Shawnee swimmer highly motivated at state

Once Justin Crew gets into the pool, it’s tough to get him out.

While some prefer the rush of the sprint events, the Shawnee junior gladly puts in lap after lap after lap as the Braves’ top freestyle distance swimmer. Crew, who logs as many as 30,000 yards a week, is making his third trip to the OHSAA Swimming and Diving Championships, which get underway with Division II preliminaries on Thursday.

“You can never get enough swimming,” Crew said with a smile. “I like getting into that rhythm, my body just takes over.”

He also likes getting onto the podium. He placed sixth in the D-II 500-yard freestyle and seventh in the 200-yard freestyle events at state last year.

“Now that I’ve been on the podium I definitely want to get back,” Crew said. “I’d really like to be up there with the big guys in the top three.”

If the seedings are any indication, Crew is in position to do just that as his qualifying time in the 200-freestyle (1:43.61) – a personal best – is third-fastest in the state – behind fellow Southwest District qualifiers Brock Turner (1:38.85) and Jackson Higgins (1:41.47) of Oakwood.

And if Crew needed additional incentive, he needs to look no further than his older sister Kendra. The current University of Kentucky swimmer earned a pair of second-place finishes at state last year.

“She is definitely motivation,” he said.

Crew is not the only Shawnee swimmer making the trip to Canton. Teammates Seth and Grace Siebert will also vie for top state places. Seth, a junior, will compete in the boys D-II 200-yard individual medley while his sister Grace, a freshman, qualified in the D-II 100-yard breaststroke.

Finale: Springfield High School’s Trevor Keriazes saved the best for last.

“It’s my senior year and my first time making it to state,” Keriazes said.

He qualified in the D-I 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard individual medley with personal best times of :58.70 and 1:54.39, respectively, at the Southwest District meet.

Springfield teammate Madelyn Shaffer, a sophomore, earned state berths in both the girls D-I 50-yard freestyle (:24.37) and 100-yard butterfly (:57.76).

State roundup: Catholic Central junior Ragen Engel, who won the girls D-II district championship in the 50-yard freestyle (:23.71), also earned a state berth in the 100-yard breaststroke. Irish swimmers Stephanie Lohnes qualified in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke and Abigail Thompson qualified in the 100-yard butterfly. Junior Matt Petit earned an automatic berth with a second-place district finish in the boys D-II 50-yard freestyle and also qualified in the 100-yard backstroke.

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