The first season in the SWOC was a success to say the least. The inaugural season was headlined by three conference state champions. Most recently, the Northwest Knights boys’ 4x100 meter relay team won the Division I state championship with the fastest time ever at Jesse Owens Stadium (41.28) and the third-fastest time in state tournament history, according the OHSAA. The team is made up of Dominick Williams, Miles Baldwin, DeVohn Jackson and Jamiel Trimble. Wilmington senior swimmer Josh Quallen added the other two state titles in the Division II state championships with the 100 Backstroke and the 100 Butterfly which gives him four state titles over his career.
Numerous teams made their way into the playoffs along with more than enough memorable games and performances.
Harrison claimed the first ever SWOC All-Sports Trophy with 128 points. Talawanda finished second with 126.5 and Wilmington was third with 117.5.
In the fall, Mount Healthy (9-2), Edgewood (8-3) and Northwest (8-3) all earned spots in the Division II state football playoffs. All lost in the first round, but it remains impressive that one conference made up three of the eight playoff spots. The Talawanda girls’ volleyball team had a remarkable season finishing 22-2 and undefeated in conference play (14-0). The Braves, which started the season 19-0, were eliminated in the second game of the postseason to Alter. Talawanda’s Rachel Vidourek was the SWOC volleyball player of the year; Vidourek is signed to play in college at Marquette. Harrison went 15-3 in boys’ soccer but fell to St. Xavier 2-0 in the second round of the playoffs. Harrison’s Shane Page was the conference player of the year; Page finished the year with a conference-best 58 points. Ross won the girls’ soccer conference title, but the Rams couldn’t get by McNicholas in the third round of the playoffs. The Rams’ Rachael Ahrens was the player of the year.
The winter season saw three boys’ basketball teams competing for the conference title and Wilmington (19-6) came out on top. The Hurricane won a pair of postseason games before running into Alter and losing 66-56. Ross also had an outstanding season winning 18 games and Northwest won 17. Jaevin Cumberland (Wilmington) and Brandon Fernandez (Ross) were named co-players of the year. Fernandez led the SWOC in scoring with 25.1 points, while Cumberland, just a sophomore, averaged 16.0 per game and had a 30-point playoff game. Talawanda girls’ basketball had a dominant season going 24-1 en route to a sectional title, but the Braves lost to Carroll 43-41 in a Division II district final. Talawanda was led by co-player of the year Ana Richter who averaged 18.5 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. Mount Healthy’s Ericka Fitzpatrick shared the honor with Richter.
Wrestling may have been the deepest sport for the SWOC this season. Ross came away with the SWOC title after a dominant performance in its home gym at the conference tournament. At the Division I state tournament, Harrison’s Truman Gutapfel placed third at 285, while Northwest’s Ameer Daniels finished fifth in the same weight class. In Division II, Ross finished ninth at state as a team led by Joseph Jones at 145. Jones placed fourth and Cordell Byrd finished sixth at 138. Tyler Bridwell took sixth at 195 and Frank Heimkreiter was fifth at 220.
In the spring, Ross softball made the deepest postseason run posting a 23-6 record as well as earning a Division II district title, but the Rams lost a close game to Kenton Ridge in a regional semifinal. Kenton Ridge went on to win the state championship. The Rams were successful behind player of the year Katie Carroll. The pitcher went 23-6 with 248 strikeouts, 10 shutouts, and a 1.43 ERA. Harrison and Ross shared the SWOC baseball title but neither could win more than one postseason game. Edgewood pitcher John Cornett was the player of the year going 8-2 with a 1.63 ERA and 76 strikeouts.
Northwest won boys’ track and field and Talawanda won for the girls. Northwest’s Jamiel Trimble was the runner of the year and Rasheen Jones was the field athlete of the year. Talawanda’s Sarah Starrett and Mount Healthy’s Lashawnda Dobbs shared runner of the year honors in the conference. Wilmington’s Brianna Camp was the girls’ field athlete of the year.
On Saturday evening (June 8), the Northwest boys' 4x100 relay team (Dominick Williams, Miles Baldwin, DeVohn Jackson, Jamiel Trimble) won the Division I state title at the track and field championships. The Knights ran the fastest time ever at Jesse Owens Stadium (41.28) and the third-fastest time in state tournament history, according to the OHSAA.
TRACK AND FIELD
Boys' champion: Northwest - The Knights claimed their first league title on the boys' side in the school's 40-year history. Northwest bested second-place Mount Healthy, Talawanda was third, and Ross finished fourth.
