MANSFIELD — The swimmers from Galion High School were very busy over the weekend as they competed in their sectional championship meet, hoping to earn spots at the District Swim Meet at Bowling Green State University on Friday, Feb. 15.
Galion’s boys team would see all three of their relay teams advance, as well as six individuals while the Lady Tigers will be sending two relay teams and four individuals to the northwest to compete at a chance to make it to state. Versatility speaks as every one of the individuals that advanced are also part of advancing relay teams.
To begin the day, both the boys and girls 200-yard medley relay teams would move on to district competition.
Galion’s boys took second place in a time of 1:45.38, which is a season best time for Caleb Strack, Braxton Tate, Clay Karnes and Ben Alstadt. For the girls, the foursome of Troie Grubbs, Kaisey Speck, Kennedy Speck and Sari Conner finished fifth at the sectional meet with a time of 1:58.85 to keep their season alive.
The Tigers will also have both the boys and the girls 400-yard freestyle relay teams in action on Friday. Galion finished as the runner-ups in a time of 3:26.29 and will be seeded second heading into districts. The Lady Tigers: Kaisey, Conner, Kennedy and Grubbs, finished second at sectionals in 3:54.27 to earn a seventh seed at districts.
Strack, Weston Rose, Karnes and Alstadt will also be swimming in the 200-yard freestyle relay after a second place finish at sectionals in a time of 1:33.22, another season best.
On the boys side of things, Alec Dicus, Rose and Karnes will be in action in multiple, individual events at the district meet as the team claimed second place overall on the day behind Lexington.
Dicus won Galion’s only sectional championship by swimming to the title in the 500-yard freestyle in a time of 5:07.46 while also qualifying after finishing fourth in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:54.19. Rose made it a tandem of qualifying events in the 100 and 200-yard freestyles. Rose finished third in both events, swimming his 100 in 51.12 while wrapping his 200 in 1:51.87. Karnes will be joined Dicus and Rose in the 200-free after qualifying with a ninth place time of 1:58.84. Karnes will also be swimming in the 100-yard butterfly as he finished sixth at sectionals in a time of 59.18.
Strack finished as the runner-up for Galion in the 100-yard backstroke (56.43), Alstadt was second in the 50-yard freestyle (22.96) and Tate rounds out the qualifiers for the Tigers after finishing fifth overall in the 500-free (5:20.63).
Other placements for the boys on Saturday were: 50-free: 16. Isaac Niedermier, 23. Grayson Willacker, 32. Kyler Ratcliff; 100-free: 12. Niedermier, 27. Willacker; 100-back: 14. Ratcliff and 100-yard breaststroke: 10. Tate.
For the Lady Tigers, Grubbs, Kaisey Speck and Conner will be in action in two events apiece while Kennedy Speck will swim in the 100-fly after finishing seventh at sectionals (1:08.85).
Overall, the Galion Lady Tigers finished fifth in the sectional as a team.
Grubbs was the champion in the 100-free, pacing the field in a time of 55.25 while also qualifying in the 100-back with a second place finish in 1:02.88. Kaisey is moving on in the 100-breast (3rd, 1:11.67) and the 200-yard individual medley (4th, 2:24.75). Conner extended her senior season by placing seventh in the 100-free (2:12.09) and eighth in the 200-free (2:12.09).
Other placements for Galion were: 50-free: 25. Destiny Yoder, 35. Kate Wildenthaler, 42. Regin Kuehlman; 100-free: 37. Kuehlman; 200-free: 19. Danielle Schneider, 23. Yoder, 29. Wildenthaler; 500-free: 6. Kennedy Speck, 15. Ashleigh Wright, 17. Schneider; 100-back: 9. Wright and 200-free relay (Schneider, Yoder, Wildenthaler, Wright), 9th.
Follow Chad on Twitter @GalionSportsGuy
Reach Chad at 419-468-1117 x2048