St. C., Ferry qualify solid delegations to district swim
STEUBENVILLE — The first step on the road to Canton has been completed.
Four local boys and girls swim teams — Big Red, Catholic Central, Edison and Indian Creek — competed at the Ohio Division II Eastern District Sectional Meet Saturday at the Steubenville Big Red Nataorium.
Dover swept the team titles.
On the boys’ side, the Tornadoes finished first with 378 points, while the Dover girls recorded 452 points.
The River View boys placed second with 330 points and St. Clairsville tallied 255 points to end up third.
The St. Clairsville girls finished in second place with 317 points and New Philadelphia placed third with 221 points.
Martins Ferry finished fifth with 158 points.
“The boys did really well,” Martins Ferry head coach Nicholas Levi said. “We had a lot of time drops. We gave ourselves an opportunity. We had boys who were on the board – or in the bubble or outside of the bubble – and we gave ourselves an opportunity to be in the top 30. We dropped time, so we gave ourselves an opportunity to compete at the next meet.”
The Purple Rider girls finished seventh with 139 points.
“The girls did well as well,” Levi said. “They had a ton of time drops. In the 200 free, we had four girls drop about 45 total seconds. We had some big time drops. The girls did a good job of dropping time.”
Thirty swimmers/relay teams from the sectional sites will advance to the district meet. The first-place finisher in each individual event and relay race has automatically qualified for the district meet. There will also be 27 at-large qualifiers from the sectional meets in each event qualifying for the district meet.
The district meet will be held Wednesday at Ohio State at The Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion in Columbus. The state tournament will be held Feb. 19-22 at the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton.
All told, 23 boys’ teams and 24 girls’ teams competed at the sectional meet.
Martins Ferry senior standout Jarrett Bolinger won two sectional titles. He finished first in the 100 freestyle with a time of 50.81, and he won the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:03.16.
“The kids are getting faster and faster,” Levi said about the competition at the meet. “There are a lot of good teams here. There is a lot of good competition.
“The boys’ season has gone really well,” Levi said. “The boys have had a lot of success. They are ending the season on a strong note. The boys for the first time are placing high in invites. We have five boys. They are doing extremely well.”
The Martins Ferry girls have also had a good season.
“The girls’ season has not been bad as well,” Levi said. “We have 10 girls. Four of the girls are new. They have come a long way since our first practice up to now. They are ending the season on a good note. We have had good leadership from our seniors.”
St. Clairsville won the most events on the girls’ side as the Red Devils finished first in six events.
Individually, Casadie DiBetta won a pair of events. The sophomore won the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:00.01, and she finished first in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:05.
Also for the Red Devils, Kylie McKeegan finished first in the 50 freestyle with a time of 25.57, and Maggie Marody came out on top in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:11.18.
The Red Devils won two of the three relay races. St. Clairsville’s foursome of Olivia Moyer, Brenna Planey, DiBetta and McKeegan finished first in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:53.1, and the team of McKeegan, Planey, Mardoy and DiBetta finished first in the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 3:47.99.