The Watkins Memorial High School girls swimming and diving team continues to shine.
The Warriors scored 41 points to finish second behind Dover (88) in the 11-team Warsaw River View Invitational on Dec. 14 at Coshocton High School. River View (39) was third, followed by Marietta (36), Martins Ferry (29), New Philadelphia (28), Coshocton (21), Liberty Union (10), Athens (6), Carrollton (6) and Newark (4).
Junior Shelby Seas won both the 100-yard breaststroke (1 minute, 25.87 seconds) and the 100 freestyle (1:06.35).
"We had a bunch of first and second places," coach Heidi Williams said. "It was a great showing from all the girls -- the ones who swim club and the ones who don't. What impresses me is the amount of improvement our non-club swimmers are making. Our depth is growing and we are very excited about that."
Also in the River View Invitational, Seas teamed with seniors Kayla Fenimore and Rachel Baughn and junior Monica Tumblin to finish second in the 200 medley relay (2:21.85), Tumblin placed second in the 100 breast (1:30.34) and sixth in the 100 free (1:11.34), Fenimore was runner-up in the 100 butterfly (1:17.57) and Baugh was fourth in the 100 fly (1:26.3).
Williams, who is in her second season leading the Warriors, believes a change in practice venues has had a major impact, particularly on the non-club swimmers.
"We were practicing at the Lancaster YMCA last year, but we couldn't get much pool time," she said. "We'd get pool time once a week. Now we're practicing at the Gahanna YMCA and Licking County YMCA (in Newark) and we're getting a lot more pool time. Plus, it's closer for us to get (to Gahanna or Newark).
"Nothing beats pool time. You can lift and do other things, but pool time is the best learning time and it gets kids more excited to work hard when they're in the pool. This is really paying dividends and helping our depth. The club swimmers can pick it up a notch or turn it on when they get into the pool. But for the non-club swimmers, they need that pool time. But even the returnees are hitting their (personal records) already this season. That says a lot to me."
Williams said the non-club swimmers are scoring important points in meets.
The boys team finished ninth (8) in the 12-team River View Invitational, behind Dover (97), Coshocton (57), New Philadelphia (38), River View (33), Athens (24), Liberty Union (17), Marietta (13) and Bloom-Carroll (10) and ahead of Carrollton (4), Martins Ferry (3) and Newark (3).
Junior Alan Chapman placed fifth in the 100 backstroke (1:11.45) and teamed with junior Jacob Abram and sophomores Jesse Neibert and Skylar Chapman to finish fifth in the 200 free relay (2:05.05).
"We only have nine guys on the team, but I have been very pleased with the improvement of the newbies," Williams said.
"Not only are they getting better in their dominant stroke, but they're getting better in all of their strokes. It's been a fabulous start for both the boys and girls programs. I'm so happy and proud right now."
Wrestling team wins Eastside quad-meet
The wrestling team won the Eastside quad-meet on Dec. 14, beating Licking Heights 48-21 and Reynoldsburg 40-38.
Reynoldsburg beat New Albany 41-23 and New Albany defeated Licking Heights 36-27.
"I thought we wrestled better in the second match," coach Mark Kurth said.
"We came out kind of slow in round one."
Against Reynoldsburg, both teams won four matches by pin, but the Warriors strung together three consecutive pins to rally.
"We started at 152 in the Reynoldsburg match and had to come from behind with pins at 132, 138, and 145 to pull out the win," Kurth said.
Junior Andrew Lieb (132) pinned Skylar Gray (2:54), sophomore Logan Morrison (138) pinned Zach Polinsky (1:42) and sophomore Tyler Mullins (145) pinned Jordan Thompson (3:51).
Senior Adam Tomkins (170) also had a pin against Reynoldsburg, winning in 1:35 over Alan Matheny.