COLUMBUS — For the second straight year, Mount Vernon senior Johnson Cochran is headed to the OHSAA state swimming meet.
This time, he has a few teammates who qualified with him.
The Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets were well represented at the Central District swim meet at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion at the Ohio State University on Saturday. The team took part in 15 different events, along with 26 other schools from around Ohio.
Cochran qualified for state twice, in the men’s 200-yard medley relay, then later in the 100-yard breaststroke, his best event.
“I’m really surprised by how we’ve done,” said Cochran. “It’s a good end to the season. I’m happy with it. ... I broke a team record in the 200. That’s something I’d been working toward in all four years of high school.”
Cochran’s time of 58.50 in sectionals had given him top seed on Saturday. However, Saturday’s time of 58.43 was good only for second, finishing 7/100 of a second behind Thomas Worthington’s Trenton Harper.
Despite the odds, the team had hoped to get multiple spots in the state meet. Gavin Rundell nearly qualified in the men’s 200 yard freestyle — his sectional time projected him right at the cutoff — but his time on Saturday was 1:45.83, missing the final qualifying time by less than a half-second.
“I wasn’t anticipating placing as high as I did,” said Rundell. “I didn’t really look at the other events to see where I’d end up. Usually my 500 is better than my 200.