Olentangy Liberty has a storied history of cleaning up at the OHSAA Swimming and Diving State Tournament … especially in the 1-meter diving event.
That story added another chapter Thursday as junior Olivia Lynch held off Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame’s Sarah Krusinski to win her first Division I state diving championship at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton.
Lynch trailed Krusinski by a point heading out of the prelims, but used a solid semifinal showing to take control. She led 299.95 after the semis and secured the title with a 428.55 final score. Krusinski nabbed runner-up honors with a 398.65 while Medina Highland’s Madeline Lutzko smoothed out the top three with a 388.05.
It was the second straight year Lynch competed in the state showcase. She finished seventh last winter with a preliminary effort of 200.30, a 314.85 semifinal showing and a final score of 433.20.
The win comes on the heels of Lynch’s district title, where she finished with a finals effort of 510.
It was the best finish for a Patriot since, well, last year when Jack Matthews nabbed runner-up in the boys’ event. Matthews finished third in 2018.
Cameron Thatcher was the last Liberty diver to bring home a state title, posting a final score of 633.80 to take top honors back in 2016. It was the second of back-to-back state championships for Thatcher.
The Division I boys’ event is slated for Saturday. It’s loaded with local talent as Delaware Hayes’ Sam and Mark Sulek both qualified. Sam, a senior, is the No. 2 seed thanks to his 516.25 district score. Mark, a sophomore, qualified 17th overall. Liberty will also have a pair of competitors — sophomore Anthony Scullii and senior Michael Boothman.
Scullii qualified fifth overall with a district effort of 502.40 while Boothman enters as the 14th seed.
They’ll all be chasing New Albany’s Noah Duperre, who enters as the top seed with a mark of 674.20.
The OHSAA Swimming and Diving State Tournament continues today with the girls and boys Division I swimming preliminaries at 9 a.m. and the girls and boys Division II swimming finals to follow at 5 p.m.