Olentangy’s Benjamin Kuriger won a pair of district titles over the weekend, taking top honors in the boys 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly events at Saturday’s Division I District Swimming & Diving Championship at the Ohio University Aquatics Center.
The senior won the 200 free by nearly two seconds, closing in 1:39.12 to punch a ticket to next weekend’s state showcase.
He was just as impressive in the 100 fly, too, finishing in 48.61 seconds to edge St. Charles’ Michael Gutman for the top spot. Gutman finished in 50.80 seconds to secure the other automatic state qualification.
The area’s other guaranteed state qualifiers, Olentangy Liberty freshman Jack Matthews and Olentangy Orange junior Luke Cheetham, are both divers. Matthews finished second at Tuesday’s district diving event with 581.85 points while Cheetham finished fourth with a score of 512.
GIRLS SWIMMING & DIVING
Liberty’s Kate Saczawa and Rachel Peroni earned spots in the upcoming state championships … and did it in the same event.
Saczawa won the 100 backstroke in 55.46 seconds while Peroni finished second in 55.67 seconds.
Peroni earned a district title of her own, too, edging out Dublin Coffman’s Hannah Bailey to win the 100 butterfly in 54.71 seconds.
Orange’s Lauren Cheetham also guaranteed herself a chance to represent Central Ohio at the state meet. The junior earned an automatic qualification by finishing second in last Monday’s district diving event with a score of 512.60.
The 2018 OHSAA Swimming & Diving State Championship is slated for Wednesday through Saturday at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton.
Buckeye Valley finished eighth as a team, but had plenty of highlights during Saturday’s MOAC Championship in Galion.
The Barons were boosted by Ethan Szanati, who took top honors at 113 by handling Ontario’s Ty Spencer in the championship.
Other BV standouts included Dominic Hurt, who finished third at 120; Cameron Hurt, who was third at 126; Tanner Morris, who picked up third-place points at 152; and Will Weinberg, who was third at 195.
Delaware Hayes held host Harding to five totals points from halftime until there was just 1:07 left in the game to notch a 44-32 come-from-behind win Saturday in Marion.
“Our focus, effort and ball and player movement were considerably better in the second half,” Hayes coach Jordan Blackburn said. “When the ball moves, and bodies move, we do fine. Credit Harding … they played very hard and it’s usually tough winning at someone’s place on Senior Night.”
The Pacers, who trailed 21-20 at halftime, were led by sophomore wings Paul Burris and Addison Harvey. Harvey finished with 16 points on the strength of four three-pointers while Burris had 11 points in the win.
Next up, Hayes opens postseason play with a showdown against host Westerville Central in the first round of the Division I District Tournament Saturday afternoon. Tip is set for 1 p.m.
Big Walnut 52, Mount Vernon 48
The Golden Eagles finished the regular season with a flourish, outscoring the visiting Yellow Jackets 28-17 in the second half to rally for a non-league win Saturday in Sunbury.
Jordan Koebel led Big Walnut with 20 points while Nathan Montgomery and Carson Becker added 11 and 10, respectively.
The Eagles are back in action Saturday when they open tournament play against host Gahanna. Tip is set for 1 p.m.
Olentangy Liberty 11, Archbishop Alter 0 (Division I District Tournament); Olentangy 4, New Albany 1 (Division I District Tournament); St. Charles 5, Olentangy Orange 2 (Division I District Tournament).