Having success in the postseason is one of the main goals for the New Albany High School boys and girls swimming and diving teams this season. The Eagles hope to take a big step toward accomplishing that goal when they compete in the OCC-Capital Division meet.

Having success in the postseason is one of the main goals for the New Albany High School boys and girls swimming and diving teams this season. The Eagles hope to take a big step toward accomplishing that goal when they compete in the OCC-Capital Division meet.

The diving competition is Thursday, Jan. 27, and the swimming competition is Saturday, Jan. 29, both at New Albany.

The league meet is the first time this season New Albany will put together the lineup it expects to use in the postseason. Until now, the Eagles have been rotating swimmers in the relay events and trying to figure out which individual events were best-suited for each swimmer.

As of last week, coach Dave Wharton hadn't settled on the lineups for the boys and girls 200-yard freestyle relays and 200 medley relays and wouldn't name the swimmers in consideration for each relay. However, he did say five or six swimmers still were in the running for each relay.

"We don't have to name those lineups until (this) week, so I want to take the time to figure out the different strengths of the athletes," Wharton said.

According to Wharton, the Eagles are about to hit their stride.

"We're just working on the details right now," he said. "Relay pickups, the quickness of the start, we're working on the minor stuff that people tend to forget about in training."

The girls team is considered the favorite to win the OCC-Capital title even though some of its athletes have been hampered by injuries in recent weeks. Last season, New Albany scored 399 points in the league meet to finish well ahead of runner-up Delaware (192) as well as Mount Vernon (192), Olentangy Orange (180), Watkins Memorial (96), Big Walnut (85) and Hilliard Bradley (70).

Wharton is confident in another strong performance this year.

"The girls have been training well but haven't reached their fullest potential yet," he said. "Stephanie (Jones) and Olivia (Barnes) have been doing well. Our strength in numbers isn't quite there yet, but the girls have had some good swims. Everybody will race at the level they've trained for."

The boys team also is viewed as the favorite to win the OCC-Capital. The Eagles won the title with 368 points last season. Delaware (255) was a distant second, followed by Mount Vernon (201), Orange (87), Big Walnut (61), Watkins Memorial (38) and Bradley (29).

According to Wharton, a number of swimmers, including Alex Alfonso, John Angell, Cullen Challacombe, Chase Honeycutt and David Huddle, have performed well so far and are expected to continue to do so at the league meet.

"We haven't backed off the training yet, but the guys continue to step up," Wharton said. "As for the league, I'm not sure what the other teams have, but we've been strong against those teams in the past. Going into the league meet, our guys have improved enough to be strong there."

After sweeping the OCC-Capital meet last season, the Eagles went on to advance two girls relays and one boys relay to the Division I state meet. Their goal this year is to get more individuals to state along with the relays, and a strong showing in this year's league meet could go a long way toward accomplishing that goal.

"Everybody's been training pretty well, so I'm expecting some good things from them," Wharton said.

AT A GLANCE

Below are the recent results and coming schedule for the New Albany swimming and diving teams:

Jan. 21 - Boys: Defeated Westerville Central 119-75; Girls: Lost to Central 111-72

Jan. 22 - Boys: Peyton Jeffers placed third (191.65) in New Albany Diving Invitational; Girls: Ilise Green finished third (156.4)

Jan. 27 - OCC-Capital diving championships at home

Jan. 29 - OCC-Capital swimming championships at home