Four area swimmers reach top of state podium

Matt Brunsky, Butler
Matt Brunsky, Butler

A quesadilla burger and a night playing Xbox with friends – it was a celebration worthy of a state champion, at least this state champion.

Butler senior Matt Brunsky edged out the competition in the boys Division II 50-yard freestyle event at the OHSAA State Swimming and Diving Championships in 20.94 seconds. Seven Hills senior Tim Kalin was close behind, finishing in 21.12. The Aviators senior expected it to be close.

“I knew he was going to drop some time and I knew I would probably gain time because Canton isn’t the fastest pool,” Brunsky said. “I felt like I out-touched him, I was almost positive I won, but I checked the board just in case.”

It was hard to get a glimpse at first, with officials on deck blocking his view, but he soon confirmed what his gut told him – he was a state champion. After placing seventh last year, Brunsky was on top.

“Since sophomore year, I wanted to become a state champ,” he said. “So, it’s definitely exciting.”

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Brunsky made another trip to the awards podium with a fourth-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle (46.59), matching last year’s finish.

The celebration was short-lived as he was back in the pool soon after returning to town, preparing for an upcoming club meet with the Dayton Raiders. And, while he checked something off his swimming to-do list, there are still plenty of things Brunsky wants to accomplish.

“It kind of makes me sad that my high school career is over, but I’m looking forward to club season,” he said. “And I’m trying for an Olympic trial cut.”

And there are still college decisions to be made. Brunsky wants to swim at the next level but has not yet committed to a school.

“I think winning state will definitely give me some attention,” he said.

The Dayton area had a few swimmers climb to the top of the awards podium at the state meet in Canton last week.

Oakwood junior Sam Campbell made quick work of the longest event of the meet. Campbell swam to a first-place finish in the endurance-testing 500-yard freestyle in 4:33.53. He finished more than four seconds ahead of Preston Troyer, of Xenia Legacy Christian, who placed second in 4:38.06. Campbell placed third in the 100-yard backstroke (50.48) just a few events later.

Girls Division II: She touched the wall, glanced quickly at the board and then to her mom in the stands. The smile and thumbs up said it all – McKenzie Reid was a state champion.

The Chaminade Julienne senior – making her fourth state appearance – won the girls D-II 100-yard butterfly, earning her first state title with a personal best time of 54.58.

“I couldn’t have asked for any more,” she said.

Reid later posted a second-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke to Nyah Funderburke, of the Columbus School for Girls. Funderburke finished second to Reid in fly.

“I have crazy respect for her,” Reid said of Funderburke. “She’s an amazing swimmer who will swim at Ohio State next year.”

Reid will swim at Miami University but, for now, is focusing on the club season.

And the celebration didn’t end in Canton as she returned to CJ to find a warm welcome – complete with balloons and presents.

“It has definitely sunk in,” she said with a smile.

Division I

Beavercreek junior Dillon Edge edged out the competition in the boys 200-yard freestyle (1:38.17) The Beavers swimmer also placed 10th in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 50.25.

Edge did his part to help the Beavercreek boys place ninth as a team – the highest place of any local DI boys teams.

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