Increased depth on the boys team and the addition of sophomore Miranda Hampton on the girls team have led to success for the Marysville High School swimming and diving program.

Increased depth on the boys team and the addition of sophomore Miranda Hampton on the girls team have led to success for the Marysville High School swimming and diving program.

The Monarchs closed out a busy December by playing host to Hilliard Bradley and Hilliard Darby last Monday at the Union County YMCA.

The boys team (108) finished behind Darby (116) and ahead of Bradley (12), and the girls team (135) finished ahead of Bradley (58) and Darby (43).

"I like to hit it heavy in December and then be able to back off a little bit as we get toward tournament time," coach Ann Rausch said.

The Monarchs return to action Jan. 5 in a meet with Bellefontaine and Lancaster at the Union County YMCA. The meet was rescheduled from Jan. 4 so it didn't conflict with the Sugar Bowl between Ohio State and Arkansas.

Marysville's early season has been loaded with highlights.

The girls team finished 17th (72 points) in the Ned Reeb Invitational on Dec. 11 at Ohio State.

Each team earned top honors in the Whetstone Invitational on Dec. 13, as the boys collected 127 points to finish ahead of runner-up Centennial (113) and the girls tied Hilliard Davidson (140) for first.

The boys team (77) finished ahead of Dublin Jerome (74) and Dublin Scioto (70) in a tri-meet on Dec. 15 at the Union County YMCA.

Leading the way for the girls team has been Hampton, who already has set program records in the 50-yard freestyle (25.63 seconds), 100 free (55.69), 200 free (1:58.76), 500 free (5:22.59), 200 individual medley (2:11.47), 100 backstroke (59.19) and 100 butterfly (1:00.60).

Hampton also swims for the Springfield YMCA, where she trained as a freshman.

"Miranda is working hard, along with the kids who were on the team last year," Rausch said. "As a whole, the kids are doing a phenomenal job early in the season."

Junior Ellie Prinster, who focuses on the individual medley, breaststroke and freestyle, has been another key contributor, Rausch said.

She credits the added depth on the boys team as the key to its progress.

"From only having seven swimmers last year to 20 this year, numbers have made the difference," Rausch said. "The new kids that have joined the program who have no swimming experience have just developed really nicely."

Junior Quinn Mickelson has been a main contributor. He set the program record in the 100 back (57.45) at the Ned Reeb Invitational.

"Quinn is an extremely hard worker and he's very dedicated, so it's nice for the kids to see that that pays off," Rausch said.

Freshman Christian Madsen, who specializes in the freestyle events, has progressed in his first season on the team, Rausch said.

•The wrestling team continued its early season success by winning the Troy Christian Invitational on Dec. 18.

The Monarchs (243) finished ahead of New Lebanon Dixie (212) and Coldwater (198.5) in the 10-team field.

Champions for Marysville were David Sparks at 103 pounds, Noah Forrider at 130, Austin Garcia at 135 and Tyler Miller at 160.

Mahmoud Elarossi (145) was second; Lucas Parker (119), Chase Boyd (140), Aaron Brofford (152) and Morgan Miller (215) placed third; Austin Rine (215) was fourth; and Jacob Thornton (112), Daric Erwin (125), Austin Pfarr (171) and Thomas Taylor (285) finished fifth.

"It was good to have another successful weekend," coach Shawn Andrews said. "Each week our goal is to get better and I feel like we did this week. However, we don't want to judge our season on how we do in the month of December."

The Monarchs will compete in the Brecksville Invitational on Tuesday and Wednesday. Last season at the event, Marysville finished eighth (111) behind champion Wadsworth (275.5).

Wadsworth (172) went on to win the Division I state championship over Lakewood St. Edward (167.5).