Manta Ray Partners

Manta Rays Excel at Southwest High School Districts

Miami University, Oxford, Ohio

Sunday February 21, 2015

Girls Division I

The High School District meet got off to a flying start as the Mason Comets (Julia Volpenhein, Jordan Decker, Ashley Volpenhein, Abbey Esler) captured the 200 medley relay district title.  Hannah Whitely led Springboro to a third place finish in the event.  Sydney Lofquist swam butterfly on the Ursuline fourth place finishing relay.  All 3 relay teams qualified for the state meet.

200 Freestyle – Lizzie Troy (SR Mason), led the Rays with an 8th place finish; followed by Mason freshman Allison Bloebaum (11th) and Mason junior Gabby Marinelli (13th).  All three qualifying for the state meet.  Rounding out Rays finishers were Mason freshman Stephanie Schoenlien (17th) and Ursuline freshman Meggie Sattler (20th).

In the 200 IM, Ursuline senior Sydney Lofquist finished second in a very close battle for the district title, automatically qualifying her for the high school state meet.  Mason freshman Lauren Thomas swam an impressive lifetime best 2:10.18 for 10th place.  Sophomores Caroline Wolf (19th), Josephine Waller (20th) and junior Liz Monnin (22nd) also were Comet finishers.  Lakota East freshman Maegan Kelley (25th) rounded out the Rays swimmers. 

The 50 free proved historic as sophomore Comet Ashley Volpenhein broke the district and Miami pool record in an eye-popping 22.35.  Not to be out done, older sister, senior Julia Volpenhein, finished 5th with a 23.80.  Comets junior Jordan Decker and Abbey Esler finished a strong 8th and 10th, qualifying for the state meet.  Sycamore junior Mary Fry also earned a trip to Canton with a 9th place finish.

Springboro junior Hannah Whitely led the Rays in the 100 fly, tying for runner up and an automatic bid to state.  Comets’ sophomore Camille Nguyen and Tiffany Yu tied for 15th place with lifetime bests 58.27.  Maggie Sattler (28th) and Comet sophomore Emily Zhao (29th) rounded out a strong showing by the Rays.

The record books were re-written again as Ashley Volpenhein broke a 14 year old district record and another Miami pool record in the 100 freestyle with a blazing 49.34. Gabby Marinelli came in a solid 4th, followed by Lizzie Troy 6th, and Mary Fry 12th.  They all will battle it out in Canton as state qualifiers.  Abbey Esler (13th) narrowly missed qualifying to state.`

In the 500 freestyle, more history was made as Ursuline senior and USC bound Sydney Lofquist broke the district record, held formerly by current Auburn Tiger and former Manta Ray Zoe Thatcher, by .01 seconds.  Freshman Comet Allison Bloebaum finished 7th and Camille Nguyen (17th) both earned a trip to Canton.  Completing the Rays entries were Stephanie Schoenlein (18th), Lakota East junior Kailey Hauck (29th), and Lakota West sophomore Heyle Krugler (30th).

In the 200 free relay, the Mason Comets were edged out by St Ursula in an exciting photo finished.  Tiffany Yu, Julia Volpenhein, Abbey Esler, and Jordan Decker represented and qualified to state.  Maggie Sattler led Ursuline Academy to a 6th place state qualifying finish and sophomore Cayla Bodner helped Springboro to a 10th place finish. 

The 100 back district record and pool record fell as Springboro’s Hannah Whitely blazed with a 53.49.  Julia Volpenhein capped off her night with a 5th place finish and qualified for state.  Caroline Wolf (11th), Lauren Thomas (17th) and Tiffany Yu (20th) all out in strong performances for the Comets.  Maegan Kelley led Lakota East with a 29th place finish.

Jordan Decker finished her night with a lifetime best 1:05.43 in the 100 breaststroke and advanced to the state meet.  In perhaps the deepest field of the meet, Josephine Waller finished 12th, Liz Monnin 13th, Ursuline freshman Kylie Decker 26th and Mason freshman Megan Wang 28th, all with strong performances.

The meet ended in another relay nail biter as the Comets (Allison Bloebaum, Gabby Marinelli, Lizzie Troy and Ashley Volpenhein) were district runner ups.  Ashley anchored the relay with a blistering split of 48.45 to nearly pull off a come from behind victory.  Sydney Lofquist led Ursuline Academy to a 4th place finish.  Mary Fry helped Sycamore to a 5th place finish.  Hannah Whitely led Springboro to a solid 7th place finish.  All the above relays qualified for the state meet.  Heyle Krugler led Lakota West to a 15th place finish and Maegan Kelley was on the 16th place Lakota East relay. 

