Friday, February 25, 2005
Swimming competition begins today at C.T. Branin Natatorium.
CANTON -- Canfield High senior Kelly Reese placed 10th in Division I and Poland sophomore Mary Vallinger placed 18th in Division II in Thursday's state diving championships at C.T. Branin Natatorium.
Reese, who did not compete last season, also placed 10th in 2003 and was 12th in 2002. This was Vallinger's first appearance at the state meet.
Warren Harding senior Tyler King and Boardman freshman Conner O'Halloran -- the younger brothers of arguably the two best swimmers in the area's history -- will each compete in individual events at the state swimming meet, which begins today.
King will swim in the 200-yard freestyle and the 100 backstroke, while O'Halloran -- the only other area boy to qualify in an individual event -- will swim the 50 freestyle.
O'Halloran's brother, Tyler, won state titles in the 50 freestyle his junior and senior year. Conner is the only freshman in the field this year -- Tyler also qualified as a freshman in 2000 -- and has posted times similar to what his brother did at the same age.
"Almost identical, actually," said Boardman coach, and father, Terry O'Halloran. "They're about the same speed, but they have very different personalities. Conner is a little easier to figure out. Tyler was pretty intense and explosive and Conner is a little more under control.
"Both of those things are good, though. It's good to be explosive and it's also good to be in control."
Tyler O'Halloran, a three-time state champion, now swims at the University of Texas. King's older brother, Nate, was a two-time all-Ohioan his senior year and now swims at Ohio State.
Boardman also qualified three relays despite having just one senior competing this weekend.
"We're pretty excited about the future," O'Halloran said.
Juniors Chad DeAngelo and Dave Shilling, sophomore Brian Warhatch and freshman Mike Barringer also will compete. Conner O'Halloran will swim in two of those relays.
On the girls side, Spartan senior Hayley Robinson will compete in the 100 breaststroke for the fourth straight year. She swam the second-best time of her career (1:07.14) at the district meet.
Robinson finished 12th in the event the past two years and was 10th in 2002.
And after missing large portions of the past two seasons because of various incidents and ailments, Robinson has been drama-free this winter.
So far, anyway.
"We're keeping our fingers crossed," O'Halloran said with a chuckle. "We've got one more day to go."
West Branch freshman Sam Bluhm will compete in the 200 freestyle. She is the only other girl to advance to the state meet.
This weekend's results and a complete list of qualifiers is available at www.swimmeet.com.