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Harding's King beats own records for third spot in swimming contest



Published: Sat, February 23, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Canfield junior Meghan Linnelli wasn't satisfied with her performance.

By JOE SCALZO

VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF

CANTON -- Warren Harding junior Nathan King didn't know what to expect.

After finishing 21st in the 200-yard individual medley at state last year -- "I had a bad race," he said -- King was just happy to make it into this year's finals.

Once the finals were finished, he was even happier.

King took third in the 200 IM Friday with a time of 1 minute, 53.41 seconds, easily beating his personal -- and school -- record of 1:54.77 at the boys state swimming championship at C.T. Branin Natatorium.

"I couldn't believe it," he said. "I didn't realize what had happened at first. We were all together after the preliminaries. It's awesome."

He was the lowest seed in the final -- which has eight swimmers -- but his preliminary time was within .14 of a second of four other swimmers.

First place: Fairfield senior Nick McCollum took first with a time of 1:50.07, and Cincinnati St. Xavier senior David Janszen was second with a time of 1:53.39.

Last year -- his first at state -- he had several Harding teammates to lean on. This year, he's the only Raider, but didn't let it bother him.

"Not really," he said. "I thought it would at first, but it's OK."

Boardman's 200 medley relay team of Tyler O'Halloran, who won the state title in the 50 freestyle Friday, Ryan Yosay, Brian Katz and Lee Knight finished 14th with a time of 1:40.39. Akron Firestone took first with a time of 1:33.07.

Cincinnati St. Xavier, which has won three straight boys state titles, was in first with 155.50 points after two days.

Girls: Meghan Linnelli isn't easily satisfied, which may explain why she's one of the best swimmers in the state.

The Canfield junior finished seventh in the girls Division I 50-yard freestyle Friday with a time of 24.45, but she wasn't happy with her showing.

"No, not really," she said. "I was hoping to get at least fifth, and I wanted to break 24 [seconds]."

Katie Carroll, a junior from Toledo Notre Dame Academy, took first with a time of 23.67. Linnelli's best time in the event is 24.40, so her time on Friday was pretty normal.

"It's really hard to improve your times in this race," she said. "You have to work on your weaknesses, like your start and your turn."

Linnelli has made it to state all three years -- "it gets better every year," she said -- and still has her best event left -- Saturday's 100 freestyle.

"I definitely want to do better [today]," she said.

State finals: Mooney senior Rachael Feurtado advanced to the state finals for the first time -- she was eliminated in the preliminaries in both her events at state last year -- and finished 16th in the Div. II 200 freestyle with a time of 1:59.55. Warren JFK junior Becky Bertuzzi was 22nd (2:02.32), and Chagrin Falls junior Lauren Preyss took first with a time of 1:53.77.

Cincinnati Ursuline Academy, which has won the last three state titles, was first in Division I with 148 points. Gates Mills Hawken, which has won three straight Div. II titles, held a sizable lead with 179 points.

scalzo@vindy.com




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