Galion swimmers compete in state prelims

COLUMBUS — Galion is sending two boys relay teams to the state swim meet in Canton this week.

And Eli Skaggs qualified in the boys 100-meter freestyle event.

Preliminary heats are today.

“Times at this year’s district meets are the fastest I have ever seen,”said Galion head swim coach Ted Temple. “The 50 and 100 (freestyle) times, the 500 (freestyle) times were just so fast and will make for a highly competitive state meet this week.”

The 200-yard medley relay team of Caleb Strack, Sam Rigdon, Clay Karnes and Eli Skaggs will be headed to Canton on Thursday Feb. 23 to swim in the preliminaries at 5 p.m. This Galion squad swam to a season-best time of 1:42.90 at Bowling Green State University last Friday to earn them fifth at districts and the No. 23 seed at state.

“Shedding two more seconds in the medley relay shouldn’t be too difficult,” Temple said. “Out of all of the teams at districts, only one school’s fastest split was the lead-off man. We will just have to get out to a fast start and things should fall into place from there.”

Top seeded team at state: University School Preppers, an all-boys school in Hunting Valley: 1:34.94

Joining the 200-medley relay team will be the 200-yard freestyle relay team of Skaggs, Landon Rose, Karnes and Rigdon. After Skaggs and Rigdon switched the lead/anchor roles, this Galion relay team swam to a new school record time of 1:30.84 to finish fourth overall at BGSU and earn an “at-large” bid to Canton. Entering the state meet, the Tigers hold a No. 18 overall seed.

Temple is excited about the 200-free relay team’s possibilities.

“They need to reestablish themselves after the switch from districts. The guys are looking to shed some time to get down to 1:29.60 or lower. With Eli leading off and Sam as our anchor, I think our team has a real chance to establish the goals that we have set.”

Top seeded team at state: Gates Mills Hawken Hawks: 1:25.16

The lone individual swimmer qualifying for the state meet is Eli Skaggs. After a rough outing in the 50-yard freestyle (22.23), Skaggs corrected his turns to swim to a time of 48.64 in the 100-yard freestyle event. This time gave Skaggs a fifth place finish in the district meet and earned him the No. 23 seed come Thursday and Friday.

“Skaggs is after Sam DeNero’s school record in the 100 (freestyle), which is 47.38. He has about a second and three-tenths to drop, but if anyone can do it, it’s Eli,” Temple said.

Top seeded 100-free swimmer at state: Sem Andreis from the Fighting Quakers of New Philadelphia High School: 45.72.

If a team or individual makes it past preliminaries, they would advance to the state finals to be held on Friday Feb. 24 at 5 pm.

Sitting: Caleb Strack, Eli Skaggs, Sam Rigdon and Clay Karnes
Laying down: Landon Rose Caleb Strack, Eli Skaggs, Sam Rigdon and Clay Karnes
Laying down: Landon Rose


By Chad Clinger



Follow Chad on Twitter @GalionSportsGuy

Reach Chad at 419-468-1117 x2048