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BOYS STATE SWIMMING O'Halloran nearly pulls off the upset



Published: Sun, February 24, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Boardman junior finished second in the 100 freestyle behind Firestone.

By JOE SCALZO

VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF

CANTON -- When Boardman junior Tyler O'Halloran is swimming well, he seems almost unbeatable.

Almost.

O'Halloran -- who won a state title in Friday's 50-yard freestyle -- set a personal best in Saturday's 100 freestyle with a time of 45.87 seconds, placing second at the state swimming championships at C.T. Branin Natatorium. O'Halloran placed ninth in the event last year.

Akron Firestone senior Jon Albrecht -- the event's heavy favorite -- took first with a time of 45.62.

Satisfied: "I almost pulled off the upset of the century," O'Halloran, whose time qualified him as an automatic All-American, said. "I feel great. I'm very happy with this."

O'Halloran finished ninth in the event last year, and even though Albrecht will graduate, O'Halloran isn't looking ahead.

"I'll worry about that next year," he said, smiling.

Warren Harding junior Nathan King took third in the 100-yard backstroke, breaking his own school record with a time of 50.68. King also took third in Friday's 200 IM.

"It's unbelievable," said King, who was 13th in the event last year. "I was just hoping to get into the finals in both events."

King had been struggling with the first half of the event, so he "went nuts on the first 50 [yards]." The first and second place finishers in both his events graduate -- something King noticed.

"I'm getting ready to take the title next year," he said.

O'Halloran and King have been cheering for each other this weekend, and have had plenty to cheer about.

"I can't say enough about Nate," O'Halloran said. "He's just a great kid and he deserves it more than anyone."

Spartan relay: Boardman's 200 freestyle relay of Grant Brown, Ryan Yosay, Lee Knight and O'Halloran entered Saturday's preliminaries as the 22nd seed. The Spartans had a strong race, advancing to the consolations to finish 11th overall with a time of 1:29.23.

Cincinnati St. Xavier won its fourth straight state title, and 11th in the past 13 years. Akron Firestone took second.

One of the highlights of the boys meet came from Canton Central Catholic's Steve Roof, who finished first in the 500 freestyle, becoming the first Stark County native to win a state title since 1998.

scalzo@vindy.com




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