Friday, June 16, 2000

High School Year in Review

Southwest Ohio claims nine state high school titles

By Dave Schutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The 1999-2000 high school sports season will go down as one of the most successful for Cincinnati teams and athletes.

        Overall, nine teams claimed state championships with numerous individuals proving to be the best in such sports as wrestling, girls tennis, swimming, cross country and track.

        Two schools, St. Xavier and Ursuline, won a pair of state titles with Colerain, Mason, Lakota West, Mount Notre Dame and Summit Country Day claiming one each.

        The following is a review of each sport.

        • Girls Cross Country: The Colerain girls team made history by winning a third consecutive Division I state title. Coach Ron Russo's Cardinals were the first to win three straight championships.

        Anderson junior Chelsea Homan capture Division I individual honors, covering the 3.1 miles in 17:53.8, well ahead of second place Emily Halm from Massillon Jackson (18:12.0).

        • Boys Cross Country: La Salle senior Steve Padgett, third in 1998, proved to be the best in the Division I race, running the 3.1 miles in a career best 15:19.9.

        Defending Division I state team champion St. Xavier fell short of repeating, finishing second behind Brunswick.

        • Girls Soccer: Throughout the sectional, district and regional tournaments, Lakota West found a way to win the close games.

        The Firebirds (18-2-3) didn't let up in the state semifinals, downing Columbus St. Francis DeSales in a shootout before de feating Hudson 3-2 in the championship game, also in a shootout.

        • Boys Soccer: It was an ideal way for veteran Summit Country Day coach Charlie Cooke to retire with the Silver Knights defeating Gates Mills Hawken 1-0 for the Division I state championship.

        An unassisted goal by Jack Cummings with nine minutes remaining was the difference for Summit Country Day, an unranked team that defeated Ohio No. 1 squad.

        • Volleyball: Winning back-to-back Division I state championships is never an easy task but coach Donna Mechley's Mount Notre Dame team was up to the task.

        The Lions defeated GGCL rival Ursuline 15-6, 15-4 in the semifinals and No. 1 ranked Rocky River Magnificat 15-10, 16-14 in the championship match.

        • Girls Golf: Carrie Farnham's 162 carried Ursuline to the state title with Erin McAfee (171), Jenny Clark (179) and Abbey Stansel (180) also contributing.

        Medalist honors were claimed by Wilmington's Gabby Wedding, a senior who fired a 155 (78-77).

        • Girls Tennis: Audra Falk, a Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy junior, proved to be the best Division II state singles player, downing St. Thomas Acquinas freshman Alison Silverio 6-4, 6-0.

        The Division II doubles championship went to the Indian Hill duo of Meredith Vincent and Michelle Rothzeid. They defeated CHCA's Laura Leutzinger and Jennifer Dektas 6-1, 6-2 in the finale.

        • Girls Basketball: This was the season that Mason was expected to win the Division I state championship and coach Gerry Lackey's Comets (27-0) were up to the task.

        Led by Ms. Ohio Basketball, Michelle Munoz, Mason defeated defending state champion Pickerington 36-25, avenging the 1999 loss to the Tigers in the title game. (Story)

        • Boys Basketball: Although St. Xavier has won numerous state championships, no team had ever claimed a title in football, basketball or baseball.

        However, coach Scott Martin's Bombers defeated Hilliard Davidson 58-42 in the semifinals and No. 1 ranked Bedford 63-54 in the title game. (Story)

        Andy Larken and Joel Cornette showed the way but it was the Bombers bench strength, especially football players Nick Larsen and Scott Sollmann, that proved to be the difference throughout the tournament.

        • Girls Swimming: Ursuline easily won the Division I state championship with Tami Ransom (200 IM and 100 freestyle), Whitney Myers (200 and 500 freestyle) and Kelli Krallman (100 butterfly) claiming individual titles.

        St. Ursula Rachel Tepe (100 backstroke) and Nikki Fusaro from Anderson (diving) also won individual state championships.

        • Boys Swimming: St. Xavier's dominance in swimming continued with coach Jim Brower's Bombers capturing a record 22nd state title.

        Junior Jayme Cramer was the catalist, setting a state record of 48.67 in winning the 100 backstroke while also claiming the championship in the 100 butterfly.

        St. Xavier's 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams also won state championships.

        Although Dan Ketchum fell short of setting state records, the Sycamore senior went on successfully defend his state titles in the 200 and 500 freestyle events.

        La Salle's 200 freestyle team of David Kessler, Kelly Tenbrink, Brian Tiemeier, Adam Dehne also come home champions.

        • Wrestling: Nick Lukens, a Moeller junior, won the 171-pound Division I championship, besting Jeff Clemens from Dayton Carroll 3-1. Clemens beat Lukens 9-0 in the District championship match.

        The effort by Lukens was instrumental in Moeller's second place finish, the highest ever by a Cincinnati team in any Division at the state tournament.

        • Boys Track: Mason Ward from Colerain, La Salle's Steve Padgett (3200) and the St. Xavier's 3200 meter relay team and Middletown's 1600 meter relay teams won state championships.

        • Girls Track: Wyoming's 800 and 1600 meter relay teams of Robin Fulton, Elizabeth Shelleby, Julie Knapke and Lola Omoyosi stole the limelight, winning Division II state championship.

        The Colerain 3200 meter relay team of Kelly Crum, Jennifer Limle, Terie Littlepage and Melissa Miller proved to be the best, winning the Division I state championship.

        Jennifer Caldwell, a senior from East Clinton, proved to be the best in the 300 hurdles, winning the Division II state championship.

        • Softball: Although Northwest was eliminated in the Division I state semifinals by eventual champion Hilliard Darby, the Knights became the school's first team to advance to a state final four.


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