In the sport of swimming, it takes patience, endurance, and a fantastic skill set in order to emerge ahead of the pack.
On Saturday, Feb. 10, each of the four Scioto County units did just that in the annual Division II Southeast Ohio Sectional Swim Meet that was held at the Ohio University Aquatic Center as the 400 meter freestyle relay units at Notre Dame, Northwest, Portsmouth, and Wheelersburg each qualified for Central/East/Southeast District competition on Friday in the event and placed 11th or better in the team standings between boys and girls during the meet.
Portsmouth, who finished fifth on the girls side and eighth in the boys standings en route to obtaining 417.50 points for the day, was led by Heaven Washington, who starred throughout the day in qualifying for two events as Washington’s victory in the girls 50 yard freestyle behind a time of 25.96 allowed the senior to sit the 11th-fastest time of all Central, East, and Southeast District opponents in Division II. Washington then topped off her fantastic day by also taking home top billing in the girls 100 yard freestyle as the senior set a blistering mark of 59.60 in that event to put herself in the 26th qualifying position of the 30 available spots at the C/E/SE District Meet on Friday. Both marks broke previous school records that she originally set.
Tyler McCoy added his own stamp on the meet from an individual standpoint as McCoy’s time of 25.14 (eighth in the sectional) put the sophomore in 22nd place overall in the boys 50 yard freestyle qualifying list in a very competitive field, while fellow teammate Stefan Johnson missed qualifying for the 30th and final slot by just one-one hundredth of a second (25.75 to Marion Elgin senior Nathan Hickman’s 25.74).
From a team standpoint, each of Portsmouth’s freestyle relay teams qualified for Friday’s district meet as the quartet of Washington, Lyda Spencer, Aiden Fields, and Diana Di Grande led the Trojans to a qualifying berth in the 200 and 400 yard freestyle relays for the girls behind times of 1:58.13 (18th) and 4:35.30 (21st), while the boys 200 and 400 yard freestyle relay units, led by McCoy, Johnson, Logan Carter, and Ethan Haas, obtained times of 1:48.17 (24th) and 4:09.68 (25th) to round out the strong performances by Gerald Cadougan’s squads.
Notre Dame, who obtained 250 points on the boys side en route to a sixth-place finish and added 119 points on the girls side in obtaining the 11th position overall in the Division II girls realm, finished with 369 points for the day. The Titans got off to a strong start as the boys 200 yard medley relay unit of Logan Emnett, Sam Mays, Joseph Beckett, and Tris Taylor put together a fine mark of 1:58.39 en route to taking home top honors of all Division II competitors in the event.
Individually, Mays then reappeared in the order again by qualifying in an impressive 15th place overall amongst all C/E/SE District competitors by winning the 50 yard freestyle at the SE Ohio Sectional Swim Meet with his mark of 24.46, while Taylor claimed the 30th and final district slot with his time of 1:05.45 in the boys 100 yard butterfly — edging Fairfield Union’s Ian Hoover by five-tenths of a second to do so. The aforementioned quartet then came back to set a blistering pace in the 200 and 400 as Beckett, Emnett, Mays, and Taylor put up a 1:42.03 to garner third place in the sectional and a strong 12th place seeding in the district competition in the 200 while putting up a second place finish in the sectional and a 15th place seeding rank in the 400 with the 3:56.29 mark.
Northwest, who finished sixth on the girls side and 10th in the boys standings en route to finishing with 341 points total, got off to a strong start as well as the quartet of Mikayla McGuire, Hanna Tackett, Josie Tackett, and Madison Montavon obtained a mark of 2:20.35 en route to a fifth place fifth in the sectional and the 30th and final slot in district action. Hanna Tackett then followed that up immediately with a resounding victory in the girls 200 yard freestyle behind a time of 2:08.14, which put the junior in 17th place overall in district action.
Isaiah Bruch and Jeremiah Bruch then followed their efforts up with district appearances as well as the latter obtained a third-place finish in sectional action en route to the 30th and final qualifying spot in districts with a time of 2:09.67 while the former finished seventh in a very competitive 200 yard individual medley race en route to the 27th position in district action.
The individual efforts were capped off by the Tacketts, as Josie won the girls 500 yard freestyle by more than three seconds (5:56.05) en route to qualifying 16th in the same event for district competition while adding a second place finish in sectional competition and an 18th place qualifying mark in districts with a time of 1:05.24. Hanna, meanwhile, equaled Josie’s output of qualifying for two individual events by obtaining a fourth-place finish in the 100 yard breaststroke en route to a 12th place district qualifying time.
Michelle Tackett’s swimming unit capped off their appearance at the Southeast Ohio Sectional Swim Meet by obtaining a pair of berths in the women’s 400 yard freestyle relay as Montavon, Hanna Tackett, Josie Tackett, and Jaclyn Burchett notched a sixth-place finish in the sectionals (4:38.24) to qualify in 23rd place for district competition despite a very competitive field while the 400 meter relay unit of Isaiah Bruch, Jeremiah Bruch, Nicholas Hicks, and Grady Montavon notched an eighth-place finish in sectional competition (4:25.51) to notch a 27th place qualifying position in district competition.
Wheelersburg, who notched 324.50 points behind seventh and 10th place finishes at the boys and girls levels, respectively, notched its first qualifier when Eli Bowen’s second place time of 1:03.21 in the 100 yard butterfly allowed the junior to qualify 26th for district competition. Jason Nham followed in the 100 yard breaststroke by notching a 1:14.44 mark to put the senior in third place on the sectional list and in the 30th and final slot for district action.
From a team standpoint, the 200 and 400 yard freestyle relays qualified for district action as Bowen, Eric Green, Baley Derifield, and Drew Jackson obtained an eighth place sectional showing and a 29th place qualifying time with their mark of 1:50.38 in the 200 while Bowen, Green, Nham, and Derifield used a time of 4:24.71 to claim a seventh place sectional showing and a 26th place qualifying spot in district competition.
The 2018 East/Central/Southeast District Meet will be held on the campus of The Ohio State University on Feb. 16 and Feb. 17 at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.