Jack DiSalle of St. Francis deSales swims his leg of the 200-yard medley relay at the Division I state championships.The Knights finished second in the event.
SPECIAL TO BLADE/PHIL LONG
CANTON — St. Francis de Sales swimmers Jack Barone and Nick Brodie were content to talk about their top-three finishes in the Division I state meet Saturday at C.T. Branin Natatorium.
Considering the Knights graduate only one senior, they were even happier to look forward to next year.
Barone’s second-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke (55.55 seconds) and Brodie’s third in the 50 freestyle (21.00), coupled with a second-place finish in the 200 medley relay (1:32.79) and fourth in the 400 free relay (3:07.72), powered the Knights to 115 points and a fourth-place finish.
“I was very motivated,” said Barone, who also was on the 200 medley relay and finished ninth in the 200 IM (1:54.6). “It’s a decent time (in the 100 breast), but I know I can go better than that and I have a lot to prove next season.”
Brodie anchored both relays which placed but the 200 free relay was disqualified. The Knights bring back every state swimmer except Matt Gustafson.
“We have almost everybody coming back and they all have room for improvement,” Brodie said. “I’m sure (coach) Tony (Kurth) has some stuff up his sleeve but like Jack said, the state championship is on our mind.”
Cincinnati St. Xavier scored 270 points to win the boys title, its fifth consecutive and 34 th overall.
Kurth, the Knights’ first-year coach, said his team made several statements this year considering its relative youth.
“We had to make a statement early and we did in that medley relay. We did a lot of sprinting this year and it obviously showed with our shorter-distance swims today,” said Kurth, who also lauded Barone’s performance.
“Jack is mentally prepared,” Kurth said. “He’s our leader, our co-captain and he brings that grittiness to him that allowed him to do what he did in the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM, then he bounced back in the 400 free relay and had a great 100 free time.”
Fremont Ross’ girls got top-six finishes from their three relays to earn 125 points and place fourth behind Cincinnati Ursuline (234), which unseated eight-time defending champion Columbus Upper Arlington. The 400 free relay was fourth (3:32.38), the 200 medley was fifth (1:46.86) and the 200 free was sixth (1:37.56).
“It’s exciting to be at state and get this high a place, especially considering that we have everybody coming back next year,” said freshman Meghan Moses, who anchored the 200 free
and 400 free relays. “We’ve had high goals and we’ve reached all of them. It was an awesome season for us.”
Fremont Ross was sixth in the boys 200 free relay (1:28.31).
The area got fifth-place finishes from Findlay senior Dietrich Hinesman in the 100 free (46.6) and Bowling Green sophomore Emmy Sehmann in the 200 free (1:51.51).
Hinesman, who also was 12th in the 50 free (21.39), wasn’t deterred by being in lane 8 and contending with waves from the rest of the competition.
“After the prelims, this whole field was about six-tenths of a second apart, so everyone had a chance to win,” said Hinesman, who said he is entertaining offers from Cleveland State, East
Carolina and Western Kentucky. “In this pool, lane 8 is faster than lane 1 because the water is coming out of the gutter. I was fine with being there.”
St. Ursula sophomore Zhada Fields was eighth in the 100 back (56.91), and St. John’s senior Mitchell Layman was 15th in boys diving (166.00).
“I wanted to leave everything in the pool. I’m happy I finally dropped time. I haven’t for a while,” said Fields, who swam 57.29 in Friday’s preliminaries. “I knew I wanted to go 56 because I’ve had 57 for so long, so I just needed a little bit more. I used all the energy I had and did it.”