With the postseason approaching, Katie Furr is pleased with the development of her Northridge High School boys and girls swimming and diving teams.
The first-year coach has moved her athletes around to participate in numerous events in an effort to prevent the midseason blahs. Now, the Vikings will go back to work on their primary events with an eye toward postseason success.
"In the past several meets, we have been working to get the kids to try new events," Furr said. "When you only do a few events over and over, you can kind of get burned out and frustrated. We wanted to keep them fresh."
Northridge is a member of the LCL, but the league doesn't have a swimming meet. With that in mind, Furr recently added the Vikings to the Southeastern Ohio Swim League meet, which was held Jan. 25 at Ohio University.
The next meet for Northridge will be the Division II sectional Feb. 8 at Columbus Academy.
"I want to look at the numbers (from the SEOSL meet) to see what events the swimmers will have the best chance to reach district," Furr said.
In the Northridge Viking Classic on Jan. 18 at New Albany, the Vikings recorded numerous personal-best performances and two program records were broken.
The girls team had only three competitors and placed ninth (88) of nine teams behind champion Granville (374). Riley Love set a program record in the 500-yard freestyle while finishing second in 6 minutes, 2.81 seconds. Josie Bunstine had the previous mark of 6:11.23.
Bunstine had a personal best in the 50 free (first, 27.11) and broke her own record set the previous week in the 100 free. Her first-place time of 58.62 bettered her performance of 1:01.53. Katie Pileski had personal bests in the 100 free (fourth, 1:01.07) and 50 free (13th, 31.01).
"Riley has had her eye on the record board for a while and finally made it there," Furr said. "She will likely be in the 200 free (in the postseason) and should do well from looking at her splits in the 500 free."
The boys team finished fourth (218.5) of 10 teams behind champion Granville (357). The 200 medley relay of Jasen Dean, Chris Lindsay, Brandon Eckstein and Mat Scott was third (2:01.83) and Eckstein was fourth in the 100 butterfly (1:04.78).
Finishing with personal-best performances were Mason Alexander in the 200 individual medley (10th, 2:50.5) and 100 free (ninth, 1:03.78); Nathan Castle in the 50 free (10th, 28.97) and 100 free (12th, 1:06.35); Bryce Curtis in the 50 free (fourth, 28.23); Dean in the 200 IM (ninth, 2:47.78); Adam Eckstein in the 100 breaststroke (seventh, 1:17.67); Paul Haught in the 200 free (eighth, 2:37.66) and 500 free (seventh, 7:12.73); Eli Rushmore in the 200 free (seventh, 2:35.16); Scott in the 100 free (fifth, 1:01.45), David Stanton in the 50 free (20th, 33.62) and 100 backstroke (15th. 1:39.09); and Ryan Strong in the 200 free (ninth, 2:40.53).
Girls basketball team defeats Granville
The girls basketball team was 7-9 overall and 6-7 in the LCL before playing Heath on Jan. 25.
Sara Pribonic scored 22 points as the Vikings defeated Granville 49-41 on Jan. 18 in league play. Belinda Marcum had 10 points and Summer Prevost added eight.
"Our kids feed off of Sara," coach Joe Rucker said. "When she plays well the team plays well. Whether she's scoring or getting the ball to her teammates, she makes us better. I really think we are playing with confidence as a team."
The Vikings lost to Lakewood 37-25 on Jan. 23 in LCL play. Pribonic scored 15 points and Marcum had eight.
Pribonic was averaging 15.1 points, 3.9 steals and 3.2 assists through 15 games. Marcum was averaging 10.1 points and 7.8 rebounds.
Boys team defeats Utica
The boys basketball team was 5-9 overall and 4-8 in the LCL before playing Lakewood on Jan. 24.
Gavin Shank scored 14 points and Matt Grindle added 12 as the Vikings defeated Utica 41-25 on Jan. 17 in league play.
On Jan. 21, Northridge lost to Granville 45-32 in an LCL contest as Chad Campbell had 14 points and Bryant Garee and Shank added six apiece.
Wrestlers prepare for league tourney
The wrestling team is preparing for the LCL tournament Saturday, Feb. 1, at Licking Heights.
Last season, the Vikings won the MBC Duals in their final season in the league. Winning titles were Jake Adkins (106), Rob Mickey (160) and 2013 graduates Drew Mullen (138) and Thomas Williams (152).
On Jan. 22, the 10th-seeded Vikings won their preliminary dual against seventh-seeded Williamsport Westfall 36-30 in Region 21-A of the Division III state team tournament, but lost their first-round matchup with second-seeded and host Utica 45-26.
Against Westfall, Hunter Reece (126) won by pin and Adkins (106), Michael Holly (113), Jacob Maynard (132), Mickey (160) and Storm Strout (120) won by forfeit.
Against Utica, Jonathan Barber (220) and Mason Royer (160) won by pin, Adkins (106) won by technical fall and Maynard (132), Mickey (170) and Strout (126) won by decision.