UA girls win Division I state title; Koethke sets boys 50 free record
By DAVE PURPURA
Sunday February 28, 2016 12:51 PM
CANTON — Kalvin Koethke’s record performance in the 50-yard freestyle and the Upper Arlington High School girls team’s 11th state championship led central Ohio in the Division I state swimming and diving meet Feb. 27 at Branin Natatorium.
Koethke, a Grove City senior and an Ohio State recruit, won the 50 free in 19.97 seconds, breaking the 25-year-old record of 20.01 set by Joe Hudepohl in 1991. Koethke also placed second in the 100 free (45.0) and was a member of the sixth-place 200 free relay (1:25.76) and the eighth-place 400 free relay (3:11.9).
“I have wanted (sub-20 seconds) for a long time and it finally came together,” Koethke said. “In that race, you cannot make any mistakes if you want to go fast.”
Powered by Katie Trace’s wins in the 200 free (1:47.23) and 500 free (4:49.5), the UA girls amassed 239 points to edge runner-up Mason (229) for the title as 55 teams scored. The Golden Bears’ 200 medley relay was disqualified during preliminaries Feb. 26, but UA got some points back when diver Ellie Winslow finished second on Feb. 27.
UA’s Erin Sheehan won the 100 butterfly (54.25) and the Bears won the 200 free relay (1:34.07).
“I cannot say enough in terms of what this group did,” UA coach Dan Peterkoski said, holding back tears. “All the titles have felt good, but this one is special on so many levels. To watch them be counted out after the first event and then fight back to win it, that’s pretty special.”
St. Charles finished third (154) in the boys meet behind Cincinnati St. Xavier (398) and Brecksville-Broadview Heights (179) as 51 teams scored. St. Xavier won its eighth consecutive title and 37th overall.
UA was fifth (138) and Grove City was eighth (93), marking its best finish in school history.
Koethke’s 50 free title was the area’s only win on the boys side.
Pickerington North’s Jason Mathews was runner-up in the 100 breaststroke (55.31), and St. Charles’ 200 medley relay finished second (1:32.04).
Watters wins girls diving title
New Albany’s Nikki Watters scored 53.75 points on her final dive, a back double pike, to win her first diving championship.
Each of the top five finishers were from central Ohio.
Watters totaled 507.2 points to edge Winslow (503.65) for the title. Olentangy Orange’s Lauren Cheetham was third (481.8), followed by Gahanna’s Maycey Vieta (481.45) and Olentangy’s Liberty’s Morgan Menninger (471.4).
“It’s great to compete against the best. This is the way it should be,” Watters said. “The tough competition makes the atmosphere that much better.”
Thatcher defends boys diving title
Liberty senior Cameron Thatcher won his second consecutive boys state diving championship Feb. 25.
Thatcher, a Stanford University recruit, scored 633.8 points to improve on his own state-meet and pool records from a year ago, when he won the title with 630.9 points. Runner-up Kyle Yost of Shaker Heights had 555.8 points.
Three other area divers competed. Orange freshman Luke Cheetham finished 12th (412.8) and Westerville North junior Jacob Kloos was 13th (410.1). Big Walnut junior Nick Dimitroff did not make the cut after five rounds.