February 21, 2017
Division I Girls
The high school championship season has begun, and we all know that’s when the Rays shine brightest. The Mason Manta Rays made their usual huge impact on the Southwest District Swimming Championships this past weekend at Miami University. The always fast meet got a lot faster this year as many records were broken.
The Division 1 girls meet got off to an explosive start as the Mason Comets 200 medley relay team of Caroline Wolf, Lauren Thomas, Harna Minezawa and Ashley Volpenhein won the event and broke the meet record with a time of 1:43.21, which is also a Mason Comet team record. Sophomore Brynna Wolfe led her Kings team to a 4th place finish. Both schools will battle in this event this coming weekend in Canton at the state high school championships. Sophomore Bridget Cramer anchored her Lakota West team to an 8th place podium finish.
Make that 2 for 2 District meet records; as Mason Comet Junior Allison Bloebaum won the 200 freestyle and broke the district record in a scorching 1:47.38. This also broke the Comet team record. Mason teammate sophomore Leanna Wall made her district debut successful joining Allison on the podium with a 5th place finish. Both girls will take their talents to Canton for the state meet. Ursuline Junior Maggie Sattler scored with a 16th place finish. Comet Junior Stephanie Schoenlein continued her strong comeback from knee surgery with an 18th place finish. Mason Sophomore Aubrey Whitaker rounded out Rays’ performances finishing 26th.
They say three’s a charm and Junior Lauren Thomas proved that as she went wire to wire winning the 200 IM in a lightening quick 2:04.23, breaking the Comet team record. Not far behind in 3rd place, Kings’ Brynna Wolfe also punched her ticket to Canton. Senior Comet Caroline Wolf made the podium placing 8th, narrowly missing out going to state in this event. Comet Freshman Emily Yu debuted with a solid swim finishing 26th.
The Manta Rays showed off their sprinting skills as three of the girls stood atop the podium as the dust cleared. Leading the way was Senior Comet Ashley Volpenhein finishing 2nd, just being touched out for the gold. Mason’s Sophomore Harna Minezawa made an impressive debut at Districts finishing 3rd. Upstart Sophomore McKenzie Grau charged to a 5th place finish; all three qualifying to state. Lakota West’s Bridget Cramer came in 11th and Ursuline Junior Kylie Decker scored with a 16th place finish.
The 100 butterfly was a tight race. As Comet Harna Minezawa tied for 3rd in a race that came down to the final strokes. Harna will be back to race again in Canton as she qualified to state. Bridget Cramer placed 21st, Emily Yu 24th and Mason Sophomore Angelika Georgostathis finished 26th.
The Rays claimed another District Championship as Stanford bound Ashley Volpenhein closed out her District career on top with another gold in the 100 freestyle going 50.09. Ursuline’s Maggie Sattler punched her ticket to Canton with a 6th place finish. Stephanie Schoenlein finished 11thand Aubrey Whitaker 14th scored points for the Mason Comets with lifetime best swims. Mason Comet Sophomore Meredith Wolf finished 18th.
The gold rush continued as Comet Allison Bloebaum won back to back titles in the 500 freestyle with a 4:48.58 just off the meet record time. Her Comet teammate Leanna Wall came in 7th and both will battle in Canton. Comet McKenzie Grau finished 25th, rounded out the field.
The 200 freestyle relay brought home another District championship for the Mason Comet team. McKenzie Grau, Lauren Thomas, Leanna Wall and Allison Bloebaum sprinted to the gold with a winning time of 1:34.43. Maggie Sattler led her Lions team to a 3rd place finish. Senior Cayla Bodner helped Springboro reach the podium and placed 7th. All three teams will swim next weekend in Canton. Bridget Cramer helped guide Lakota West to the podium finishing 8th.
Both Brynna Wolfe and Lauren Thomas were battling for the win in the 100 backstroke, as the race literally came down to the final stroke. The duo finished 2nd and 3rd respectfully in the close race. Also in the hunt, Caroline Wolf finished 6th, as all three will race again at the state meet. The future looks bright for Comet Sophomore Meredith Wolf as she finished 14th. Ursuline Junior Magen Kelley finished 24th.
Ursuline’s Kylie Decker charged to the wall in the 100 breaststroke, finishing 3rd and securing her first individual bid to the state meet. Cayla Bodner closed out her high school career with a 20th place finish for Springboro. Comet Freshmen Lauren Fries and Grace Zhang made their District debuts finishing 27th and 29th respectively.
The meet concluded late Saturday night with what else? A new District meet record and team record for the Mason team of Harna Minezawa, Leanna Wall, Allison Bloebaum, and Ashley Volpenhein in a time of 3:24.21. On their heels was the Kings team, led by Brynna Wolfe. Cayla Bodner led her Springboro team to a 6th place finish. All 3 relays will meet again in Canton.
