05.04) and 500 freestyle (5:02.83).

Olentangy Liberty’s girls 200 freestyle relay team (Peroni, Lila Leary, Abby Noonan and Saczawa) also finished in the top eight in the state, closing seventh (1:36.61), while Liberty’s Jack Matthews and Olentangy Orange’s Luke Cheetham shined in the D-I boys 1-meter diving event. Matthews finished third with a score of 513.70 while Cheetham closed eighth with a score of 453.10.

In other action, Delaware Hayes’ boys 200 freestyle relay team (Kael Gannon, Lucas Pape, Zach Ward and Andrew Parker) finished 15th in Ohio in its event, closing in 1:27.91;Olentangy’s Grace Butcher finished 10th in the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.21; and Liberty’s girls 400 freestyle relay team (Peroni, Leary, Noonan and Saczawa) finished 14th in 3:34.95.

By Ben Stroup

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