The Indian Hill School District celebrates the success of the Indian Hill High School Aquabraves during the Division II state swimming and diving meet Friday, February 24 at Canton’s C.T. Branin Natatorium. Senior Gibson Holmes ends his tenure as a Brave with 10 state titles, including seven individual titles and three relays. Holmes was named the Division II boys Most Outstanding Swimmer. Additionally, sophomore Jason Zhao was on both state-winning relays for the Braves and broke the state record to earn an individual state champion title with a time of 4:24.01 in the 500-yard freestyle. Other state-champion relay student-athletes included Jack Edmonson, Arjun Velayutham, and Jeffrey Wenker.
“This year’s team was definitely special,” said IHHS sophomore Jason Zhao. “Even from the first couple meets we knew we had a championship-caliber team that could go far at State. Ultimately, I would say that the reason we were so successful as a team and as individuals is because of how well our team bonded and how everyone did their jobs. I’m looking forward to competing for the Braves next year, and although we are going to miss some of our key seniors, I know that we can still be a top team next year.”
“I am proud to have ended my high school swimming career as a Brave!” said IHHS senior Gibson Holmes. “For the past four years, I have represented Indian Hill as a state champion. During this time, I have reflected on the incredible opportunity and experience that this school has provided me. Without the support of the amazing people at Indian Hill, I could not have achieved my goal of leading another pair of relays to the top of the podium. I am immensely grateful for Coaches Matt Harrison and Alli Dicke, who have worked tirelessly to create a team culture that fosters positivity and high performance. I am thrilled with what this team has accomplished and cannot wait to see them continue their success.”
“It has been an absolute thrill to watch Gibson achieve Ohio and Indian Hill High School history during his entire tenure as one of our student-athletes, and we could not be prouder of our state record-setting performance by Jason,” said Indian Hill Athletic Director Brian Phelps. “These are elite athletes that come around sometimes only once in a lifetime – we feel fortunate to be a part of the story they are crafting, and we can’t wait to see how that narrative continues for each as they advance.”
Aquabraves Coach Matt Harrison, who has worked with both Holmes and Zhao to create this legacy, earned Division II Coach of the Year.
“I am so proud of this team!” said Coach Harrison. “For the third time in the last four years, we were able to finish top two in the State as a team. That is an incredible accomplishment. Only a handful of schools have ever enjoyed a stretch of success like this. Gibson Holmes and Jason Zhao are a huge part of that success, proving over and over that they are among the best swimmers, not only in Ohio, but in the entire country! This is a team of which Indian Hill can be proud!”
The complete list of Indian Hill Aquabraves state accolades includes:
200 individual medley: Gibson Holmes (First)
100 butterfly: Gibson Holmes (First)
500 free: Jason Zhao (First, State Record)
200 free relay: Indian Hill (Third)
400 free relay: Indian Hill (First)
Indian Hill finished as the state team runner-up with 172 total points.
Holmes set the state record in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard butterfly last winter in Canton. He has committed to continue both his academic and athletic career at Stanford University.
The Indian Hill Board of Education will celebrate the Aquabraves during the regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14, at the Indian Hill High School Multipurpose Room. All members of the community are invited to attend.
See coverage from Cincinnati.com:Indian Hill's Holmes caps career with 10 state titles; teammate Zhao sets new state recordPhoto caption: The Indian Hill Board of Education will celebrate the Aquabraves during the regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14, at the Indian Hill High School Multipurpose Room, paying special tribute to 10-time state champion and state record holder senior Gibson Holmes and state champion and state record holder sophomore Jason Zhao for making history for Braves.