District swimming features strong area contingent

The future looks bright for Springfield-area swimming.

The present, though, continues to shine with a solid contingent at the Southwest District championships on Friday and Saturday. The district meet starts 10:45 a.m. Friday with the Division II boys. The D-II girls follow at 5:45 p.m. The Division I meet is Saturday with the boys swimming at 10:45 a.m. and the girls at 5:45 p.m.

In D-I, Springfield qualified in 10 events between the boys and girls meets.

Springfield junior Jacob Kearns holds the Wildcats’ highest ranking entering the district meet. He posted the 19th-fastest time from all of the Southwest District sectional meets to advance.

Sophomore Rylie Turner and freshman Reese Turner both compete in two individual events. The sisters are also on a pair of relay teams. Rylie enters district as the 23rd- ranked swimmer in then 100-meter backstroke and No. 24 in the 200 individual medley. Reese is ranked No. 26 in the 10 back and No. 27 in the 50 free.

“We’re really looking forward to Jake in the breaststroke. He’s swimming really well and we’re really excited about him,” Springfield coach Stephanie Scholl said. “We’re just going to shoot for the best we can do.”

The top two winners in each event automatically qualify for next week’s state championship meet. The rest of the field is determined by the 16 fastest times from all the district meets.

Rylie and Reese Turner are joined by senior Molly Latham and freshman Olivia Filhart on the 200 medley relay team that’s seeded No. 16. The same four are on the 200 medley relay seeded No. 20.

Kearns is also on the boys’ 200 medley relay with freshman Carson Chaffee, sophomore Carter Mayhan and sophomore Dane Klosterman.

Junior Natalie Narcelles qualified in the 100 fly and freshman Christian Narcelles advanced in the 100 back, but neither is expected to compete after the death of their grandmother.

In Division II, Catholic Central leads the way with sophomores Addie and Bridget Engel. The twins are among the favorites in the 100 breast with Addie ranked No. 2 overall and Bridget No. 4. Bridget also competes in the 50 free (No. 11) and Addie in the 200 IM (No. 16).

“I like that were very close in times because we push each other from that,” Bridget said. “We were the only two from our school (at state) last year so it was helpful to have someone else there, too. I’m more excited than nervous for the district meet. I really like district and it’s a fun meet.”

Sophomore teammate Natalie Tropp (No. 9) is also among the top 10 times in the breast and is ranked No. 5 in the 200 IM.

Northeastern senior Laramie Reed – a three-time state qualifier – attempts to return to Canton in the 200 IM (No. 7) and the 100 breast (No. 12).

“She knows these events and she knows what she’s doing. We’re confident she’ll be there in the IM,” Kenton Ridge and Northeastern coach Heather Shaffer said. “The breast is tougher competition.”

Reed is joined by freshmen teammates Sydney Jones (No. 9 in 50 free, No. 11 in 100 free) and Gwyn Thomas (No. 14 in 100 breast, No. 15 in 200 IM) of Kenton Ridge.

“I think a lot of the kids look up to Laramie,” Shaffer said. “I’m proud of the leader she’s been. She’s been a great team captain and has really helped the younger swimmers like Sydney and Gwyn to help them see what they can do. It’s been great camaraderie and they all get along. I really respect Laramie for her leadership and how she’s mentored the girls.”

Greenon sophomore Calvin Wise posted a pair of top-five times at the sectional meet and qualified No. 4 in the 100 breast and No. 5 in the 200 IM.

Shaffer’s Cougars also advanced a pair of relay teams in the 200 free and 400 free – which include Braden Dunaway, Keaton Campbell, Kyle Brown and Jaxon Wright – which was the biggest surprise. They are also an alternate in a third relay.

“To have all three going when we weren’t really expecting any is awesome,” Shaffer said. “They knew what was at stake and they swam like I’ve never swim before (at sectional). It was awesome.”

Additional girls swimmers qualifying in individual events include Shawnee junior Olivia Leslie (No. 10 in 100 back, No. 20 in 100 free), Shawnee senior Scarlet Koelsch (No. 11 in 100 back), Shawnee freshman Claire Spriggs (No. 25 in 200 IM, No. 31 in 100 breast), Shawnee senior Sophia Spriggs (No. 27 in 100 fly), Yellow Springs junior Eden Spriggs (No. 28 in 100 fly), Greenon sophomore Abby Garver (No. 28 in 200 free), Urbana senior Magdaline Perry (No. 29 in 200 free), Catholic Central junior Kirsten Beals (No. 32 in 100 breast, No. 32 in 200 IM).

Additional boys qualifying in individual events include Shawnee sophomore Lucas Davis (No. 16 in 100 free, No. 20 in 200 IM), Kenton Ridge sophomore Braden Dunaway (No. 23 in 100 breast), Northwestern sophomore Drew Blazer (No. 27 in 200 IM, No. 31 in 500 free), Shawnee sophomore Andrew Vest (No. 22 in 100 fly, No. 29 in 50 free), Urbana freshman Landon Turner (No. 30 in 100 back), Shawnee senior Jackson Smith (No. 31 in 100 breast) and Greeneview sophomore Cameron Bolen (No. 32 in 100 breast).

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