Although her team lost several swimmers to graduation and others who are not competing this season, Marysville High School swimming and diving coach Ann Rausch has been pleased with her squad's commitment and enthusiasm.

Although her team lost several swimmers to graduation and others who are not competing this season, Marysville High School swimming and diving coach Ann Rausch has been pleased with her squad's commitment and enthusiasm.

"We have a smaller team, but they're just a great group of kids," said Rausch, who is in her 11th

"It's going to be a tough season. It's a great group of kids that work really hard. They give 100 percent all the time."

The boys and girls teams did not have a state qualifier last season. The lone returnee who competed at district is sophomore Andrea Daily, who was part of the 400-yard freestyle relay that finished 26th in 4 minutes, 16.23 seconds.

Other returning swimmers for the girls are senior Allison Rubadue, juniors Aubry Beany and Jordan Hall and sophomore Sydney Joseph. Other swimmers are junior Jessica Cowgill, sophomores Morgan DeWitt and Cassidy Rausch and freshmen Katie Hiser, Megan Merrick, Lauren Meyer, Nikita Sathiaprakash and Sydney Slee.

Returning swimmers for the boys are seniors Ashton Broadhead, Trevor Murray and Nathan Wasik and
sophomore Colin Biddinger. Other swimmers are juniors Zack Barton, Braxton Cruea and Alex Van Dyke, sophomore Jack Schneider and freshmen Ryan Cook, Joey

Daugherty, Ryan Groehl, Alex Harris, Dane Marlatt, Ben Roshon and Brady Van Dyke.

Joseph, Murray, Rubadue and Wasik are captains.

Rausch said her team received valuable experience competing in the Ned Reeb Invitational on Dec. 8 at Ohio State. Neither team scored as Upper Arlington won the girls (439 points) and boys (370) meets.

"There were over 900 swimmers there, so for a lot of these kids that's something they've never experienced before," Rausch said.

Each team finished second in the six-team Whetstone Invitational on Dec. 10 at the Columbus Aquatic Center. The boys tied Northland (90) behind champion Grove City (130) and the girls (130) finished behind Centennial (160).

The Monarchs' next meet is Jan. 5 against Olentangy and Olentangy Orange at the Powell YMCA.

Last season, the boys finished eighth (96) in the OCC-Cardinal Division meet behind Dublin Jerome (253), Westerville Central (215), Olentangy (190), Dublin Scioto (163), Westerville North (141), Olentangy Liberty (135) and Westerville South (132). The girls were sixth (114) behind Liberty (261), Central (245), Jerome (226), Olentangy (155) and South (147) and ahead of North (94) and Scioto (92).

Marysville and Liberty now compete in the OCC-Central. The league includes UA, whose girls team has won eight consecutive state titles and whose boys team finished second (198) at state last season behind champion Cincinnati St. Xavier (297).

"We try not to look at the other teams," Rubadue said. "The big thing on our team this year is just looking at ourselves. We're not scared."

The boys finished seventh (209) in last year's nine-team sectional at the Union County YMCA behind champion Jerome (343), and the girls were seventh (164) at sectional behind champion Dublin Coffman (333), another OCC-Central competitor.

The boys were 19th (23) at district at Ohio State behind champion UA (435) as 26 teams scored, and the girls were 19th (15) at district behind champion UA (522) as 27 teams scored.

The Monarchs are looking for improvement at district Feb. 16 at Ohio State.

"Those winter practices are key," Wasik said. "We have to work those winter practices hard, but I think we can do it."
"I'm happy with what I'm seeing now," Rausch said. "The returning swimmers are faster now than what they were at the end of last season, so they've already had (personal records), and their work ethic, I couldn't ask for any more from them than what they're doing."

Girls basketball team opens with five losses

The girls basketball team entered its game against Thomas Worthington on Dec. 21 looking for its first win.

Marysville lost to visiting Liberty 63-46 on Dec. 18.

Katy Turner scored 19 points, but the Monarchs fell to 0-5 overall and 0-4 in the OCC-Central.

"For the most part, we are playing hard," coach Aric Tucker said before the Thomas game. "We feel that we are better than we were last year even though it hasn't shown up as a W. We had an opposing coach comment on how much improvement we have made. We are trying to be at a more consistent high level. Once we get that accomplished, we will see Ws."

Ritchie takes over boys track program

J.B. Ritchie has been named coach of the boys track and field team replacing Jim Gannon, who retired from teaching and coaching at Marysville after last school year.

Ritchie began his coaching career at Marysville in 2010 as an assistant for the girls track team. In 2011, Ritchie was the interim girls coach while Lori Robinson was on maternity leave.

Last season, he returned to his assistant's role working with the girls team's sprinters and long jumpers