Saturday marked the first time that a sectional swimming tournament was held at the Marion YMCA.
“OHSAA was trying to find more sites to host the tournaments, presumably to make the venues safer during this covid season. Mount Gilead has traditionally competed at Columbus Academy in Gahanna for our sectional tournament. The girls meet was always in the morning, with the boys competing later in the day. This made for a very long day for coaches and for families that may have swimmers in both meets. Last year, due to Covid, we had to go on two separate days. Having the sub-sectional meet at Marion was a very pleasant change. The boys may not have had the competition they are used to, but I think the team benefited from being on their home turf, so to speak,” said coach Dina Snow.
Competing at this subsectional meet were Mt Gilead, Marion Pleasant, Elgin, River Valley, Buckeye Valley and Fairbanks.
“Our boys won the meet and can now say they are sectional champs!,” said Snow. “Other sports like cross country have a lot of banners with their accomplishments hanging in the gym. We hope to be able to do something like this for the boys to celebrate this win.”
Results from all the sectional tournament sites are compiled by OHSAA to determine who advances to the district tournament, which will be held at The Ohio State University on Feb. 17. Only the top 30 individuals and 20 relays from all the sectionals advance.
“Each subsectional meet had automatic qualifiers, meaning the first place finisher in each event moves on regardless of time. All of Mount Gilead’s qualifiers did so based on their times, so that is very exciting for the boys. Sometimes an automatic qualifier has a time much slower than other individuals who could have advanced, so that can cause some feelings of unfairness. This program was set up due to the big differences between the strong programs in central Ohio and those in eastern and southeastern Ohio that don’t have the resources,” explained Snow. “I couldn’t be prouder that those advancing did so completely based on swimming well.”
The following swimmers from MG will be competing at Districts:
200 Medley relay—Luke Fraizer, Cole Hershner, Mason Kidwell, Hayden McClelland; 200 and 400 free relays: Joel Conrad, Michael Snopik, Kidwell and Fraizer; Conrad, 50 free and 100 fly; Snopik, 50 free and 100 free; Kidwell, 100 fly; Fraizer, 100 breast.
“I am obviously excited about those who are advancing, but I am also so proud of the whole team. I believe every swimmer on the team scored points and achieved personal bests at the meet in at least one event, and it took all the swimmers adding to the team score to get where we did! We have a lot of first year swimmers on the team, and it is great to see them contributing to the success!” exclaimed Snow.
Other top finishers: Taylor Robinson, third in the 200 free with a PR; Hershner was fourth in the 200 free and 100 breast with PRs; Kamry Grandstaff, PR in the 100 free and second place in the 100 backstroke; McClelland, second in the 100 backstroke with a PR; Brice Haughn had a PR in the 100 free and was fourth in the 100 back, also with a PR; Carson Mowery scored in the 100 free and 100 back, taking off 10 seconds in the backstroke; Wyatt Mowery scored in the 100 free and 100 breast and dropped time in both, while Josh Davis scored in the 100 backstroke with a PR; Ella Fraizer scored in the 100 breast, as did Jillian Jones in the 100 back and the girls 200 free relay (Grandstaff, Fraizer, Jones and Robinson) also took 5 seconds off their season best time.
“It was a super way to wrap up the regular season of swim team, and I am blessed to work with such a great group of athletes,” said Snow. “We are excited to be back at OSU this year for districts as well!”
Information received from Dina Snow.