Southwest Ohio High School Swimming & Diving Classic: 5 things to know

Bellbrook junior Cody Bybee broke a 26-year-old state record to win the 200-yard freestyle event in last year’s Division II state meet in Canton. CONTRIBUTED FILE PHOTO
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Bellbrook junior Cody Bybee broke a 26-year-old state record to win the 200-yard freestyle event in last year’s Division II state meet in Canton. CONTRIBUTED FILE PHOTO

From a single site for both the preliminaries and finals to nine preliminary sites scattered across the district, the Southwest Ohio High School Swimming & Diving Classic has come a long way.

In its 35th year, the “Classic” — as it is often referred to — remains the largest invitational of its kind in the country. Close to 3,000 swimmers and divers will vie for first-place finishes and bragging rights as the two-day event gets underway on Saturday.

Here are five things you know about the Classic?

Bigger and better: Once held entirely at St. Xavier's Keating Natatorium, the Classic will be competed at nine different sites this year. Diving preliminaries will be held at Miami University, Mason, Milford and Trotwood-Madison high schools with the finals at the University of Cincinnati. Countryside and West Carrollton YMCAs, Miami University, the Dayton Raider Aquatic Center and Mason, Milford, Princeton and Trotwood-Madison high schools will host swimming preliminaries with the finals held at Keating Natatorium.

More than 2,700 swimmers and 150 divers, representing 111 schools, will compete this year. All athletes, regardless of division, compete against each other.

District of champions

It’s a title that the Southwest District has earned as area swimmers are among the best in the state year after year. St. Xavier clinched the Division I boys state team title last year and 40 Southwest District swimmers placed in the top 10 individually. In the boys D-II ranks, five of the top 10 teams were from the district, including Bellbrook (second), Carroll (eighth) and Oakwood (10th). And 51 swimmers placed in the top 10 individually.

The girls fared just as well as Mason placed second at state as a team in D-I and four other district teams cracked the top 10, including Centerville in 10th. Forty-seven girls posted top 10 state finishes. Mariemont and Oakwood finished third and fifth, respectively, at the D-II state competition and 55 district swimmers recorded top 10 finishes.

Record-breaking performances

Southwest District success is nothing new as swimmers and divers from the district hold 25 of 36 Ohio High School State Meet swimming and diving records after adding two more in 2017.

Ones to beat

Domination might be an understatement as the St. Xavier Bombers have won every boys’ Classic team championship since the event began and will battle for a 35th consecutive crown this year. Seven Hills has been runner up the past three years. On the girls’ side, Mason is in the hunt for a third straight Classic title. The Centerville girls placed second last year.

Something for everyone

Unlike traditional high school meets, the Classic includes longer NCAA and USA Swimming events – like the 400-yard individual medley and the 1,650-yard freestyle — as well as shorter events — like the 50-yard breaststroke, butterfly and backstroke. This affords long-time club swimmers as well as new swimmers the opportunity to compete.

For more information as well as meet results, visit www.swimmeet.com.