Area swimmers shine at sectionals

By Ben Stroup - [email protected]

To say the Olentangy-area girls dominated the 100 backstroke at Saturday’s Division I swimming and diving sectional championship at Kenyon College in Gambier would be an understatement.

Olentangy Liberty captured the top four spots while Olentangy Orange swimmers finished fifth and sixth in the event.

Patriot sophomore Kate Saczawa won in 58.71 seconds while teammates Rachel Peroni, Abby Noonan and Hannah Beavers earned the second through fourth sports, respectively.

The Pioneers’ Brooke Farren and Erika Knodel, meanwhile, finished fifth and sixth in respective times of 1:00.98 and 1:01.17.

It wasn’t the only event local swimmers performed well in, either.

Peroni was also solid in the 100 butterfly, finishing second in 57.21 seconds, while Olentangy’s Grace Butcher finished third in the 100 breaststroke (1:05.49).

The Braves’ Bridget Parker swam to a second-place showing in the 500 freestyle (5:10.10) and 200 individual medley (2:11.59) and the Pioneers’ Natalie Johnson picked up third-place points in the 500 (5:12.50) and 200 freestyles (1:57.45).

Liberty’s Lila Leary was right behind Johnson in the 200, closing fourth (1:57.45), while Liberty finished second in the girls 200 (1:40.28) and 400 freestyle relays (3:37.69).

Olentangy also had a strong showing in the relays, nabbing runner-up honors in the girls 200 medley relay (1:50.16).

In boys’ action, Olentangy’s Benjamin Kuriger won a sectional title in the 200 freestyle (1:42.80) while Liberty’s John Bently finished second (1:45.84).

Kuriger also won the 100 butterfly (50.51 seconds), Orange finished third in the boys 200 freestyle relay (1:30.36) and Liberty closed third in the 400 freestyle relay (3:17.98).


Delaware Hayes, Big Walnut and Buckeye Valley were all in action at Saturday’s Division I and II swimming and diving sectional championships at Thomas Worthington High School.

The Pacers’ best finishes came from Paul Carter and Kael Gannon, who both earned individual sectional titles. Carter won the boys 100 breaststroke (1:00.19) while Gannon took top honors in the 100 butterfly (54.01 seconds), edging teammate and runner-up Zach Ward by a little more than half a second.

Hayes also won the boys 200 freestyle relay (1:30.21) and 200 medley relay (1:39.04).

Gannon finished second in the 50 freestyle (22.52 seconds) while the Pacers’ Andrew Parker nabbed runner-up honors in the 100 freestyle (49.42 seconds). Ward also picked up a top-three showing in the 200 individual medley (third in 2:03.11).

Big Walnut was led by Dominic Carifa’s first-place finish in the boys 200 individual medley (2:01.74) and fourth-place effort in the 100 butterfly (55.68 seconds).

In girls’ action, Hayes was particularly steady in the 200 freestyle relay (second in 1:40.34). The Pacers also picked up a top-three finish in the 500 freestyle, where sophomore Elizabeth Abahazi finished third (5:32.01).

By Ben Stroup

[email protected]