Oak Harbor sophomore Ben Dresser finished the 200 freestyle in 23rd place in the preliminary rounds of the Ohio state high school championships Thursday at the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton.
Dresser missed qualifying to the semifinals by five spots.
All of Port Clinton’s swimmers advanced to Friday’s semifinals. With two relays making it out of the preliminary rounds and junior Cheyenne Meek making an easy swim to the semifinals in the 50 and 100 yard freestyles, Port Clinton showed the state what it was made of.
“I am extremely excited,” Redskins coach Dan Diaz said. “Cheyenne is seeded highly in both of her events and the 50 is the one we have been working on all year. The 100 is like a bonus. We are very excited about her and all the other girls. It is very exciting.”
Port Clinton’s girls 200 yard medley relay qualified to the semifinals with a 10th place finish in 1:52.42. The relay teams consist of sophomores Mckenzie Stine, Alysia Zoeller, Allie Schroeder, freshman Taylor Steyer and junior Meek.
After anchoring the 200 yard medley, Meek also was able to snatch a 3rd place finish in the 50 yard freestyle in 23.66 along with a 5th place finish in the 100 yard freestyle in 51.70.
“It is really exciting,” Meek said. “I couldn’t be happier. I came down here to swim my best times and it is happening.”
After making it out of all three preliminary rounds, Meek stayed focused and swam her way with her teammates to the semifinals in the 200 yard freestyle relay, grabbing a 13th place finish in 1.40.43
Thrilled to be at the state championship, the Port Clinton girls were exceptionally happy with their performance Thursday evening and hope to make it out to finals.
“It was exciting,” Stine said. “I’m excited to come back (Friday) night and go at it again and have another chance at it.”
Returning to the state meet, Port Clinton’s girls relays look to make an impression in today’s semifinals.
“We want to go out there and do our best and try to make it out to finals,” Meek said.
“We really want to improve our times,” Schroeder said. “I love my team it’s just so fun. We have a new person on the relay and we brought her in like she was family and we are kicking butt.”
Zoeller was the newest member of this year’s 200 medley relay. Making it to the state championship for the first time, Zoeller shared emotions with her team.
“It is very exciting and very tense, too,” Zoeller said. “But it’s been fun.”
The relay team’s dynamic changed immensely this season according to their members. From harder workouts as a team to encouraging one another, the hard working swimmers became more than just teammates.
“I think overall our practices were a lot harder this year,” Meek said. “We worked harder this year than last year, and I think it has definitely been beneficial for us. “
“I think we were more connected as a team this year and worked together,” Stine said. “At practices we were really encouraging with one another and that helped a lot. We are all friends outside of swimming.”
After a long day of competition the Port Clinton girls look to rest up for their big day today.
“We are always looking to do well,” Diaz said. “I think the girls have what it takes and Cheyenne is a little more composed and confident this year…
“Her expectations are high but she knows what she can do, whereas last year it was more of ‘I think I can.’ This year it is, ‘I know I can and I’m going to do it’ It’s anybody’s race (today).”