Marysville High School boys and girls swimming coach Ann Rausch has continued to stress individual improvement, especially now as the postseason draws near.

Marysville High School boys and girls swimming coach Ann Rausch has continued to stress individual improvement, especially now as the postseason draws near.

On Saturday, Marysville travels to New Albany to compete in the OCC-Cardinal Division meet.

"Our division of the OCC is probably the toughest division, top to bottom, in swimming," Rausch said. "We are not focusing on beating any team. Instead, our focus is on having great individual performances."

Last season, the boys team was seventh (103 points) behind champion Olentangy (252 points). The girls team was eighth (104) behind champion Olentangy (313).

Brittany Finlay had the best performance at the league meet last season. She was third in the 200-yard individual medley (2 minutes, 21.4 seconds).

"I hope the girls place better at the OCCs than we have in past seasons," Finlay said.

Finlay, Katie Helfrich and Emily Rausch are three-year letterwinners and have been producing consistently this season according to coach Rausch.

On the boys side, the Monarchs had a league champion in Colin Mickelson in the 50 free (23.12). A year later, performances by Tyler Akins, Grant Barnhorst and Alex Rodenhausen are pacing the boys team entering the league meet.

"The swimmers are ready for this competition," coach Rausch said. "It should be fun to watch them excel."

Who and in what events the time drops will occur are unknown to coach Rausch, as the Monarchs used their swimmers in different events meet after meet.

"This should be a great meet with New Albany's pool not being very old it should provide an opportunity for fast swims," coach Rausch said. "We are focusing on personal best swims in the events the swimmers are entered. This conference meet leads into tournament time and the swimmers are excited to compete."

•The girls basketball team played its ninth OCC-Cardinal Division game last Friday against last place Olentangy Liberty.

From there, the schedule gets more difficult. Beginning Tuesday, Marysville has five regular-season games remaining. All of them are against conference opponents and only one is at home.

"This has been a tough conference this year," coach Aric Tucker said. "Scioto and Olentangy are in the driver's seat whereas they control their own destiny. Westerville South and Westerville North are still in the mix, as are we. The next few weeks should be very interesting and fun."

Marysville plays at Olentangy on Tuesday and at Westerville Central on Friday followed by remaining games at home against South on Feb. 2, at Dublin Jerome on Feb. 5 and at North on Feb. 12.

Entering last Friday, Dublin Scioto and Olentangy were tied for first in the conference at 6-2 followed by South and North at 5-3, Marysville at 4-4, Central at 3-4, Jerome at 2-6 and Liberty at 1-7.

"A team with three or four losses could win the league," Tucker said. "You cannot assume or take for granted you will beat anyone. North beat Scioto then lost to Liberty. Jerome is a team that can give people some trouble any night. You just never know.