2014 Ohio High School Swimming and Diving Championships

Chad W. Lutz
There appear to be several constants in boys Ohio High School Swimming: One is the inevitable dominance by Cincinnati St. Xavier, who captured their 34th state title yesterday at the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton. Another is the brilliance of Hudson’s Ross Palazzo. The junior took home top honors in both the 200IM (1:48:75) and 100 breaststroke (55.19) events. Palazzo repeated as state champ in both competitions. The third constant, which works out in my favor pretty well, is a knack for arriving just in the nick of time to snag the final ticket for sale. It’s happened each of the past three year’s I’ve attended the event. Maybe next year I’ll learn and make it there on time?
Hudson’s Ross Palazzo walks away the biggest individual winner in the Division I boy’s state finals; Palazzo took home golds in the 200IM and 100 breaststroke for the second consecutive year.
Losing by a mere seventeen points to the perennial champion St. Xavier squad at this year's competition was Toledo St. Francis De Sales. Cincinnati Moeller took home bronze honors, with Solon and Cleveland St. Ignatius snagging honorable mentions. The Palazzo-led Hudson squad managed to claim sixth place overall, with Strongsville, Dublin Coffman, Upper Arlington, and Centerville rounding out the top ten for the boys competition.

For the girls, the absence of graduated double-champs Jackon’s Chase Kinney and Akron Firestone’s Katie Miller opened up several events for new champions to rise. Sydney Lofquist, a junior from Cincinnati Ursuline, met that challenge in the girls 200 IM and walked away with podium gold in a time of 2:00.13. Mason freshman Ashley Volpenhein highlighted her young high school swimming career with gold in the 50 freestyle, beating out Cincinnati Ursuline senior Temarie Tomley 23.34 to 23.49.
Mason freshman Ashley Volpenhein reacts to winning the 50 freestyle in 23.34. (
Cincinnati must give birth to babies in the Ohio and force them to swim ashore as a rite of passage. Through similarly inspiring dominance, the team from Cincinnati Ursuline ate up podium places like doctor’s office candies throughout the course of the afternoon en route to a seventh, and back-to-back, title in the program’s history. Mason did everything they could to prevent what would ultimately prove a 513 sweep, but the Ursuline girls squad consistently picked up the intensity when necessary, most notably during the 500 Free final in which already 200IM champion Lofquist battled Mason senior Zoe Thatcher down to the wire before eventually pulling away in the final 60 yards. Upper Arlington snuck away with the runner-up title, edging out Mason, who walked away with bronze honors for the girls in Division I competition overall.
Ursuline junior Sydney Lofquist catches her breath after winning the Division I 200 IM title in a time of 2:00.13. (
Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit made away with one of the only non Mason/Ursuline-swept events for the ladies in Hanna Gresser’s brilliant 1:02:94 100 breaststroke win. In diving, Olivia Ball of Powell Olentangy Liberty repeated as state champion. Ursuline, as an ode to their dominance, set three state records (200 freestyle/100 backstroke/400freestyle relay). Upper Arlington’s 200 freestyle relay team dropped the only other girls record on the day. The relay quartet from Toledo St. Francis De Sales broke the only record for the boys in the 200 freestyle relay.

Below is a complete listing of your 2014 Swimming and Diving Division I State Champions:

200 Medley Relay

Girls: Cincinnati Ursuline (E. Slabe/S. Lofquist/R.Grinder/J. Moran) 1:43.53
Boys: Toledo St. Francis De Sales (E. Williams/J. Barone/B. Gordon/N. Brodie)

200 Freestyle

Girls: Alisabeth Marsteller (Cincinnati Ursuline) 1:46.78 (SR)
Boys: Grant House (Cincinnati St. Xavier) 1:35.84

200 IM

Girls: Sydney Lofquist (Cincinnati Ursuline) 2:00.13
Boys: Ross Palazzo (Hudson) 1:48.75

50 Freestyle

Girls: Ashley Volpenhein (Mason) 23.34
Boys: Thomas Trace (Upper Arlington) 20.61

100 Butterfly

Girls: Emily Slabe (Cincinnati Ursuline) 55.12
Boys: Mason Miller (Westerville North) 48.32

100 Freestyle

Girls: Alisabeth Marsteller (Cincinnati Ursuline) 49.75
Boys: Grant House (Cincinnati St. Xavier) 44.26

500 Freestyle

Girls: Sydney Lofquist (Cincinnati Ursuline) 4:46.63
Boys: Hassler Carroll (Cincinnati Anderson) 4:30.23

200 Free Relay

Girls: Upper Arlington (G. Long/A. Hedden/G. Van Fossen/J. Smith) 1:33.87 (SR)
Boys: Toledo St. Francis De Sales (J. Disalle/J. Barone/C. Sobczak/N. Brodie) 1:22.85 (SR)

100 Backstroke

Girls: Emily Slabe (Cincinnati Ursuline) 53.95 (SR)
Boys: Henrik Pohlmann (Beavercreek) 48.24

100 Breaststroke

Girls: Hanna Gresser (Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit) 1:02.94
Boys: Ross Palazzo (Hudson) 55.19

400 Free Relay

Girls: Cincinnati Ursuline (S. Lofquist/E. Slabe/T. Tomley/A. Marsteller) 3:21.89 (SR)
Boys: Cincinnati St. Xavier (M. Slabe/M. Frey/M. Montague/G. House) 3:05.28

1-Meter Diving

Girls: Olivia Ball (Powell Olentangy Liberty) 553.85
Boys: Stephen Romanik (Macedonia Nordonia) 565.10