Delaware Hayes’ swimming and diving teams were in top form over the weekend as both won conference championships Saturday afternoon at the Worthington Natatorium.

It was the third time in school history, and first since 2004, both teams took top honors in the same year.

“OCCs was one of our biggest goals starting the season … everyone knew it and everyone prepared for this meet,” Hayes coach Garrett Eiben said. “The atmosphere created by the entire team helped motivate everyone, from the time drops, the competition, and the overall excitement.

“I am so grateful for my coaching staff and so proud of all the athletes that have given so much to bringing home the championship back to the Pacers. We are such a strong team, led by great leaders, and have depth. This is a very special team and I’m excited to see what we can do as sectionals, districts and the state meet approaches.”

Hayes’ girls cruised to the crown, finishing with 307 points. Runner-up Westerville North finished with 222 while Worthington Kilbourne smoothed out the top three with 219. Westerville South (167), Dublin Scioto (104), Canal Winchester (84) and Big Walnut (78) rounded out the scoring summary.

The Pacers’ individual winners included Kaitlyn Sallows in the 200 freestyle (1:55.94) and 100 butterfly (58.89 seconds), Mackenzie Carter in the 50 free (24.10 seconds) and 100 backstroke (58.78 seconds) and Ashley Sallows in the 500 free (5:18.27).

The 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams each picked up first-place points as well. Carter, Kara Glesenkamp Kaitlyn Sallows and Ashley Sallows teamed up to win the 200 medley in 1:50.11 while Natalie Fiat joined the Sallows’ and Carter to win the 400 free in 3:42.83.

The boys had to fend off a hard-charging Kilbourne squad to claim conference bragging rights, but did just that thanks to their 249 points. The Wolves finished second with 238 while Big Walnut closed third with 190. Dublin Scioto (182), Westerville North (169), Westerville South (98) and Canal Winchester (25) were also in action.

Pacer standouts included Kaden Gannon, who won the 50 free in 22.78 seconds; Mark Sulek, who won the 1-meter diving event; and CJ Abahazi, who won the 100 breaststroke in 1:05.75.

Gannon and Abahazi also competed on the 200 free relay, teaming up with Max Etheridge and Ryan Gray to nab a league title in the event with an effort of 1:32.60.

John Wion, Carter Bendure, Christopher Lee and Roy Roberto combined to secure Big Walnut’s lone event win, picking up first-place points in the 200 medley relay thanks to an effort of 1:46.62.

OCC-Central Championships

Olentangy Liberty’s boys finished second with 292 points while Olentangy Orange closed fifth with 119 at Saturday’s conference championship meet at Upper Arlington.

The Patriots’ top point producers included Hudson Williams, who won the 50 free (20.77 seconds) and 100 butterfly (50.35 seconds); Jack Franz, who took top honors in the 500 free (4:56.05); and Anthony Sciulli, who won the 1-meter diving event.

The Pioneers, meanwhile, got a win from Tuckor Lambert in 100 free (48.52 seconds).

In girls’ action, Liberty was third with 223 points while Orange finished fourth with 158.

Conference champs included the Pioneers’ Augusta Ness, who won the 1-meter diving event with a score of 416.05. Liberty’s Bella Skoog nabbed runner-up honors with a score of 343.75.

OCC-Cardinal Championships

Olentangy Berlin’s girls finished second while Olentangy was fourth at Saturday’s conference championship meet in Worthington.

Standouts included the Braves’ Cameron Kuriger, who won the 100 butterfly (58.41 seconds); Olentangy’s Martina Peroni, who won the 100 free (52.75 seconds) and 200 IM (2:07.14); Anna McGrath, who picked up first-place points in the 200 free (1:56.98) and runner-up honors in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.04); Berlin’s Jin-Jae Robinson, who finished second in the 500 free (5:26.99); and the Bears’ Brenna Mowrey and Staci Nation, who finished second in the 200 free and third in 100 free (2:00.48 and 55.96 seconds, respectively).

The Bears’ Audrey Butcher and Braves’ Kuriger were also steady in the 100 backstroke, finishing second and third in 1:02.76 and 1:03.29, respectively.

Olentangy also won the 200 freestyle relay (1:41.76).

As for the boys, Berlin was third while Olentangy finished tied with Hilliard Darby for fourth.

The Bears’ Ben Coverdale won the 50 free (21.48 seconds) while Brogan Robinson won the 100 breaststroke (56.63 seconds) and 200 IM (1:57.01).

By Ben Stroup

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