By Ben Stroup
The Liberty boys finished fourth and the Olentangy girls closed fifth to highlight what was a solid district swimming and diving championship for area standouts over the weekend at OSU’s McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.
Patriot senior Cameron Thatcher made the most noise, winning the district 1-meter boys diving title with a meet-record score of 645.30. Looking to defend his 2015 state championship — a crown he won with a score of 630.90 — he’ll be the top seed at Thursday’s state showcase.
Orange’s Luke Cheetham and Big Walnut’s Nick Dimitroff also dove to spots in the upcoming state meet. Cheetham will be the sixth seed thanks to his district mark of 459.70 while Dimitroff will be the 16th seed courtesy of his 402.20.
Delaware County will be represented when the girls’ 1-meter diving event kicks off Saturday morning, too. Orange’s Lauren Cheetham will be the 4th seed (510.50) while Liberty’s Morgan Menninger will be fifth (509.05).
Standouts in the pool included Olentangy senior Ellie Nebraska, Hayes junior Brooke Glesenkamp and Liberty sophomore Rachel Peroni.
Nebraska nabbed runner-up honors in the 100 freestyle (51.24 seconds) and finished third in the 200 freestyle (1:52.09) — efforts good enough to give her the 7th and 11th state seeds in the respective events.
Glesenkamp, meanwhile, qualified for the state meet in the 50 and 100 freestyles for the third straight year. She finished second in the district in the 50 (23.38) and third in the 100 (51.44). Her 50 time broke her own team record by nearly half a second.
Peroni finished second in both the 100 butterfly (55.16) and 200 individual medley (2:05.37). She’ll be the 6th and 4th seeds in the respective events when the state prelims get underway Friday morning.
The area will also be we’ll represented in the girls’ relay events as foursomes from Hayes, Liberty and Olentangy qualified for both the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.
The Patriots will be the 11th seed in both the 200 (1:38.05) and 400 (3:33.64); the Braves will be the 14th seed in the 100 (1:38.48) and 12th seed in the 400 (3:33.82); and Hayes will be the 16th seed in the 200 (1:38.66) and 23rd seed in the 400 (3:37.43).
The boys will be led into state competition by Olentangy’s Winston Kuriger, who will be the 11th seed in the 100 freestyle (46.63) and 14th seed in the 100 backstroke (51.98).
The Braves’ Benjamin Kuriger will also be in action. He’ll be the 16th seed in the 100 butterfly (51.58).
Liberty, finally, will be represented in the pool by James Loftus (20th seed in 50 freestyle, 21.54) and Jack Saczawa (11th seed in 100 backstroke, 51.05).
The Patriots’ 400 freestyle and 200 IM relay teams will also compete. They’ll be the 17th seed in the 400 freestyle (3:13.73) and eighth seed in the 200 IM (1:35.90).
Follow Ben Stroup on Twitter @delgazette_ben.