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DiBetta looking to add to her resume

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Casadie DiBetta is well on her way to becoming the most decorated female swimmer in Ohio Valley history.

The St. Clairsville junior has a chance to further cement her legacy Wednesday when she competes — for the second straight season — in a full complement of four events at the OHSAA State Swimming Championship at Canton’s Branin Natatorium.

Individually, DiBetta will take part in the 100 breaststroke, 200 individual medley and she’ll swim on both the 200 medley relay and the 400 free relay.

DiBetta’s illustrious resume already includes two state runner-up medals in the 100 breaststroke, her specialty. She’s coming off another district championship in that event.

After being edged by Beloit West Branch’s Jamyson Robb, who is now competing at Liberty University, DiBetta has her sights set on more. However, it’s going to take an impressive effort and time.

DiBetta finds herself seeded third with a 1:03.26. She trails top-seeded Jessey Li of Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, who posted a blazing 1:01.31 in the district, and Gates Mills Hawken’s Sydney Bare, who put forth a 1:02.39.

“I know these girls are super fast,” DiBetta said. “This is a great opportunity to race, and I hope we can all push each other to get a great time. Whatever happens is supposed to happen, but I am excited to race, and we’ll see what happens.”

DiBetta’s individual meet will begin with the 200 individual medley. She earned her way to the state meet by virtue of a runner-up finish in last week’s district meet at Bowling Green.

She touched the wall in 2:07.66, which seeds her fourth and places her in the hot heat for this week’s state meet.

When all of the district marks were compiled, DiBetta actually found herself doing a double take when she saw where she ranked.

“I was shocked,” DIBetta said. “I was 24th (seed) my freshmen year and barely got into state. I was just hoping for top eight in my (non breaststroke) event, so to see I am ranked fourth was really surprising. I am just excited to race because it’s fun and has every stroke.”

With no qualifying rounds — as in years past — DiBetta knows there isn’t much margin for error on Wednesday.

“It’s a little bit weird because usually you’re able to see everyone’s time and how they swim and then come back and race,” DiBetta said. “I’ll just have to make sure I warm up really well and be ready to go. It feels like districts were like state prelims, so it’s going to be different. Everyone is dealing with the same things, so we just have to do it.”

In the medley relay, DiBetta will be joined by Brenna Planey, Olivia Moyer and Kylie McKeegan. That foursome, which placed sixth in the state meet last year, is seeded fourth with a 1:49.34.

In the 400 free, DiBetta is joined by Maggie Marody, McKeegan and Planey. That squad is seeded sixth after winning the district with a time of 3:40.34.

“I am really happy about the relays,” DiBetta admitted. “I think we can do really well. I know we’ll all do great as a team because how hard we’ve all been working.”

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