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Monday, February 26th, 2007

Local contingent ends state trip on high note

By Gary R. Rasberry
Compiled by Gary R. Rasberry
For the Celina WaterDogs, it was as close as close could be.
For Lauren Subler, it was a dream come true.
And for Jasmine Craft, it was a solid way to go out.
The Celina 400-yard freestyle relay team was a second away from achieving its goal of making the finals of the State Swimming Championships on Saturday.
For Versailles junior Subler, it was a perfect finish to the first season of the Tigers' swimming program, finishing on the podium with a sixth-place finish in the 100 backstroke at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
St. Marys senior Jasmine Craft rounded out her swimming career with another All-Ohio finish in the 100 breaststroke in her fourth trip to the state meet.
After Celina's 200 relay team missed out on qualifying for Saturday night's finals, the team - senior LaRissa LaRue, sophomores Courtney McKrinan and Kirsten Samples and freshman Paige Mertz, got ready for the 400 relay, which they admitted would be their best chance to reach the final 16 and All-Ohio status.
In their heat, the WaterDogs recorded a time of 3:53.55, which LaRue mentioned was their third fastest time of the season. Unfortuntaely, the 16th fastest time of Pepper Pike Orange was 3:52.24, over a second faster than Celina, denying the WaterDogs a chance to swim on Saturday night.
LaRue, who with Lisa Hertel were the only two seniors to make the trip to Canton, was saddened by the fact they fell just short, but was happy to have represented Celina well in Canton.  
"This was awesome," said LaRue via telephone conversation shortly after their race. "We definitely represented our town. We're glad to have made it to state."
For Subler, whose weekend started off with a 10th-place showing in the 100 butterlfy on Friday, Saturday got started with a bang. Subler recorded the seventh-fastest time in the prelims of the backstroke with a time of 1:01.31, earning her a spot in the A-Final and a place on the podium at the awards presentation on Saturday night.
"I was a little disappointed with my backstroke (time)," said Subler. "I thought I could do better."
Subler moved up one notch on the podium with the final, finishing sixth overall with a time of 1:01.32 to earn a medal.
"There was a big crowd there," said Subler. "It was just amazing seeing them when I went on the podium."
Craft, already with three All-Ohio accolades in her career, picked up a fourth after qualifying for the B-Final in the 100 breaststroke on Saturday morning with the 13th-best time of 1:09.31. Saturday night, Craft finished sixth in her race, taking 14th overall.
Additional online story on this date
Ted and Alison Homan of rural Coldwater grew tired of making the long journey to Dayton to attend the Families with Children from China (FCC) chapter meetings, so they started their own local group. [More]
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