CANTON: Jackson High School, you have a swimming state champion and her name is Chase Kinney.
Kinney, a junior, won the Division I state 50-yard freestyle championship in a time of 23.41 seconds Saturday in the girls meet at C.T. Branin Natatorium.
Kinney also placed second in the 100 freestyle in 51.12 seconds.
“I’m really excited,” Kinney said. “I didn’t have my best times, but I’m OK with it.
“I was really nervous for my 50. I think my nerves got me a little bit. I started off slow, but I put my head down, pulled it together and finished strong.”
Jackson coach Kelli Ohman said Kinney swam her personal-best times last weekend at the district meet at Cleveland State University by clocking 23.25 seconds in the 50 freestyle and 50.33 seconds in the 100 freestyle.
“She is Jackson’s first state champion in swimming,” Ohman said. “I am so proud of her and happy for her. I get nervous for all the races, especially the 50 because it’s done so fast. It is such a quick race. Seeing her touch first, [Jackson boys] coach Matt Ziders and I had tears in our eyes. All that training and hard work paid off.”
Firestone junior Katie Miller and Walsh Jesuit’s Danielle Margheret were unable to win their second consecutive state titles in their signature events, but both swimmers finished in second place.
Miller placed second in the 100 backstroke (55.38), third in the 200 individual medley (2:02.73) and also helped the Falcons place fourth in the 400 freestyle relay (3:30.58) and eighth in the 200 medley relay (1:48.56).
Sophomore Natalie O’Brien, senior Jillian Stoneburg and senior Emily O’Brien joined Miller in the 400 free relay. The 200 medley relay featured Miller, Stoneburg, Emily O’Brien and senior Alyssa Athmer.
“The 400 free relay is my favorite event because I get to swim with my teammates,” Miller said. “I get to swim with other girls who work their butt off, too.”
Miller said she has battled illness the past few weeks.
“I went faster in the finals than I did in the prelims, so I am happy with that,” Miller said.
“My body has been through a lot the past few weeks. It’s been tough, but I’m only a junior. I have my senior year to come.”
Firestone coach Cindy Virdo is confident Miller will regroup.
“It’s been a rough couple of weeks on Katie’s body,” Virdo said. “We tried to salvage what we could. She pulled out some good swims today and really battled. She has been weak and lost some weight over the past few weeks. I know it’s disappointing, but that is part of athletics.
‘‘Things happen and you have to battle through them. Adversity makes you stronger. She will bounce back.”
Margheret finished second in the 100 breast stroke in 1:02.93 following a death in her family on Wednesday. Margheret said the emotion and stress from that affected her swimming.
Walsh Jesuit coach Wally Lutkus agreed.
“It has been a difficult week for Danielle, but she proved to me that she has the heart of a champion with her performance today,” Lutkus said.
Hudson sophomore Paige Kelly was seventh in both the 200 freestyle (1:53.51) and 500 freestyle (5:05.05). Explorers junior Laura Murphy placed eighth in the 100 breast stroke (1:05.88).
Kelly and Murphy joined juniors Connie Gan and Emily Arther to place sixth in the 400 freestyle relay (3:32.89).
Cloverleaf senior Addy Ferguson took sixth in the 100 backstroke (55.98 seconds) and seventh in the 100 butterfly (56.51 seconds).
Copley freshman Madison Myers was seventh in the 100 backstroke (56.40 seconds).
Upper Arlington won its ninth Division I team state title with 300.5 points.
Firestone finished seventh in the team standings with 109 points. Hudson was ninth with 105 points and Jackson was 13th with 47 points.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohiomm.com/blogs/varsity_letters/. Also follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ. Follow ABJ sports on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.