Northwest was led by the runner of the year in the SWOC, Jamiel Trimble, and the field athlete of the year, Rasheen Jones. Trimble won the 110 hurdles (14.30), the 300 hurdles (38.90), the high jump (6'2") as well as contribute on a number of relay teams. Jones won the discus throw (146'11") and finished second in the shotput (47'1"). Northwest's DeVohn Jackson won the 100 dash (10.80) and the 200 dash (22.30).
Girls' champion: Talawanda - The Braves edged out Northwest with a 132-102.5 final point total. Harrison was third and Ross wasn't far behind in fourth.
The Braves were led by co-runner of the year, Sarah Starrett, who anchored a number of relays and won the 1600 run (5:35.90) and the 3200 run (12:28.20). Mount Healthy's Lashawnda Dobbs was the other runner of the year after taking first in the long jump (16'6.75"), the 100 dash (12.40) and the 200 dash (26.80). Wilmington's Brianna Camp was the field athlete of the year with first-place finishes in the shotput (37'0") and the discus (107'10").
Wilmington won the SWOC boys' tennis tournament to take first-place in the final standings. Wilmington won 2nd singles, 3rd singles, 1st doubles and 2nd doubles. Talawanda's Alex Danielson won first singles. For Wilmington: Conner Massie won in 2nd singles, Alec Brooks won 3rd singles, Stefan Thornberry/Evan Massie won 1st doubles and Prithvi Sharma/Tommy Lahmann won 2nd doubles.
Talawanda finished second as a team overall, Northwest was third, Harrison fourth, Ross fifth and Edgewood sixth.
Talawanda's Alex Danielson was named the conference player of the year, while Wilmington coach Steve Reed earned coach of the year honors.
Harrison (18-8, 11-3) and Ross (17-11, 11-3) currently each share a piece of the SWOC title. Edgewood (16-12, 10-4) finished in third place in the conference race.
Harrison defeated La Salle in the opening round of the Division I sectional playoffs, 7-3. The Wildcats face Lakota West on Thursday (May 23) at Kings for a sectional title. Ross beat Oak Hills in a Division I sectional, 10-4 and will face Mason on Thursday (May 23) at Harrison for a sectional title. Edgewood also won its opening-round postseason game 10-7 over Vandalia Butler. The Cougars play for a sectional title on Thursday (May 23) against Clayton Northmont at Xenia.
Talawanda's postseason run came to an end last weekend with a 3-2 loss to St. Xavier in a Division I sectional semifinal game. The Braves finished the season 19-9 with a 10-4 conference record.
Ross claimed the SWOC softball title outright with a 12-2 conference record. The Rams, 21-5 overall, won both of their sectional postseason games by a combined score of 25-1. Ross will take on Indian Hill tomorrow (May 21) at Kings for a sectional title. Edgewood (22-4, 11-3), finished second in the conference, has a meeting with Clayton Northmont today at Kettering Fairmont for a Division I sectional title. Harrison (19-3, 10-3) takes on Seton today (May 20) for a sectional title against Seton. Wilmington (14-6, 8-3) also remains in the postseason; the Hurricane will take on Western Brown tomorrow (May 21) for a sectional title.
BASEBALL: Harrison (18-8, 11-3), Ross (17-11, 11-3)
SOFTBALL: Ross (21-5, 12-2)
BOYS' TRACK AND FIELD: Northwest
GIRLS' TRACK AND FIELD: Talawanda
BOYS' TENNIS: Wilmington
It was a successful weekend for the Southwest Ohio Conference at the wrestling state championships. The highest placer of the conference was Harrison senior Truman Gutapfel who took third place at 285 pounds in Division I. Gutapfel pinned Toledo Whitmer's Marquise Moore (3:32) in the third-place match. In the same weight class, Northwest's Ameer Daniels finished fifth in Division I with a 3-2 decision over Lakota East's Jacob Burton.
In Division II, Ross was as impressive as they've been all season. The Rams finished ninth as a team, led by Joseph Jones at 145 pounds. Jones finished fourth when he lost a 4-3 decision to Max Rohskopf of Millersburg West Holmes. Cordell Byrd finished sixth at 138 pounds; he lost a 5-4 decision. Tyler Bridwell lost 4-1 at 195 pounds and went home with a six-place finish. Frank Heimkreiter won a 4-2 decision and finished fifth at 220.
Congratulations to all the SWOC wrestlers on a successful season, and to those continuing their career in college, we look forward to seeing you compete at the next level.