Three Clermont County high school swimming stars competed in the state championship meet that took place last weekend (Feb. 23 & 24) at the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton.
Elliott Keefer, Milford senior, earned the best finish with his fifth place in the 100-yard breaststroke. He completed the race in 58.24 seconds. In the finals’ qualifying preliminaries he finished third in a time of 57.98.
“Elliott had a tremendous year and a tremendous career. He did extremely well,” said his coach, Gary Tameris. Keefer owns three school records – the 100 breast (57.98), the 100 backstroke, and the 200 individual medley.
Nate Kramer, New Richmond senior, scored points for Lion High in two events. He was eighth in the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:44.80. In the preliminaries he was third in 1:42.92 and with this clocking established a new school record. In the 500 free he took 14th place in 4:40.95. In the prelims he had come in 10th best with a 4:39.14 clocking which is another new NRHS standard.
Joe Middeler, Judy's brother, is also a swimming coach for the Red and Black. He said, "He is incredibly impressive. I don't know of any other athlete who has made it to the state championships in any sport in just nine months."
Eileen Shinsato, Batavia sophomore, also earned her way to the state championship meet and came very close to qualifying for the finals in the 100 breast.
The best 16 times in the prelims earn berths in the final championship race of each event. Her time of 1:10.44 gained her 17th place and established her as the alternate for the final race.
She also qualified for Canton in the 200 individual medley, but was 19th in the prelims with a time of 1:58.2.
Because Batavia High School does not have facilities for a swimming and diving program, Eileen practiced with the Milford team and coach Tameris.
He said, "Eileen did extremely well. She has nothing to be ashamed of. This was her first experience at the state meet and will definitely learn and improve from it. She had a super year and will only get better."