By Chris Chaney
After a weekend spent on the campus of Miami University, the Clermont County swimming contingent has shrunk from 22 individuals competing in 17 events to just one individual competing in two events at the state meet in Canton this weekend.
New Richmond’s Tyler David was the last man standing when the ripples cleared, advancing from the districts in both the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events.
“With Tyler, I always felt very confident that he would make it to state,” New Richmond head coach Judy Middeler said. “In the 200 free, he’s 14th in the state and he’s in 10th place going into the 500 free.”
David, a senior, finished 10th in the 200-free in the Division II Southwest Ohio District with a time that places him 14th among those qualifying throughout the state and he came in 7th place in the 500-freestyle at his district, which placed him at 10th overall heading into Thursday, Feb. 20’s preliminaries.
“It’s a dream come true for (David),” Middeler said. “He’s been working towards this for the last six years when he came to swim for us in the seventh grade. Up to that time, he’d never been on a swim team.
“It’s been a lot of hard work for him. He’s very self-motivated.”
Aside from David’s individual accolades at the district meet, he anchored two relay races for the Lions — the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays.
The 400 freestyle relay broke a New Richmond school record with their time of 3:42.64. David was joined on that team by Austin Berger, Nick Flake and Derek Gelter. The 200 freestyle relay team of David, Flake, Gelter and Tyler’s brother, Noah David improved upon their sectional time.
Middeler said that the elder David was back in the pool Saturday tapering his practices to get ready for state. David headed up to Canton at noon Wednesday to get used to the pool conditions for his preliminaries on Thursday evening.
“He’s more than ready for the challenge and getting there is the first big step,” Middeler said. “It’s such an honor when you think about all the swimmers in the state and he has that ranking; he has nothing to be worried about and as a senior this year, it’s a great way to finish his career.”
As for expectations, Middeler said that David won’t have any added pressure coming from his coaches.
“We’re going to enjoy ourselves and hope that he swims well and takes a few more seconds off,” she said. “I’m trying to not put any more pressure on him; it’s already a big enough thing.
“We’ve taken three other swimmers to state, so (the coaches) have been up there. It’s his first experience and we know that pressure is not the thing he’ll need to do well.”
The New Richmond girls, despite not qualifying for the state meet, were able to make their mark breaking a 30-year-old record. The 200-yard medley relay team of Claire Burns, Ryan Allen, Ann Bishop and Megan Woolum swam a 2:07.37 to add their names to the record board in the New Richmond natatorium.
The 400-freestyle relay team of Paige Anderson, Alicia Bailey, Jessica Nazareth and Megan Woolum broke their own school record, setting a new one at 4:10.56.
Division I: Milford’s swim team had 10 individuals competing in 10 events at the Division I district meet this past weekend. Although none were able to qualify for state, four of the five Lady Eagle events resulted in season-best times, including a pair by individual Carolyn Storch in the 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke.
The boys’ team also had some season-best performances at districts with the 200 medley, 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays posting their best times of the year. Senior Alex Hahn set a personal all-time best in the 100-yard butterfly (55.48) to finish 25th overall.