Oakwood, Sidney, Beavercreek seniors swim to state gold

It was their last chance to finish first and several Miami Valley swimmers did just that at the Ohio High School Athletic Association Swimming & Diving State Tournament at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton.

“I had come in third three times — been right up there on the top three podium,” Oakwood senior Tristan Prizler said. “So it was really satisfying to finally win.”

The Lumberjacks swimmer won a pair on Division II titles in the endurance-testing 500-yard freestyle with a personal best time of 4 minutes, 28.81 seconds and the 200-yard individual medley (1:51.29). The IM was a nailbiter as he and Ben Davis (1:51.33) of Hunting Valley University School battled for the lead throughout the final heat.

“It was nerve-wracking,” Prizler said. “I checked the scoreboard and double-checked.”

Like Prizler, Sidney senior Jarrett Payne left the state meet in Canton with a pair of titles. Payne, who owns all eight Sidney High School individual records and seven of the eight league records, clocked a personal best time of 47.68 in the Division I 100-yard backstroke. Payne also won the 200-yard IM (1:48.77).

“I knew it was my last state meet, so I wanted to make it count,” Payne said. “It’s cool and very exciting that I accomplished my goals.”

The hard work paid off for Payne, who drives more than an hour each way to train with his club team in Mason.

“There were definitely times I didn’t want to make the drive but I did, so this is extremely rewarding.”

The top of the podium was also the goal for Beavercreek senior Caleb Manning, who swam to a first-place finish in the D-I 500-yard freestyle (4:30.12).

“I’m happy with how everything ended on a good note,” Manning said. “And I think I can go even faster in both events.”

Manning, who also finished sixth in the 200-IM (1:53.08) , celebrated his state win with sleep, “and a lot of chocolate milk.”

The celebration will be short-lived for all three state champions who will be back in the pool this week competing in meets with their club teams.

Good night for the Knights: While there were no individual state champions on the Alter girls swim team, the Knights were the highest placing team among area girls or boys teams with a third-place finish.

It was a team effort for the Knights as junior Emily Kyre placed fourth in the 50-yard freestyle (23.91) and 100-yard butterfly (56.87) while junior Emma Tenhundfeld placed fourth in the 200-yard individual medley (2:05.96) and sixth in the 100-yard backstroke (55.98). The Alter relay teams finished third in the 200 and 400-yard freestyle events.

Oakwood placed fourth in the D-II boys standings while Beavercreek was 11th in the D-I team standings.

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