Boys Division 1

In the 200 medley relay, senior Keith Jessee, swam the breaststroke, leading Lakota East to a 4th place finish.  The Mason Comets ended up 5th and were represented by junior Joel Thatcher, sophomore Terry Tao and seniors Peter He and Mpoki Mwalupindi.  Junior Cameron Wallace’s backstroke led Springboro to a 7th place finish.  Seniors Sean McCracken, Jackson Tinsley, and Robert Skoog earned Lakota West a 9th place qualifier to state.  The Keener twins, juniors Myles and Cooper propelled Walnut Hills to a 9th place finish.

No shortage of speed in a deep field of the 200 free, as Mason senior Justin Hove swam an impressive 1:39.46 to capture the silver medal.  Sean McCracken finished 9th and Joel Thatcher 110th earning them all a trip to Canton.

Cooper Hodge, Moeller junior, became an automatic qualifier with a 2nd place finish in the 200 IM.  Myles Keener finished 14, narrowly missed qualifying in a very loaded field.  Mpoki Mwalupindi (18th), Mason sophomore Matt Helm (19th), Jackson Tinsley (24th), Lakota East freshman Keith Enrico (26th), and Mason sophomore Sebastian Castillo (29th), rounded out the Rays finishers.

In the 50 free, Peter He led the Rays with a state qualifying 21.56, good for 4th place.  Mason junior Preston Bailey (11th) and Robert Skoog (21st) completed the Rays finishes.

In the 100 fly, Keith Jessee swam a lifetime best 51.24 earning him a 6th place medal and  a strip to the state meet.  Cameron Wallace placed 10th for Springboro and Cooper Keener finished 15th for Walnut Hills.

Freshman Keith Enrico had a solid 50.55 for a 24th place finish for Lakota East in the 100 freestyle.

The 500 proved to be off the charts fast, as the top 3 finishers all broke the District Record held by a former Olympian.  Of those top 3, our own Justin Hove Comet senior swam an impressive 4:26.86, 3 seconds under the former record earning the silver medal and is state bound.  Not far behind and qualifying for state was Comets junior Joel Thatcher finishing 5th in 4:29.56.  Sebastian Castillo finished 27th.

In the 200 free relay, Mason Comets were 2nd only to a powerful St. X.  Peter He, Mpoki Mwalupindi, Preston Bailey, and Justin Hove led the Comets.  Cooper Hodge led Moeller to a 4th place finish.  Sean McCracken, Jackson Tinsley, and Robert Skoog, helped Lakota West to a 6th place finish and a trip to the state meet.  Keith Enrico led Lakota East to a 12th place finish and Myles Keener Walnut Hills to a 14th place.

In the 100 back, Cooper Hodge advanced to the state meet with a 4th place finish.  Cooper Keener and Mason Comet sophomore Mike McDonald punched their ticket to Canton finishing 10th and 11th respectively.  Cameron Wallace (20th) and Lakota West junior Luke Mueller (30th) rounded out the Rays swimmers.

Following was the 100 breaststroke where Keith Jessee swam an outstanding 58.09 to finish 4th closely followed by St X sophomore Luke Van Gorp in 5th.  Rays teammates and GMC rivals Preston Bailey and Jackson Tinsley tied for 12th with 59.79.  Mason freshman Puran Kansakar broke the minute barrier for the first time going 59.99 and earning 14th place.  Terry Tao (19th), Myles Keener (21st), Matt Helm (24th), Robert Skoog (26th) rounded out the Rays finishers.

In the 400 free relay, Mason Comets 3rd place finish Justin Hove, Preston Bailey, senior Alex Mechler, and Joel Thatcher.  Keith Jessee led Lakota East to 5th and Cooper Keener led Walnut Hills to 12th place.

Girls Division 2

Our lone division 2 girls representative, Waynesville freshman Keirstyn Cassidy, began her high school district career swimming butterfly on the medley relay, leading the Spartans to state qualifying 10th place finish.  She also swam the freestyle in 1:56.30 finishing 9th and qualifying for state.  Another state qualifying swim came in the 500 freestyle for a 7th place finish going 5:10.04.  She finished up the day helping the Spartans to a 12th place finish.

Boys Division 2

Seven Hills sophomore Tim Hagemeister started the day off in a big way as he and his teammates won the district title and set a new district record in the 200 medal relay.  Tim swam butterfly and split a 23.28.  For Bishop Fenwick, sophomore Griffin Braun swam the breastroke leg (29.74) to lead the Falcons to a 20th place finish.


Tim Hagemeister continued his night in the 200 IM with a 3rd place finish (1:55.68) and another event to swim at state. 

Seven Hills sophomore Matthew Clayton scored with a 13th place finish in the 50 freestyle.

In the 100 freestyle, Griffin Braun broke the 50 second barrier with a 49.93 and finished 15th.  Matthew Clayton finished 25th.

Tim Hagemeister clinched his 3rd state qualifying race with a second place finish in the 500 freestyle (4:35.69).

Griffin Braun brought home a 10th place finish in the 100 breaststroke.

Tim Hagemeister’s 400 free relay was the runner up to cap off the night.