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Miller wins Division I girls state swim title

By mikeb Published: February 26, 2011

CANTON: The top spot on the awards podium eluded Katie Miller last year.¶
Miller, a Firestone sophomore, made sure to rectify that Saturday night by winning the 200-yard individual medley title in a time of 2:00.62 in the Division I state swimming meet at C.T. Branin Natatorium.¶
``It would have been nice to go under two minutes, but I am so happy I was able to win,´´ Miller said. ``I am just so happy to be a state champion, because I was fourth in that event last year.´´¶
Miller also placed second to Upper Arlington senior Abby Chin in the 500 freestyle. Chin won in 4:48.93 and Miller clocked a 4:49.02.¶
``I know Abby really well,´´ Miller said. ``We both work very hard. It was okay losing to her because she is a senior and she was so close to winning last year. I know how hard she works and how dedicated she is. I am disappointed to lose, but I am happy with second place and that Abby could win.´´¶
Firestone coach Cindy Virdo said she continues to be impressed by the times Miller is posting.¶
``I am very proud of Katie and excited for her,´´ Virdo said. ``The goal was to walk away with a state title, and she did that in the 200 IM. I am not disappointed at all with the second place in the 500 free because she had a great race. She had lifetime best times in each event.´´¶
Wadsworth senior Elaina Lanson and Jackson sophomore Chase Kinney tied for second in the 50 freestyle in 23.40 seconds. Springboro senior Dani Barbiea won the event in 22.94 seconds.¶
``This is my fourth year at state,´´ said Lanson, a Georgia Southern recruit. ``I am happy with how I did.¶
``I have never tied before, but I was happy it was Chase that I tied with. We always go back and forth. That never happens in the state final. I know Chase pretty well. We have competed against each other the last two years and we talk a lot to each other on the starting blocks. It is a friendly competition definitely.´´¶
Wadsworth coach Autumn Reeves said Lanson is the first Grizzlies swimmer — boy or girl — to finish as a state runnerup.¶
Kinney finished fourth in the 100 freestyle in 51.72 seconds. Lanson took fifth in 51.90 seconds, and GlenOak senior Nicole Becks was 10th in 52.49 seconds.¶
``I am very happy with my times and places,´´ Kinney said. ``It was kind of weird to tie with Elaina, but it's cool. I actually tied yesterday in the 100 in the prelims. Hopefully next year in the 50, I can win it.´´¶
Cloverleaf junior Addy Ferguson placed fourth in the 100 butterfly (56.94 seconds) and eighth in the 100 backstroke (57.79 seconds).¶
``I take a lot from this meet,´´ Ferguson said. ``My entire family came here to support me, and basically the entire team came out to support me. The whole atmosphere is great. It is a fun experience, and I enjoy the pressure. The pressure pushes me to do better.´´¶¶
Colts coach Mike McGee said Ferguson is the only state qualifier and state placer in swimming in school history.¶
Miller, senior Emma Durante, junior Alyssa Athmer and junior Jillian Stoneburg combined for Firestone to place sixth in the 200 medley relay in 1:47.23.¶
Stoneburg was also ninth in the 200 freestyle in 1:54.93.¶
Jackson took seventh in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:38.36. Kinney anchored the relay which included freshman Elizabeth Graeff, senior Lindsay Ellis and senior Avery Tan.¶
Kinney also anchored the Polar Bears 400 freestyle relay, which included Graeff, Tan and senior Maegan Jones, and finished eighth in 3:37.47.¶
Hudson senior Hannah Hornis anchored the Explorers 200 freestyle relay that placed ninth in 1:38.00 and included sophomores Connie Gan, Emily Arther and Laura Murphy.¶
Upper Arlington won its eight Division I team state title with 286 points.¶
Jackson finished ninth in the team standings with 86.5 points. Firestone was 10th with 76 points and Hudson was 12th with 72 points.¶

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