St. Xavier, Moeller Perform Well In State Prelims


Posted on 2/27/2016 at 4:37 p.m.

AquaBombers Poised To Win again; Moeller’s Hodge Sets State Mark

Friday was a good day for swimmers from St. Xavier and Moeller,  the Greater Catholic League South Division schools that  claimed the top two spots at last year’s Division I state meet.   St. Xavier is in position to win an eighth straight state championship after preliminaries of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Swimming & Diving Championships at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton, while Moeller’s Cooper Hodge enjoyed a record day.

The AquaBombers, in search of state title No. 37 overall, had two of their deep and talented pool of entrants finish first in three individual prelims, while two of St. Xavier’s three relay teams also posted the fastest times.  Junior Luke Sobolewski, coming off two individual championships and one relay team title at the district meet, finished first in those same events – winning the 100 backstroke (49.06 seconds) and 100 butterfly (48.81).

Sobolewski also was a member of St. Xavier’s prelim winning 400 freestyle relay team, along with freshman Grady Wheeler, junior Sean Brandebur and sophomore Justin Grender, who finished in 3:05.37.  The AquaBombers’ district winning 200 medley relay team of Grender, junior Charles Leibson, Sobolewski and  sophomore Nicholas Perera, finished first in 1:31.22.  St. Xavier’s 200 freestyle relay team finished third to advance.

St. Xavier junior Grant House, defending state champion in the 100 and 200 freestyle events, won the 200 free prelim with a time of 1:37.88.  House, competing in the 500 free at state for the first time, wound up fifth to advance to today’s finals, with a time of 4:28.60.  Teammate Christian Imbus, a junior, finished in 4:28.05 to come in second.  House is not swimming in the 100 free at state this year.

Moeller’s Hodge, the GCL South Swimmer of the Year this season, turned in a state record-setting performance in the 200 individual medley.  The Crusaders’ junior standout finished in 1:46.58, eclipsing the previous mark of 1:46.63 set by Mark Andrew of Middletown at last year’s state meet.  Hodge also was a member of Moeller’s 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams, which finished fourth and sixth, respectively, to advance to the finals.

Today’s finals begin at 4 p.m.