With the grind of the regular season nearing an end, the Big Walnut High School boys and girls swimming and diving teams have started preparations for the postseason.
"We're doing well," coach Andy Chatterton said. "Everyone's tapering. We're starting to back down a little bit so that when sectional comes we'll be set for our peak performance. That's our goal."
The Golden Eagles will compete in sectional meets Feb. 9 at Thomas Worthington, with the boys in Division II and the girls in Division I.
Last season, the boys team finished first (353 points) in the three-team Division II sectional ahead of Beech-croft (144) and Buckeye Valley (27) and the girls team finished ninth (53) in the 11-team Division I sectional behind champion Thomas Worthington (262).
On Jan. 18, the boys team lost to Westerville North 113-57 and the girls team lost to the Warriors 128-51.
Finishing first for the boys were senior Carson Chatterton in the 50-yard freestyle (24.59 seconds) and the 200 free (1:45.62) and 200 medley (1:57.09) relays.
Finishing first for the girls were freshman Josie Sweeney-Rogers in the 200 individual medley (2:38.18), junior Jessica Osburn in the 100 free (1:10.27), the 200 medley relay (2:05.06) and sophomore Ashley White in diving (155 points).
White was ranked fifth in 1-meter diving (214) in the area honor roll last week.
"Her season is really starting to pick up," White's mother and coach, Jen White, said.
White and Sweeney-Rogers were expected to participate in the diving competition of the OCC-Capital Division meet Jan. 25 at New Albany. The swimming competition of the league meet was Jan. 26 at New Albany.
Last season, the boys team finished sixth (98) in the OCC-Capital meet, behind New Albany (389), Delaware Hayes (221), Mount Vernon (201), Olentangy Orange (143) and Watkins Memorial (103) and ahead of Hilliard Bradley (25).
The girls team placed sixth (110) in the league meet, behind New Albany (326), Delaware (282), Watkins Memorial (170), Mount Vernon (155) and Orange (155) and ahead of Bradley (92), with White winning the diving title.
As part of OCC realignment, Bradley moved to the OCC-Cardinal and was replaced by Olentangy.
Bowlers preparing for postseason
The bowling teams have felt the impact of inexperience this season.
After losing to Hilliard Davidson 2,280-2,143 on Jan. 24, the boys team was 4-7 overall and in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-North Division. The girls team defeated Davidson 1,501-1,395 to move to 4-4 overall and in the COHSBC-North.
"We're a little behind last year," coach Pat McClelland said. "The younger kids on the team are still learning to bowl. My goal right now is to get a couple (bowlers) through (the postseason) to states."
Seniors Jon McClelland and Luke Hartings lead the boys team. Before Jan. 24, McClelland was averaging 204.7 pins per game, ranking eighth in both the COHSBC-North and the OCC-Cardinal. Hartings was averaging 188.3.
"Those guys are the core of the team," coach McClelland said. "They've got a chance to make it (to the state tournament) on their own. We just don't have the depth as a team."
Senior Brandon Mayer was third on the team with a 182.1 average. Senior Cierra Hite had a team-high 146.5 average before Jan. 24.
The postseason starts with the sectional tournament Feb. 15 and 16.
Wrestling team falls in state tournament
The wrestling team was eliminated from the inaugural Division II state team tournament in the first round.
Seeded fifth in Region 14-B of the dual-format tour-nament, Big Walnut lost to fourth-seeded Buckeye Valley 39-35 on Jan. 23.
The Barons advanced to face top-seeded Lexington in the second round Wednesday, Jan. 30.
The Golden Eagles won seven of the 14 weight classes against Buckeye Valley.
Finishing first were Donny Didion at 113 (8-0 over Stephen Mentzer), Tyler Satterfield at 138 (pinned Justin Nelson in 2:59), Austin Carr at 152 (12-11 over Kyle Fish), C.J. Harness at 160 (15-0 over Jim Brittsan), Alec Eisnnicher at 170 (pinned Ben Kidwell in 5:49), Jhordan Lang at 182 (8-4 over Milan East) and Austin Crow at 220 (pinned Marshall Sheets in 1:14).