"Once in a while you really hold your breath and pray that everything you have watched the kids work for actually happens and this weekend was one of those weekends," said swim coach Bobbi Jo Johnson. "Jon (assistant coach Jon Rockwell) and I have counted and worked and reworked and tried to figure where the most kids would have chances to make the trip to OSU to swim at Districts and it all worked."
"Everyone did a great job on Saturday at the sectionals held at Steubenville. The swimmers that did not qualify all showed great improvements in their strokes and many had best times. The eight swimmers that qualified individually and as well as relays went, was beyond any of our expectations," she said.
"The team had three individuals qualifying in five individual events and eight swimmers are making the trip on the five relays that we swam. So to sum up, everything we asked of the kids that had an opportunity to make a district cut, did exactly what we asked. What more can a coach ask?"
Individually, freshman Christopher Baker won both of his individual events. That meant that he automatically qualifies for the trip to districts. Christopher is seeded eighth in the 200 IM and third in 500 free. The top three finishers in these races will move on to state competition.
Sophomore Hunter Yevincy is returning to districts for the second time. Hunter qualified in the 100 Butterfly seeded 11th, he also qualified in the 100 backstroke and is seeded ninth.
Senior Brandi Bahmer is a returning district qualifier and is seeded 30th in the 50 free.
"I can't say enough about these three swimmers. They all go above and beyond with their dedication to swimming. Extra time, extra practice, extra miles just to get to practice. In addition, I can't say enough good things about their parents. When the kids go to extra practice they are the ones that drive to Wheeling or wherever they can find water. They sit and wait," said Johnson
"I am so thrilled for the relay swimmers. We knew that all of the relays were sitting on the bubble to qualify and we had several team meetings to discussing options. Several of the swimmers had to make scarifies for the good of the team and they all did," Johnson said.
On the girls side, all three relays were swum by seniors Katy Piersol, Bethany Clouse, Taylor Cameron and Brandi Bahmer. Each of them gave up one individual event so that they could swim three relays in hopes that they could at least make one district time. This also allowed the other girls on the team to swim two events.
They dropped a total 11 seconds in the three relays and are going to get to swim Friday at OSU. The girls qualified in the 200 Medley Relay, the 200 Free Relay and the 400 Free Relay.
As for the boys, they qualified in the 200 free relay and the 400 free relay. Senior Kyle Burkhart was added to both relays Friday evening.
On Saturday, it was also discovered that Senior Arick Swallie was having some stomach flu issues so more pressure was on the team to perform.
"I cannot say enough about Hunter and Christopher it is a given that they will swim fast, but I think Arick's effort to swim while ill and Kyle's ability to step into a spot that he knew the relays would not go unless he performed better than he had ever done before was a tough place to be. Needless to say, the team of Hunter Yevincy, Christopher Baker, Arick Swallie and Kyle Burkhart did what they needed to do and qualifed in both of the relays they attempted," said Johnson.
The District Qualifiers will travel to the campus of Ohio State University and swim in District Competition on Friday Feb. 19 beginning at 1 p.m.
3471- Yevincy starting the last leg of the 400 relay with Baker in the water.
3421-Seniors getting ready for their 400 relay.
3211-Ashley Kindleberger and Hunter Weiss finishing the backstroke.
3448= Senior Brandi Bahmer swimming her best 100 ever.
3457- Senior Arick Swallie swimming his last race.
3434 Senior Bethany Clouse starting the 400 free relay.