Kenton Ridge High School freshman swimmer Evan Blazer has been nearly unbeatable all season.
He’s won every race but one this winter, including being named the Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division Swimmer of the Year. His lone loss came at the Southwest Ohio Coaches Classic, one of toughest meets in the nation.
Last weekend, he won four events at the Division II district meet at Centerville, including the 100- and 200-yard freestyle. He’s also a member of the Cougars’ 200 medley relay and 200 free relay.
»RELATED: Wednesday’s high school roundup
This weekend, he’ll look to advance to the state’s biggest stage. Blazer is one of 15 Cougars competing in 27 different events at the D-II district swim meet this weekend at Miami University’s Corwin M. Nixon Aquatic Center. The toptwo in each district automatically qualify for the state meet and the best 24-overall times in the four district meets will also qualify for the state meet.
“My main goal is to move on to state,” Blazer said. “I’d like to get there in our relays. I’d like to drop some time in my individual events.”
Blazer has been swimming with the Springfield YMCA SPY program since he was six years old. He loves the competitiveness and camaraderie that comes with the sport.
“It’s basically racing yourself,” Blazer said. “I really like that. At the meets, you see a lot of the same people and that’s really neat.”
A year ago, the Cougars boys squad won CBC Kenton Trail and finished among the top scorers at every meet they attended.
With Blazer, it’s pushed the already competitive boys team to new heights. They haven’t lost a meet all year and will be strong for years to come thanks to a good group of underclassmen that includes freshman Chase Fyffe and sophomore Seth Thomas and Dylan Day. They also won the CBC Kenton Trail for the third time in four years.
“It’s really exciting,” Blazer said.
Blazer’s attitude hasn’t changed in light of his success, said longtime KR swimming coach Heather Shaffer.
“He’s one of the most humble kids, it’s something that he’s always had,” Shaffer said. “He has a love for the sport. He’s also completely humble and down to earth. He won’t talk about it unless we make him. I love that attitude he has as well.”
The Cougars girls squad also saw several girls qualify in four events in D-II, including juniors Sydney Jones and Gwyn Thomas. Jones won the 50 free and 100 fly, while Thomas was first in the 20 free and second in the 100 breast.
Top knight: Greenon High School senior Calvin Wise is seeking another state berth after winning both the 200 IM and the 400 butterfly at last week’s D-II sectional meet at Centerville.
Wildcats roar: In D-I, Springfield senior Christian Narcelles advanced to the district meet in both the 200 IM and the 400 butterfly. He’s ranked 10th and sixth in each event, respectively.
In the girls meet, junior Reese Turner advanced in both the 50 free and the 100 free. She’s ranked fifth and 10th in those events.
Irish strong: Catholic Central senior Bridget Engel qualified in both the 200 IM and the 100 breast, winning each event at the D-II sectional meet last weekend. She’s ranked first in the 100 breast and sixth in the 200 IM.
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