Division 1 Boys
The Boys Division 1 meet was held Saturday morning at Miami University. The Comets of Mason led by Scott Shepherd, Puran Kansakar, and Lonnie Chien, finished 3rd and qualified for the state meet in Canton. Justin Hailey helped his Lakota West team to a 22nd place finish.
Comet Junior Ethan Devyak made the podium in the 200 freestyle finishing 8th. This swim also qualifies him to the state meet in Canton.
In the 200 IM, Lakota West Junior Griffin Manning swam to a 10th place finish. Mason Junior Puran Kansakar came in 12th.
Comet Sophomore Karson Walker rose to the occasion in the 50 freestyle finishing 7th and qualifying him to the state high school championships.
Mason Sophomore Scott Shepherd flew to a lifetime best in the 100 butterfly, finishing 10th. Comet teammate Sophomore Lonnie Chien scored finishing 16th.
In the 100 freestyle, St. Xavier Senior Luke Van Gorp surged to a 3rd place finish and qualified for Canton. Joining Luke in Canton, Karson Walker continued his torrid day finishing 5th.
Mason’s Ethan Devyak earned another event in Canton as he finished 13th in the 500 freestyle. Comets’ Sophomores, Cole Petersen, 21st and Luke Helm, 25th, turned in solid performances. Lakota East Sophomores Bryce Forren and Sam Nucerino finished 29th and 32nd respectively.
The Comets 200 freestyle relay led by Karson Walker, Lonnie Chien and Ethan Devyak, finished 5th and their time qualified them to the state meet. Griffin Manning guided his Lakota West team to a 12th place finish.
Comets Sophomore Scott Shepherd placed 12th in the 100 backstroke with an impressive 53.22. The time just missed making it to state, but he still has two more years, so watch out. Youth also is evident in this event as Mason Freshman Nick Diangelo made his debut and finished 24th.
Senior Luke Van Gorp closed out his District meet in the 100 breaststroke with a state qualifying swim finishing 4th. Lakota West Junior Griffin Manning shined in the spotlight as he went a blistering 58.54 and qualified to state in an individual event for the first time. Comet Junior Puran Kansakar finished 13th, narrowly missing a trip to the state meet. Comet Cole Petersen finished in 30th place.
The 400 free relay closed out the meet and the Mason Comets Scott Shepherd, Lonnie Chien, Karson Walker and Ethan Devyak finished a strong 5th and qualified to state. Griffin Manning led his Thunderhawks to a 13th place finish.
Division II Girls
Super Sophomore Cora Dupre led off Mariemont’s 200 medley relay and got them a lead they would not give up as they cruised to the District championship. Bishop Fenwick teammates Marisa Crisci and Anna Baker not only guided their team to the podium finishing 7th, but also qualified to the state meet in Canton. Kierstyn Cassidy led the way for Waynesville, finishing 8th.
Cora Dupre captured her first individual District title winning the 200 freestyle in dominating fashion in a time of 1:49.23. Waynesville Junior Kierstyn Cassidy swam to a 6th place finish, making the podium. Both girls will race again in Canton.
Upstart Bishop Fenwick Freshman Anna Baker made an impressive debut, placing 16th in the 200 IM. Anna saved her best performance for the 100 butterfly. Her time of 59.55 propelled her to a 6th place finish and more importantly qualified to the state meet. Not to be out done, Bishop Fenwick teammate Senior Marisa Crisci punched her ticket to Canton finished 9th and qualified at large.
Cora Dupre was not satisfied with just a gold medal as she smashed the meet record with a dashing time of 49.91 in the 100 freestyle, automatically qualifying her to state.
Waynesville’s Kierstyn Cassidy had an electrifying performance finishing 5th and qualifying for her second event in Canton. Not long after that, she led her 200 freestyle relay team to the podium finishing 8th.
John Carroll University bound Marisa Crisci closed out her high school District career placing 14th in the 100 backstroke and earning valuable points for her Bishop Fenwick team.
Closing out the night, Cora Dupre led her Warrior 400 freestyle relay team to the District title, going 4 for 4 in District gold medals.
Division II Boys
What the boys Division 2 Mason Manta Rays lacked in quantity they more than made up for it in quality. Bishop Fenwick’s Adam Chaney and Wilmington’s Ricky Dungan both qualified in 2 individual events. Fabulous Freshman Adam Chaney won the 50 freestyle in an eye-popping 20.98 and qualified him to his first state meet in Canton. This time is the 22nd fastest in the history of USA swimming for 13-14 boys. Ricky began his night in the 200 freestyle and surged to a lifetime best of 1:47.03, placing 10th and qualifying to the state meet. In Adam’s second event, the 100 freestyle, he was closing on the leader and touched out at the wall. His time of 46.37 was good for second and an automatic bid to state. Ricky’s other event, the 500 freestyle, proved bountiful. The distance specialist surged to a 6th place finish and another bid to state. Adam also led his relays to the state tournament as his 200 freestyle relay placed 4th and 200 medley relay placed 8th.
Good luck to all the Mason Manta Rays at the High School State meet in Canton!