In any sports tournament, the best strategy is to live to play another day.
In terms of swimming, Dory from the Disney film Finding Nemo put it best, “Just Keep Swimming.”
Seven total swimmers from Mechanicsburg and Graham High Schools did exactly that at last week’s sectional tournaments by qualifying for the Southwest Ohio OHSAA District Swim Championships to be held today at Miami University.
Only the top 32 individuals and 24 relay teams in each event from Southwestern Ohio will continue their season at the district championships.
Mechanicsburg senior Tyler Hennigan was the first local swimmer to qualify last Friday by placing 23rd overall in the 100 butterfly. Not to be out done, Graham juniors Nathan Ryman (25th in the 100 freestyle) and Jack Boggs (29th in the 100 breaststroke) also qualified as individuals. The Graham boys 200 freestyle relay (23rd) and 400 freestyle relay (24th) consisting of Ryman, Boggs, sophomore Thomas Neff and freshman Caleb Owens also earned a trip to Miami.
Last Saturday, Mechanicsburg junior Alekah Daniels became a three-time district qualifier by virtue of her performances in the 50 and 100 freestyle events. Graham senior Amber Robeson continued her season to remember by nabbing the 32nd and final qualifying spot in the 100 breaststroke.
Today at Miami U., the boys will compete beginning at 10:45 a.m. with the girls competition to follow at 5:45 p.m. The top 24 fastest swimmers from each of Ohio’s four district competitions will advance to the state championships, which will be held at legendary C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton next week.
The Champaign Family YMCA helps support local swimmers from Graham, Mechanicsburg, London, Triad and West Liberty-Salem through its Team Champ club team. Participating schools attend the same meets and compete for their respective high schools. Now in its fifth year, this year’s team has grown to include 40 swimmers.