Oakwood swimmers thrilled with runner-up finishes

When the Oakwood High School boys and girls swim teams return to school today they will have two new trophies to place in the display cases. The Lumberjacks and Jills both claimed second place at the highly competitive Southwest District Classic. But to coach Jennifer Jervis and her swimmers and divers it felt like much more.

“Second was just like winning. No one can beat St. Xavier or Ursuline. They’re just too big and too deep,” Jervis said. “I call it a second-place win. I don’t know if you can do that, that’s what I’m calling it.”

St. Xavier’s boys remained undefeated in the Classic’s 30-year history by outpointing runner-up Oakwood 610 to 320. Centerville (275) was third. Talawanda (eighth) and Butler (ninth) also cracked the top 10 out of 43 teams.

For the girls, four-time defending champion Ursuline topped Oakwood 443 to 323. Centerville (274) finished third and Mason (242) fourth. Versailles (ninth) and Catholic Central (10th) also made the top 10 out of 41 teams.

“To be a small Division II school and place second in the Southwest District is a huge deal,” Jervis said of the nation’s largest high school meet. “It’s more competitive than the D-II district meet because you’re swimming against the D-I teams. At the same time it helps us look at who is our competition at district.”

Oakwood senior Cliff Goertemiller swept the 200 freestyle, 500 free and 1,650 free for the second straight year and was on four relays that finished among the top four. Junior Brock Turner won the 200 backstroke, finished second in the 500 free, third in the 200 free and fourth in the 200 individual medley and was also on the relays. Sophomore Jackson Higgins turned in an impressive second in the 1,650 free. Sophomore Patrick Mulcare, expected to make the finals in several events, missed the meet because of illness.

For the Oakwood girls, sophomore Sydney Lofquist paced the effort by winning the 400 IM, taking second in the 1,650 free and third in the 500 free. She was also on the runner-up 400 medley relay.

“When you’re in a meet like this, first-place finishes are important but getting as many kids to qualify for the finals are what matters,” Jervis said. “The secret is qualifying as many kids in each event”

No team did that better than St. Xavier. The Bombers placed in 20 of the 21 championship events (Oakwood place in nine) and qualified multiple swimmers in 14 different finals. In six championship events St. Xavier made up half the field with four swimmers each qualifying.

Centerville’s boys capped the meet with a win over St. Xavier in the 400 freestyle relay, the only one of three relays St. Xavier did not win. Elks seniors Jake Carlsen, Tyler Fullington, Josh Brooks and freshman Chris Quarin pulled off the win. Brooks also won the 400 IM.

“That’s a big deal for anybody,” Jervis said. “In a relay, that’s such a big deal to take down St. X.”

Mason celebrated a sweep of the 1-meter diving competition as senior Sean Sargent repeated as the boys champion and senior Maddie Sewell won the girls title for the second time in three years. Junior Zoe Thatcher won both the 500 free and 1,650 free and placed second in the 200 free.

“You never know with dives,” Mason coach Mark Sullivan said, noting one mistake can make the difference. “Sean looked like he distanced himself from the rest of the field. Maddie had a little tighter competition, so for her to come out on top was awesome. … I think we had some good swims, and overall it was a good meet for us. It opened a lot of people’s eyes to how strong our district is.”

Among other highlights:

Wilmington senior Josh Quallen claimed four titles in the 100 back, 100 fly, 200 fly and 200 IM.

Butler sophomore Corey Shanahan won both the 50 fly and 100 IM.

Meadowdale senior Malique Elder won the 50 free, was second in the 50 breast and fourth in the 400 free.

Springfield Shawnee senior Kendra Crew won both the 100 breast and 200 breast and finished second in both the 200 IM and 400 IM.

Carroll sophomore Morgan Massie won the 50 breast and 100 IM.

Springboro freshman Hannah Whiteley won the 100 back and was second in the 200 back.

Springfield freshman Madelyn Shaffer won the 100 fly.

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