After nine years with the New Albany Country Club swimming team, Haley McLellan leaves for the University of Cincinnati in mid-August.
She wouldn't mind spending some of her future summers as an assistant coach for the Penguins, and their performance July 15 in the Country Club Swim League championships at Ohio State might have strengthened that resolve.
Four of the six meet records, all on relays, set by NACC came from swimmers 12 and younger, and the Penguins scored 2,978 points to roll to their fourth consecutive CCSL title.
"This year was the best year we've had. Every year, it gets better," said McLellan, who will swim at Cincinnati. "I don't think it's ever expected that we're going to win. Everybody trains really hard through the entire summer, and a lot of kids swim the entire year. All of these kids train so hard for this meet in particular. Hard work pays off."
The evening began with NACC's girls 8-and-younger 100-meter medley relay of Elyse Bergmann, Cali Demers, Carly Meeting and Ashlyn Morr winning in a meet-record 1 minute, 21.99 seconds, edging the Penguins' mark of 1:22.38 set in 2010. The same foursome later won the 100 freestyle relay in a record 1:13.14.
NACC also got record performances from the girls 15-and-older 200 medley relay (Taylor Berend, Amanda Jenny, McLellan and Eleanor Smith, 2:06.2), the girls 11-12 200 free relay (Olivia Bergmann, Alicia Donley, Samantha Kass and Mia Lachey, 2:02.89), the boys 11-12 200 free relay (Andrew Bernsdorf, Mike DeAscentis, Andrew Donley and Thomas Lennox, 2:03.2) and the girls 13-14 200 free relay (Molly Berend, Miranda Donley, Carly Shocket and Jessica Zaper, 1:58.66).
The Penguins, who also got 15 individual victories, finished ahead of Scioto (2,304), The Lakes (2,122), Wedgewood (1,926.5), Kinsale (1,757.5), Tartan Fields (1,526.5), Country Club at Muirfield (1,127), Worthington Hills (929), Medallion (818.5), Brookside (729), Jefferson (595) and Columbus Country Club (370).
"We did stack the relays a little bit more than in the past because we haven't had many opportunities to do relays and try to go for team records. They just wanted to get some team records that have been there since the 1990s, and this ends up happening," NACC coach Stephanie Donley said. "We have 240 kids on the team and probably 80, maybe 100, year-round swimmers. It's not as many as everybody thinks, but it's still a very strong portion. And our depth and our numbers are what helps us."
NACC's leading individual was Miranda Donley, the coach's daughter, who won the girls 13-14 50 free (28.21) and 50 butterfly (30.01) and was on the winning 200 medley relay (2:13.17).
NACC's boys 9-10 200 free relay of Ethan Halpern, Jared Kass, Jack Lindemann and Darden Spychalski also bested the old meet record of 2:22.05, set last year by Kinsale, but finished second (2:20.79) to Kinsale's Luke Dawson, Christian Hosler, Max Miller and Luke Nester (2:16.76).
Tartan Fields' Kai VanBourgondien won the boys 7-8 25 free (16.17), 25 backstroke (19.68) and 25 fly (meet-record 16.9) and helped the 100 medley relay to a win (1:26.4).
"He loves the sport and never misses practice," Tartan Fields coach Chris Hadden said. "His athleticism and his feel for the water are great. He's really taken to it. Everything we teach him technically, he does a great job of learning and correcting himself if he doesn't get something right."
Scioto's Tommy Dilz won the boys 11-12 50 fly (31.5) and 50 back (31.69), was second in the 50 free (28.91) and helped the 200 medley relay to second place (2:20.54).
"He's a great all-around athlete. He's a very good baseball player, probably as good at that as swimming, and he's going to have some choices to make as he gets a little bit older," Scioto coach Tim Bridgham said. "But he definitely has an ability to accelerate in water, to race and do all the little things well, which is fun to watch."
Hosler won the boys 9-10 50 free (32.26) and 25 fly (meet-record 15.62) and was on the winning 100 medley relay (meet-record 1:09.67).
Scioto's Caroline Colombo won the girls 9-10 50 free (32.69) and 25 fly (16.8), Medallion's Becca Knapper won the girls 15-and-older 50 free (27.31) and 50 fly (29.69) and Tartan Fields' Jack Scott won the boys 15-and-older 50 free (24.56) and 50 fly (27.46) and was on the winning 200 free relay (1:47.31).
Jefferson was carried by third-place finishes from Jacob Eismann (boys 11-12 50 back, 33.07), Luke Gabrielli (boys 8-and-younger 25 breaststroke, 25.71) and Owen Sloan (boys 6-and-younger 25 free, 23.6).
Sloan also was fourth in the 25 back (31.75).
Other top performers for Scioto were Ben Sugar, who was first in the boys 13-14 50 back (31.09), second in the 50 free (27.03) and fourth in the 50 fly (30.01) and was on the winning 200 medley relay (2:07.11) with Parker Neri, Gavin Voss and Tom Weimer.
Will Dierker won the boys 11-12 50 back (41.36), and Griffin O'Neill won the 6-and-younger 25 back (28.92) and was fourth in the 25 free (25.6).
Brookside got wins from Anne Marie Cummins in the girls 15-and-older 50 back (31.55), Eddy Cordek in the boys 15-and-older 50 back (28.32) and the girls 200 free relay (1:55.27) with Kirby Boes, Anne Marie Cummins, Maureen Cummins and Abby Wiet.
Cordek, a recent DeSales graduate who also was third in the 50 free (25.67), will swim for the University of Cincinnati. Cummins will be a junior at DeSales.
Worthington Hills did not produce any event champions. Riley Murphy had the team's best finish, placing third in the girls 8-and-younger 25 fly (19.94).
The Lakes got wins from Michael Gutman (boys 13-14 50 fly, 28.46), Elise Robinson (girls 6-and-younger 25 free, 22.75), and the boys 13-14 200 free relay (2:04.77) of Everett Halverson, Jack Mahoney, Tommy Mampieri and Connor McGovern.
Gutman also was third in the 50 free (27.14) and fourth in the 50 breast (36.1), and Robinson was fourth in the 25 back (29.24).
Wedgewood swimmers were powered by 1-2 finishes in two races.
Landon Hunter won the boys 6-and-younger 25 free (22.8), ahead of teammate Tyler Kropp (23.3). Hunter also was second in the 25 back (30.21).
Hudson Williams won the boys 8-and-younger 25 breast (24.87), ahead of teammate Reed Kroeger (25.16).
Olivia Beigel won the girls 8-and-younger 25 breast (23.91), and Reed McGraw won the boys 15-and-older 50 breast (30.99) and was second in the 50 fly (27.58).
Kinsale's other winners were Ella Lowrie (girls 6-and-younger 25 back, 26.67) and Max Miller (boys 9-10 25 breast, 18.92).
Tartan Fields' other winners were Lauren Cooper (girls 13-14 50 back, 32.52) and Teagan Price (girls 7-8 25 free, 17.69).
Emma Mathews won the girls 11-12 50 free (30.03) for Muirfield.