“I don’t sprint much, so I wasn’t expecting to win,” Lane said. “I think I was still high on adrenaline after the 500.”
Lane wasn’t the only local swimmer who earned a pair of Division I state titles at the OHSAA High School Swimming and Diving Championships last week as Springboro junior Hannah Hill also left the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton with two titles.
Hill, 16, posted wins in both the 50 and 100-yard freestyle events with times of 23.04 and 50.15, respectively.
“The past two years, I could tell that nerves got to me,” Hill said. “I’ve been working for this all season and it’s great to see that hard work pay off.”
Lane and Hill have more in common than being two-time state champs as they are club teammates, both swimming for the Mason Manta Rays. Several of the Manta Rays swimmers left Canton with state titles, including Lakota East senior Jacob McDonald, who won both the 200 and 500-yard freestyle events.
“I was happy for myself, but I was beyond happy for my teammates,” Lane said, smiling.
And while the high school season is officially over, both Hill and Lane are back in the pool preparing for a club meet this weekend.
“Winning at state has motivated me for the future,” Hill said. “This isn’t a stopping point.”
Hill isn’t one to rest on her laurels as the Panthers swimmer is considering switching to the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke next season.
“I feel like I checked off a box, winning the 50 and 100,” she said. “I like a bit of a challenge and want to experience other races.”
Lane, 17, will also experience challenges as she will compete for the University of Tennessee in the fall.
• One for the record books: Waynesville senior Owen Conley did more than win the boys D-II state title in the 200-yard individual medley, he raised the bar. Owen's time of 1:47.52 is a new state record in the event. Conley also finished third in the 100-yard backstroke (50.02).
• Top teams: While it didn't have any individual state champions, the Beavercreek boys posted the best team finish among area schools, finishing fourth in the D-I boys rankings. The Springboro girls posted the top finish among the D-I girls at sixth.
Area state champions
50-yard freestyle – Hannah Hill, Springboro, :23.04
100-yard freestyle – Hannah Hill, Springboro, :50.15
500-yard freestyle – Nicola Lane, Centerville, :4:47.23
100-yard backstroke – Nicola Lane, Centerville, :54.71
200-yard freestyle – Jacob McDonald, Lakota East, 1:37.62
500-yard freestyle – Jacob McDonald, Lakota East, 4:22.75
200-yard freestyle – Luke Paxton, Badin, 1:39.16
200-yard individual medley – Owen Conley, Waynesville, 1:47.52