FINDLAY HIGH SCHOOL diver Lexie Layne competes in a meet earlier this season. Layne finished her FHS career in style by finishing fifth in Thursday’s Division I girls state diving competition. Layne earned all-Ohio honors for the fourth straight year. (Photo by Matthias Leguire)

CANTON — Most prep athletes don’t get the chance to earn an all-Ohio award once.

Findlay High School senior diver Lexie Layne, though, is a four-time all-Ohioan.

Layne capped a stellar prep career by finishing fifth in the girls Division I diving competition to kick off state championship weekend for area swimmers and divers at the OHSAA state championships Thursday at C.T. Branin Natatorium.

Layne saved her best performance for last, finishing fifth among the 24 competitors in the event.

The top 16 placers in swimming events and diving earn all-Ohio honors.

Layne, who finished 10th at state as a freshman, 13th as a sophomore and ninth last year, posted a score of 436.90 on Thursday to earn a spot on the awards stand. Layne was fourth place after the first round of dives and seventh after the semifinal round.

She was a little less than 30 points shy of her 11-dive school record total of 465.10 that she recorded at last week’s district meet at Bowling Green State University.

Layne finished 42.95 points behind Cincinnati Amelia’s Morgan Southall, who won the event with 479.55 points.

Findlay’s swimmers will hit the pool at 9 a.m. today when the Division I swimming preliminaries begin.

In the girls meet, Gracie Smith will compete in the 50 and 100 freestyle races and will join Meghan Quaid, Gabby Diehl and Kaylor Stocker in the 200 free relay.

In the Division I boys meet, Parker Stocker will swim the 200 and 500 free. Stocker will also team with Josh Kreinbrink, Selby Wilt and Ethan Spradlin in the 400 free relay.

Ada’s Klava Katayama and Tiffin Calvert’s Taylor Harris led area swimmers in Thursday evening’s Division II preliminary races.

Katayama, a junior, will swim for two state championships in today’s 5 p.m. Division II finals after advancing to the “A” finals in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly.

Katayama qualified with the fifth-fastest time in the 50 free (23.86) and was seventh in the qualifying in the 100 butterfly (57.31).

Harris, meanwhile, will swim in a pair of “B” finals for the Senecas. She was 14th in the prelims in the 100 fly (57.75) and 15th in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.1).

Swimmers from Ottawa-Glandorf, Upper Sandusky and Miller City were unable to reach the finals.

Upper Sandusky’s Abby Wenger, who will swim at Eastern Michigan, just missed a spot in the girls 100 breaststroke “B” final as she finished 17th with a time of 1:06.18, just two-hundredths of a second away from advancing.

Wenger was also on the Rams’ 200 medley relay team that ended up 18th with a time of 1:52.47.

Ottawa-Glandorf’s Sydney Porinchok finished 19th in the 200 individual medley (2:11.78) and 21st in the 100 breast (1:07.21). Teammate Maddie White added a 23rd place effort in the 100 backstroke (59.79).

Porinchok and White also teamed with Abby Warnecke and Ann Samuelson for 22nd in the 200 free relay (1:43.35).

The only area boy competing in Division II, Miller City’s Zach Giesken, placed 23rd in the 100 backstroke (56.69) in his state meet debut.

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