Brodie, Barone lead St. Francis swimmers to state


St. Francis de Sales may be challenged to match its team success from recent years at the Division I boys state swimming and diving meet Friday and Saturday in Canton, but a few Knights appear poised to make strong bid for titles.

Nick Brodie, a junior, has the state’s top qualifying time (20.72, a district meet record) in the 50-yard freestyle, while teammate Jack Barone, a junior, has the second fastest qualifying time (56.5) in the 100 breaststroke.

In addition, the Knights’ 200 medley relay team of Christian Sobczak, Barone, Ben Gordon and Brodie enter as the fastest foursome (1:33.17) in that event coming out of the district competition.

Another competitor to watch is St. John’s Jesuit’s Mitchell Layman in the 1-meter diving.

St. Francis placed third at state last year, and the Knights were state runners-up by narrow margins to perennial state power Cincinnati St. Xavier in 2010 and 2011.

Among the girls in D-I, some leading swimmers the area are Bowling Green’s Emma Sehmann (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle), and St. Ursula’s Mikayla Murphy (200 individual medley) and Zhada Fields (100 backstroke).

The state meet at Canton McKinley’s C.T. Branin Natatorium got underway Wednesday with boys and girls diving competition in Division II.

On Friday, the Division I boys and girls swimming prelims begin at 9 a.m., and the D-II boys and girls swimming finals start at 5 p.m.

On Saturday, the D-I boys diving is at 9 a.m., and D-I boys and girls swimming finals begin at 4 p.m.