Marysville High School swimming coaches Ann Rausch and Chris Terzis looked at each other and both shrugged.

Marysville High School swimming coaches Ann Rausch and Chris Terzis looked at each other and both shrugged.

Neither is sure what to expect when the boys and girls teams compete in the OCC-Cardinal Division meet Saturday at Ohio Wesleyan.

Most teams in the league are unfamiliar with one another. During the regular season, the teams are not required to swim against each other. Even if two OCC-Cardinal teams do face each other during the regular season, the lineups may have been altered, thus maintaining the unfamiliarity.

"We've (seen) about half of the (OCC-Cardinal) teams," Rausch said. "That doesn't mean anything if you don't know what strength those teams were at. This year will be a learning year more than any other year."

"Top to bottom, it's a strong OCC, especially on the girls side where Olentangy Liberty is stacked," Terzis said. "They have outstanding depth. On the boys side, we swam Olentangy earlier this year and they were impressive."

The boys team's final standing in the OCC-Cardinal could depend on its relays.

"Each team gets four entries and they're only scoring 12 places," Rausch said. "So if a team is strong, they can take one-third of the points. Individually, points will be a lot tougher to come by. If we put our boys together as a relay, they might score well."

Rausch and Terzis are searching for the right combination in the boys 200-yard freestyle, 400 free and 200 medley relays. The relays are expected to include Colin, Mickelson, Ian Mickelson, Quinn Mickelson and Grant Barnhorst.

"We're looking at times, and based off where they're at now we'll see how those times fit in at the OCC," Terzis said.

Ian Mickelson, a junior, entered this season with the program record in the 200 individual medley (2 minutes, 5.06 seconds). He set the record in the 100 butterfly (58.25) this season, bettering the mark set six years ago by Justin Kouri (58.45).

Mickelson is approaching the record in the 100 backstroke (1:00.69, set by Drew Kouri in 2002). Mickelson's best time is 1:00.81.

"There is not an event he is not competitive in," Rausch said. "Before this season the backstroke was his weakest, and that's been his biggest improvement overall."

"In the IM, every stroke needs to be strong," Mickelson said. "I had to work on my endurance and my head position in the backstroke was a little off. But the endurance was my biggest problem."

Mickelson expects to compete in the 200 free and 500 free at the OCC meet. Toward the end of his sophomore season, those became his strongest events.

"Also, my goal is to get those school records," he said.

Finding consistency with the deep girls team has been an issue. Rausch expects that consistency to improve once the team begins its taper.

"They're tired and it's not always a good indication of what they can do," Rausch said.

"Once we rest them we'll see a big difference. We'll see a lot of time drops in a lot of kids. We have to make them tired right now so when they rest, they'll respond. They're looking forward to that."