(Posted Feb. 20, 2023)
The London High School swim team may be small in numbers, but the team continues to perform at a high level. Earlier in the season, the squad of six swimmers placed third in the Kenton Trail Division at the Central Buckeye Conference meet. On Feb. 16, the team was hoping to place well in the OHSAA Central District Championship meet held at the McCorkle Center at The Ohio State University.
Despite only having four qualifiers for the meet, the Red Raiders placed 16th out of more than 65 teams. Leading the way for the red and white was freshman sensation Griffin Lotton who, with a sixth-place finish in the 500-meter freestyle, became the first London swimmer to qualify for the OHSAA State Championships.
Lotton also placed ninth in the 200-meter freestyle and was the leadoff swimmer for the London boys’ 200-meter free relay and 400-meter free relay teams which finished 14th and 12th, respectively. He was joined on the relays by sophomores Isaiah Capell and Luke Thompson and junior Isaac Capell.
The brothers Capell and Thompson competed in individual events at districts, as well. Isaac Capell placed 25th in the 200-meter individual medley, Isaiah Capell placed 30th in the 100-meter freestyle, and Thompson placed 25th in the 100-meter backstroke.
On the girls’ side, London senior Isabelle Tipton made a return trip to the McCorkle Aquatic Center after qualifying for districts in one event as a junior. This year, Tipton qualified for two events; she placed 30th in the 200-meter individual medley and 32nd in the 100-meter breaststroke.
The London swim team practices and competes as part of Team Champ, the high school club team of the Champaign Family YMCA. Team Champ serves student-athletes from London, Mechanicsburg, West Liberty-Salem, and Graham high schools. The team qualified 10 of its 33 swimmers to districts this year in 13 events, both records for the club. In addition to being the first Aqua Raider to qualify for the state championships, Lotton is also the first state qualifier for Team Champ.
The Div. II OHSAA State Swimming and Diving Championships will begin at 5 p.m. Feb. 23 at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton.