Area teams have high hopes for state swim meets

Ashley Funkhouser

Central swimming coach Steve Shaffer has good reason to be excited about his squad at Sunday’s Group 2A state swim meet held in Christiansburg.

The Falcons qualified 15 of the 19 swimmers who went to regionals last weekend.

“Many of our swimmers have yet to peak,” Shaffer said. “… Their best swims will happen at the state meet. The regional meet and the state meet has been our focus all year. The kids have worked hard and are well prepared to swim even faster.”

The meet was originally supposed to be on Wednesday, but was postponed to 9:15 a.m. Sunday due to bad weather early in the week.

Shaffer said that he thinks quite a few of his swimmers have a chance to make it into the top eight. Leading the way on the girls side should be sophomore Ashley Funkhouser. She will be swimming in the 100 free and 50 free. Funkhouser also qualified in the 200 IM, but chose to swim in the 50 free instead. She will also be in a couple of the relays.

Daniel Milburn

Funkhouser will not be swimming alone in the 50 free as teammate Casey Wenn will also be swimming in the event. Central’s Sydney Crosser will be in the 200 IM and 100 breast.

Central will be in all three relays in both the boys and girls meets. Central qualified even more individuals on the boys side.

Dean Woodwell (200 IM and 100 fly), Ethan Coleman (200 free, 500 free), Aaron Waller (50 free, 100 free) and Graham Wenn (50 free, 100 fly) all qualified in multiple events. Josiah Selby (100 fly), Cliff Croom (100 breast) and Jeremy Racey (100 back) all qualified in one individual event.

Shaffer said that he thinks Funkhouser and Woodwell both have a shot at finishing in the top three at the state meet.

Central had at least one boy qualify in every event. Central placed fifth in the regional boys meet and sixth in the girls meet. Strasburg was sixth in the boys meet and tied for seventh in the girls meet.

Strasburg also qualified in all three relays on both the boys and girls sides.

The Rams had three individuals qualify. Pascal Bruder qualified in the 200 IM and 500 free, and Christian Neff qualified in the 50 free and 100 free. For the girls, Cassie Cooper qualified in the 100 fly.

Strasburg coach Inarae Crisman said she’s looking forward to seeing how her team does.

“Going in as a team I think we will fair quite well,” Crisman said. “My relays are consistently taking time off their events, both girls and boys. The boys had already qualified, but the girls needed to place at the region meet and did really well with all three dropping time. All of them are working well together as a team.”

Crisman said Bruder should be very competitive in his events, and Cooper has been continually dropping time in the 100 fly. She said Neff finished in the top eight last year, and his experience should help him.

“Christian Neff is in two events where the competition is extremely tough, but if he can get a good start and finish I think he has a real shot at also finishing in the top eight,” Crisman said.

Stonewall Jackson qualified for the 400 free relay team. Daniel Mathes (200 IM, 100 fly) and Tyler Lacek (50 free) also qualified for the state meet individually.

“I think the delay can only help my team,” Stonewall Jackson coach DeeDee Knauff said. “We are able to get in a few days of practice before we leave on Saturday. I am looking for at least one event if not all to qualify for finals. Also, I am looking for my boys relay team to set a new school record.”

Sherando will be participating in the Group 4A state swim meet in Christiansburg on Saturday. The Warriors’ boys team finished seventh in the Region 4A West meet last weekend.

Sherando qualified all three relay teams in the boys meet. The Warriors have four individuals also swimming in the state meet.

Daniel Milburn (200 IM, 500 free) and Ethan Medrano (50 free, 100 free) will swim in two individual events. Jeremy Linaburg and Matthew Pham will swim in the 100 breast.

Sherando coach Joe Knight said that he thinks Milburn has a shot to do really well in the 200 IM.

“Daniel Milburn is seeded fourth in the 200 IM,” Knight said. “With any luck at all, one second or two seconds, he has a shot at finishing very high.”

Sherando’s Abigail Sears qualified in the girls 100 breast. The junior finished seventh in the regional meet, dropping over four minutes off her previous fastest time to qualify. She is the lone qualifier for Sherando’s girls team.

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com