High School Swimming: Waynesville’s Conley eyes more state hardware

ajc.com

A new champion will be crowned in the 500-yard freestyle at the Division II state meet next week. But those swimming the 200 free are on notice: watch out for Waynesville junior Owen Conley.

Conley won a pair of state championships last season in the 200 individual medley and that 500 free title. This season he elected to drop down from the 500 free to the 200 free.

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Conley competes in both at the D-II district championships at Miami University on Friday. The top times advance to the state meet next week in Canton.

“Owen has switched events so it’s going to be a harder double for him,” Waynesville coach Veronica Cassidy said. “We’re looking for him to do it again.”

And he might not be alone. Freshman Audrey Conley enters the district meet with the fifth best time in the state in the 200 free and eight-best time in the 500 free.

“Audrey is looking really good,” Cassidy said. “She might be another one looking to grab a title as well.”

Teammates joining them in individual events at the district meet are junior William Kelley (100 free, 100 back), junior Nate Eshler (200 free), senior Lindsey Worthington (50 free), Anicca Sivsov (50 free, 100 back), freshman Hannah Krumholtz (100 breaststroke) and freshman Devyn Olson (100 fly, 200 IM).

“Just a hard work ethic mixed with a lot of fun,” Cassidy said. “We’ve got a pretty strong tradition at Waynesville. Any time the kids join they realize that and put the work in to make sure it continues.”

They have to in order to compete at the district meet. The Southwest district is the toughest in the state and serves as quality preparation for Canton.

“The Southwest district is as fast, if not faster, than the state meet sometimes,” Cassidy said. “To qualify it’s really difficult. Everyone is vying for those coveted spots for state. The Southwest is insane and always has been. … I think that’s an advantage for the Southwest district. As competitive as we are down here that prepares us really well for the state meet.”

The Division II meet is Friday with the boys swimming at 10:45 a.m. and the girls at 5:45 p.m. The D-I meet is Saturday with the same schedule.

The top two finishers in each event automatically qualify for next week’s state meet in Canton. The next 16 state qualifiers are determined from the top times at all the district meets.

Among other swimmers to watch in the D-II district meet Friday:

• Tri-Village sophomore Lucie Morris holds the top qualifying time in the 50 free in :24.29. She’s No. 3 in the 100 back. Tippecanoe senior Alexis Cook is No. 3 and Miami East sophomore Annie Richters is No. 4.

• Arcanum senior Isabella Gable looks to qualifying in both the 200 free (seeded No. 4) and 500 free (No. 2).

• Carroll sophomore Julia Quinn is No. 5 in the 200 free and No. 4 in the 500 free. Senior teammate Emily Sullivan is No. 5 in the 100 fly and No. 4 in the 200 IM.

• Alter junior Katie Lair is No. 2 in the 200 IM and no. 3 in the 500 free.

• Versailles senior Cole Condon holds the top time in the 50 free (22.40).

• Alter senior Kevin Leibold holds the top time in the 500 free (4:43.84)

• Oakwood has a pair of standouts in freshman Sam Campbell (No. 2 in 500 free and No. 5 100 back) and junior Nathan Boyce (No. 2 in 200 IM and No. 4 500 free). Sophomore Evan Trout is No. 5 in the 500 free. Sophomore Sophia McCarty is No. 4 in the 100 breast.

• Eaton sophomore Tyler Gregory is No. 5 in the 50 free.

• Miami Valley junior Pierce Katai is No. 4 in the 200 free.

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