Miami Valley swimmers have times to beat at state meet

Beavercreek senior Caleb Manning has steadily climbed the podium has his sights set on the top step.

“My goal and my dream is to win the 500-yard freestyle,” said Manning

Manning has the time to beat heading into the OHSAA Swimming and Diving State Tournament this week as the Beavers’ distance swimmer posted the best district time statewide in the boys Division I 500 freestyle with 4 minutes, 28.72 seconds, a personal best time.

For Manning, his success is as much about his mindset as it is about his stroke.

“I’ve really worked on my mental game,” he said. “Having been at state before and knowing I have the top time gives me a lot of confidence.”

While Manning has plenty to think about heading into Friday’s D-I prelims, that all stops when he hits the water.

“I’ve learned to not think at all when I’m swimming,” he said. “It makes the time go faster.”

Manning isn’t the only Miami Valley swimmer with a time to beat as a few area swimmers currently sit atop the state psych sheet.

Sidney senior Jarrett Payne posted a state best time of 48.53 in the district 100-yard backstroke event. The first time was the charm for Payne — a now four-time state qualifier in the 200-yard individual medley — who switched from butterfly to backstroke this season.

A 200 IM title is also within reach for Payne, who was edged out by Moeller junior Ryder Hicks 1:49.91 to 1:49.92 at the district meet as the Southwest District swimmers claimed the top two times statewide.

“My goal is definitely to win both of those events,” Payne said.

Payne has the confidence that comes with placing at state the past three years with career-best finishes of fourth place in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly last year.

Division II: Oakwood senior Tristan Prizler has the best time in the state in the 500 free (4:32.12) and is second only to Hunting Valley University School senior Ben Davis (1:51.19) in the 200 IM.

Troy Christian senior Caleb Reno has the edge statewide in the 100 butterfly after posting a time of 48.88 at the district meet. Reno is also the second-seeded swimmer in the 100 backstroke (49.34).

About the Author