Cincinnati Christian’s Keiner, Lakota West’s Rice win Classic titles

Cincinnati Christian senior Payton Keiner won two events in the Southwest Ohio High School Swimming and Diving Classic over the weekend. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY JASON MILLER
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Cincinnati Christian senior Payton Keiner won two events in the Southwest Ohio High School Swimming and Diving Classic over the weekend. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY JASON MILLER

The longer the race, the better for Lakota West’s McKenzie Rice.

The Firebirds junior topped the girls field in the endurance-testing 1,650-yard freestyle event (16:55.41) at the Southwest Ohio High School Swimming and Diving Classic on Sunday at Keating Natatorium.

One day earlier, Rice placed third in the 500 freestyle with Mason’s Allison Bloebaum and Tippecanoe’s Arielle Arnett placing first and second, respectively.

Local seniors dominated the 100 backstroke event as Cincinnati Christian’s Payton Keiner (55.62) and Fairfield’s Emma Otten (56.59) finished first and second. Keiner also won the 200 backstroke with a meet record time of 1:59.30.

Mason senior Ashley Volpenhein, a Stanford recruit, had solid swims in the sprint events, finishing second in the 100 freestyle (52.14) and third in the 50 freestyle events. Her Mason teammates also came up big in the 50 freestyle as Comets sophomores McKenzie Grau and Harna Minezawa also made the podium with sixth- and seventh-place finishes.

Mason swimmers also found success in the 200 individual medley as Bloebaum, Volpenhein and junior Lauren Thomas claimed the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-place finishes, respectively. Bloebaum moved up the podium a bit in the 400 IM, finishing third (4:28.07).

Boys results: While the St. Xavier Bombers have been the ones to beat since the meet's inception — clinching a 34th consecutive Classic championship this weekend — area swimmers also made a splash at the elite meet.

Fenwick freshman Adam Chaney wasted little time making a name for himself as he finished fourth behind a trio of St. X swimmers in the 50 freestyle (21.52). Chaney also placed ninth in the 100 freestyle (45.74), just missing the podium.

Mason junior Puran Kansakar won the 50 breaststroke (27.94), while Comets teammate Harrison Wright finished fourth (29.34).