As expected, the Granville boys and girls swimming teams won the Mid-State League championships Saturday, and they did it in dominating fashion.
The meet at Columbus Academy had more meaning because it was the Blue Aces’ final MSL meet. They — along with several other schools in the competition — will be switching to the Licking County League in 2013-14.
Both teams had an impressive nine first-place finishes, as well as several second-place ribbons. It was the boys’ fourth consecutive title and the girls won for the third straight year.
Granville’s boys finished 299 points to top second-place Academy (166) and third-pace Grandview Heights (147) in the 14-team field.
The Granville girls, which once again were led by junior Sydney King and sophomore Abby Stone, had 421 points, topping 2012’s 410 points. Academy was second (273) and Bexley was third (112). There were 16 teams competing in the girls races.
“I think they all wanted to have a good performance,” said Blue Aces assistant coach Brian Doner, who was filling in for head coach Kevin Yates, who missed the meet because he was ill. “They all swam very well. They set the bar high a few years ago, and it seems like every year they just keep jumping over that bar. They keep exceeding our expectations, and they did that again (Saturday).”
For senior Seth Stahl and the boys team, winning a fourth consecutive title was important. Having a team as fierce as the girls at the same school means the team sometimes can get overlooked.
“We haven’t really had that one or two kids that are super swimmers, but the whole team contributes,” Stahl said. “We have guys that work really hard, and even though we have some seconds and thirds and few firsts here and there, the points add up.
“The girls are obviously in a class of their own, but for the boys to be able to scrap their way up there, especially to win four times in a row, says a lot. It’s hard to live in the shadow of the girls because they are so good, but we have a very competitive team — and winning the MSL never gets old. We wanted to go out with a bang.”
Thomas Barrett finished first in the 200 freestyle (1:54.86) and 500 free (5:14.48), and he was on two winning relays: the 400 free and 200 medley.
Jack Barrett won the 200 individual medley (2:07.03) and 100 breaststroke (59.46), and he was on the winning 200 free and 400 free relays
Sam Wagner was first in the 100 free (51.68) and 50 free (23.06), and he also was on the winning 400 free and 200 free relays that finished first.
Stahl also was on the winning 200 medley and 200 free relays, and was second in the 100 butterfly (56.68) and 100 backstroke (59.46). Timmy Spichiger was on the 200 medley relay, along with Chris Stone.
Stone also was on the 200 free relay, and finished second in the 50 free. Grant Stahl was on the 400 free relay and was second in the 100 breast.
Leading the Granville girls was King and Stone with four first-place finishes.
It marked the third consecutive year King had four first-place finishes. She won the 50 free (25.59) and 100 back (1:00.55), and Stone won the 100 fly (59.34) and 100 free (53.44).
Both were part of two winning relays.
The 200 medley relay (1:53.57) consisted of Keely Lovern, Kassandra Mestemaker, Stone and King. The 200 free relay (1:42.49) included Stone, Alex Untied, Schroeder and King.
“As a team, we really enjoy coming to this meet,” Stone said. “We love competing, and even though we are expected to win, we just go out and swim as fast as we can and have fun. We are more relaxed. It’s a fun meet to compete in.”
King said: “We always look forward to coming to this meet. We are going to the LCL next year, so we wanted to win (in) our last year. We are friends with a lot of the Academy girls, so it’s always fun competition. But winning this event never gets old, especially this year.”
Granville also won the 400 free relay (3:53.18), and it consisted of Schroeder, Untied, Dannie Roberts and Lovern.
Lovern also won the 200 free (2:01.90), and she was second in the 500 free (5:26.65), and Mestemaker finished first in the 100 breast (1:10.29).
Lakewood senior Jarod Rose had a solid day finishing second in the 500 free (5:28.80) and fourth in the 200 free (2:04.38).
The Lakewood boys finished eighth (42), Heath was 10th (25) and Licking Valley 13th (19). Heath’s girls were seventh (42), Newark Catholic 10th (27) and Lakewood 14th (2).