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Coed Varsity Swimming · Lakota West Swim & Dive: Five Firebirds Place at OHSAA State Championships; School Records Fall

The Lakota West Swim team left for Canton on Thursday morning, and by all accounts, returned home Saturday night exceeding all expectations of coaches and rivals.

twinsAccording to the pre-meet psych sheet, the girls team was expected to finish with 22 points at the OHSAA State Championships, but Sophomore Grace Luebbe and Junior McKenzie Rice came out blazing scoring 17 points in the first individual event, 200 free.  When the dust settled, the Firebird girls finished with 50 points and an overall 15th finish, the highest OHSAA state championship finish by a Lakota West girls team in school history.  Sophomore Grace Luebbe became only the second female swimmer in Lakota West school history to qualify for the Championship finals in two events (Katie Severson-2000).  For a final encore, the 400 free relay team of Senior Erica Morris, Freshman Molly Fisher, Luebbe and Rice dropped 3.20 seconds from their seed time to break a one year old Lakota School District record in the final event of the meet and finish 10th overall (tied for best finish by a Lakota West girls relay team, 2016-400 free relay).

Freshman Michael Lorenz and Junior Griffin Manning were the lone male swimmers representing Lakota West.  Lorenz was unable to beat his school record-breaking performance from districts, but still finished 19th in the 100 back.  Manning on the other hand entered the meet as a 17 seed in the 100 breast and managed to drop his own Lakota West school record in the prelims by an additional .72 seconds down to 57.82.  He finished finals in 13th place earning four points for the boys team.

beckDuring the Saturday night finals, Lakota West Head Swim Coach Dennis Beck was also recognized as the recipient of the 2017 OHSAA Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Award.  Coach Beck has been coaching the Lakota West and Lakota East teams for 20 years and has won the GMC coach of the Year award six times. In addition, he’s been named the District boys COY (2006) and the District girls COY (2005).  He was also awarded the Ohio High School Swimming Coaches Association Larry Lyons Award in 2015.

Link to Full OHSAA State Swim Results

State Meet at Branin Natatorium, Canton, O.
Boys Swimming–

53 Schools Scoring
1. St. Xavier 434
2. St. Ignatius 173
3. St. Charles Prep 171
4. …
47. West 4

State Placers (Top sixteen):
13th– Griffin Manning, 100 breast (58.42)

Other notable Achievements:
— Griffin Manning’s 100 breast time of 57.82 in prelims set
a new Lakota West record.
— Michael Lorenz had 19th best time in 100 back prelim.
Girls Swimming–

53 Schools Scoring
1. Upper Arlington 246
2. Mason 230
3. St. Ursula 167.5
4. …
15. West 50

State Placers (Top sixteen):
6th– Grace Luebbe, 500 free (4:59.00)
7th– Grace Luebbe, 200 free (1:52.04)
10th– Erica Morris, Molly Fisher, Grace Luebbe, McKenzie Rice, 400 free relay (3:32.59)*
11th– McKenzie Rice, 500 free (4:59.84)
12th– McKenzie Rice, 200 free (1:53.02)

* New Lakota School District Record