Delaware Hayes will be well represented at the upcoming Division I State Swim Meet, as Pacers will be competing in a school-record five events Friday and Saturday at Canton McKinley High School.
Five girls will be making the trip north, including Jessica Ward and Brittany Puthoff — a duo who will be competing at the state showcase for the second year in a row.
Ward, a member of two state-qualifying relay teams (200 medley and 400 freestyle), will be especially busy. In addition to her work on the relay squads, she will competed for top honors in the 100 fly and 100 back. She is the 19th-seeded swimmer in both events, entering with respective qualifying times of :57.59 and :58.30 — both school records set at Saturday’s district meet.
Ward is only the second girl to represent Hayes in two individual events. The last was Julie Long in 1980 and ’81. She will also be the first girl from Hayes to swim in four events at the state meet.
Puthoff, who is also a member of the two relay teams, qualified in the 100 breaststroke, where she enters as the 24th seed with a qualifying time of 1:07.10.
Joining Ward and Puthoff on the 200 medley relay will be Lindsey Norris and Regan DeWitt, who teamed up with the duo to qualify with a district time of 1:47.86 — a school-record time earning them the seventh seed in the upcoming state showcase.
The 400 freestyle foursome, which also set a school record in district competition (3:38.64), consists of Ward, DeWitt, Puthoff and Samantha Curtin.
Hayes won’t be the only county squad at the state meet, either, as Liberty made a splash at districts while qualifying four girls.
Three of the four will be competing in the 1-meter diving event as the Patriot trio enters as owners of three of the top four qualifying scores. Olivia Ball had the best score in district action, securing a 482.85. Alexandra Clay and Brittany Menninger nabbed the third and fourth seeds.
Centerville’s Morgan Mullins is the only girl in the state seeded higher then the three divers from Liberty, notching a qualifying score of 486.25 at districts.
The final local state qualifier is the Patriots’ Olivia Bently, who punched a ticket thanks to her work in the 100 breaststroke, where she will be the 20th seed with a seed time of 1:06.54.
The preliminary races will be held Friday at 9 a.m. with the finals (top 16) set for Saturday at 4 p.m. The diving event will also be held Saturday, set for at 9 a.m.