Columbian swimmers, divers ready for Division II district meet

Myrick Hill is hoping to continue his season beyond this week.

The Columbian swimmer and diver will have a couple opportunities to do so.

Hill, a senior who advanced to state a year ago, will be competing in today’s Division II district diving meet at Bowling Green, where he will be joined by a number of teammates.

Hill also will compete at the swimming district at BG Friday, joining Josh Fanning, Luis Martinez and Cole Eisenhower in the program’s 400 free relay.

But Hill’s first order of business comes today, when he dives for a spot at state. His teammate, Andrew Collins, also will compete.

The Columbian girls will have a pair of divers competing at today’s district meet, with senior Sierra Steinmetz and sophomore Savana Simcoe competing.

“I am really looking forward to see Sierra and Myrick have a great meet for their senior year,” Columbian diving coach Morgan Dunleavy said. “I am excited to show Savana and Andrew what districts is like. This way when we return in the following years we know what to expect.”

Hill said he also was looking forward to it.

“I’ve had a blast year this year with dive going to districts again this year I can only hope that I make it farther and will try my best with everything,” he said. “I hope Andrew and Savanna will have a blast with this and show what they’ve learned this year. I hope Sierra can wow the judges and advance to state. I want to see her go farther than ever. I’ll be cheering all my teammates on.”

The top nine scores make state. Hill has between the ninth and 10th-best score going in.

“As long as he stays confident with his scores and his dives, I think he will easily make it in,” Dunleavy said. “We have some new dives in this round, so that should give him a little edge.”

The swimming events will take place Friday, with Columbian’s girls squad of Steinmetz, Sydney Fortney, Kaitlyn Bates and Lillyan Wilson taking part in a pair of relays — the 200 medley and the 400 free.

“Their hard work paid off this season,” said Columbian swimming coach Brittany Lindrup, who is in her first season.

The Tornadoes’ time in last week’s 400 free relay at the Oak Harbor sectional placed them with the 20th best time out of 24 teams. The 200 medley finished in 2:10.27, the 24th best time at the district.

“I want them to swim their hearts out, especially the seniors,” Lindrup said.

The swimmers expressed pride in reaching the district. Wilson in particular had obstacles to get past in her career to reach this point.

“My sophomore year I had hip surgery and didn’t have the chance to compete,” she said. “My junior year I wanted to go to districts so badly but didn’t make the cut. This year has been a rough year for me with swim, but my goal was to be able to make it to districts at the end of the season. Thankfully with my amazing teammates and the hard work we all put in it is becoming a reality.”

Steinmetz said that reaching the districts was a surprise.

“I couldn’t be happier,” she said. “I’m so thankful for coach Lindrup and my amazing teammates for making this dream a reality. I cannot wait to see all of our hard work and dedication on display at the end of this week.”

Like Steinmetz, Fortney said she also was surprised to reached the district.

“I’ve been hoping for this moment ever since I set foot in the water freshman year but never thought it would actually come,” Fortney said. “I’m so thankful for the girls, coaches, team and parents for making this possible and I can’t wait to finish this season strong.”

The lone freshman on the squad is Bates.

“I’ve been looking up to these girls for years and its so amazing that I get to swim with them at districts this year,” Bates said of her teammates. “I love and appreciate them so much and without them pushing me every day we wouldn’t be here.”

On the boys side, Cole Eisenhower and Josh Fanning will be busy. Eisenhower will swim in the 50 free and 100 free, while Fanning — one of the team’s captains — will be in the 100 fly and 200 free.

The pair also are part of TC’s 400 free relay, along with Hill and Luis Martinez.

Fanning and Hill are both seniors, meaning Friday could be their last races.

“I talked to them and said, ‘Hey guys, this is it,” Lindrup said. “From this relay I expect them to be going there all out … Myrick and Luis really stepped up (last) week at sectionals.

And Lindrup said she’s expecting big things from Fanning.

“Josh has big goals for himself,” she said. “I just hope to see him crush it on Friday.”

Editor’s note: Comments from Dunleavy and TC athletes provided by Amy Wilson.