Friday, February 26, 1999

Ursuline given slight edge over Hawken

Enquirer contributor

        Anticipation has been building since last February when Ursuline pulled off the upset at the state swimming and diving meet in Canton.

        Heavy underdogs, Ursuline beat the defending state champion from Gates Mills Hawken. It's again time for these swimming powers to face off for a state championship.

        “I haven't scored the meet but in my opinion, Ursuline has too much quality and depth,” Anderson coach Ed Bachman said. “Hawken has the advantage in the distance events (200 and 500 freestyle) but assuming Ursuline swims well, and I think they will, they should win it.”

        Bachman warns times and past performances in the district meet may be irrevelant.

        “The swimmers completely shaved and tapered leave everything in the pool at district,” Bachman said. “Their times may be off a second or two at state but that can be eight places.

        Bachman, who also serves as the Anderson Barracudas head coach and is familiar with swimmers statewide, agreed to evaluate each event for The Cincinnati Enquirer:

        • 200 Medley Relay: Ursuline has the fastest qualifying time of 1:47.68 and must holf off Hawken for first place.

        “If Ursuline swims its four best, they will break the state record,” Bachman said. “They will still win it if they use a different lineup.”

        • 200 Freestyle: Junior Diana Munz from Chagrin Falls will battle Hawken's Ann Strohl for first place with Sarah Fiden from Kettering Fairmont given an outside chance.

        “It depends on which swimmer has more gas left in the tank,” Bachman said. “Sarah Fiden (Fairmont) dropped five seconds last week but could surprise.”

        • 200 Individual Medley: Ursuline sophomore Tami Ransom is the favorite with Hawken's Shelly Klaus the best competition.

        Both swimmers were unshaved and untapered at the district,” Bachman said. “Tami is swimming so well and will win and possibly break the state record.”

        • 50 Freestyle: Defending state champion Erin Phenix will repeat.

        “Erin was unshaved and untapered and there's no one who can beat her,” Bachman said. “One mistake can decide this race but I've never seen Erin make a mistake in this event.”

        • 100 Butterfly: Although Leah Ross has only the eighth fastest qualifying time, Bachman looks for the Mariemont senior to win or take second.

        “I'm not sure if Anne Weilbacher (Columbus DeSales) was shaved or tapered but I assume she was for the district,” Bachman said. “Leah had a horrible start last year and finished second. She's not shaved or tapered and wore two suits at the district.”

        • 100 Freestyle: A one-two finish for Ursuline's Erin Phenix and Ransom is Bachman's prediction.

        “I don't know what order they'll finish but Tami and Erin will be first and second,” Bachman said.

        • 500 Freestyle: Diana Munz (Chagrin Falls), Anna Strohl (Hawken) and Erica Rose (Hawken) will take the top three spots with Mercy's Jennifer Koch going for fourth or fifth.

        • 200 Freestyle Relay: Ursuline in a breeze with Sycamore and Rocky River Magnificat challenging.

        • 100 Backstroke: This may be the most wide open race with Lindsey Kroeger from Oak Hills the favorite. But don't count out Erin Abbey from Mayfield or St. Ursula's Rachel Tepe.

        “This is a tough call,” Bachman said. “All three of these girls had their best times at the district and I'm not sure how much gas is left in the tank.”

        • 100 Breaststroke: Too close to call with Mandy Commons from Sycamore battling Kettering Alter's Kelly Jones for the championship.

        “The winning time will be a state record,” Bachman said. “Both girls are capable of pulling it off.”

        • 400 Freestyle Relay: The final event of the meet will be a two way battle between Ursuline and Hawken.

        “If Ursuline goes with their four best, they will set a state record,” Bachman said.


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