While the numbers are down for the Columbus Academy boys swimming and diving team, the expectations have gone up for the girls squad, according to eighth-year coach Craig Yakscoe.
The boys team has 10 swimmers and returns three state qualifiers in seniors Andy Li and Alec Wuorinen and junior Mitchell Dreisbach. The girls team also returns three state qualifiers in senior Abby Brown, junior India Sherman and sophomore Abby Wilson.
"On the girls side, we're really expecting to do fairly well," Yakscoe said. "I'm really excited. We've set our goals pretty high. We'll just work hard, stay together, stay healthy and I think good things will happen."
The boys team finished fifth (26 points) in the Columbus Academy Relays on Dec. 1 behind Westerville South (122), Bexley (70), Gahanna (62) and Delaware (50) and ahead of Wellington (20). The girls team was second (88) behind Delaware (114) and ahead of South (60), Gahanna (50), Bexley (46) and Wellington (30).
"The boys are a little smaller than what we've been, but they're starting to come together fairly well," Yakscoe said.
On Dec. 7, the boys team defeated visiting Village Academy 99-15 and the girls defeated Village Academy 106-35.
The girls were ninth (135) in the Ned Reeb Invitational on Dec. 8 at Ohio State behind champion Upper Arlington (439) as 48 teams scored. The boys did not score in the Ned Reeb Invitational as UA was first (370) and 48 teams scored.
The girls defeated Olentangy 94-76 and the boys lost to Olentangy 125-38 on Dec. 14.
Last season, the girls finished eighth (95) in the Division II state meet behind champion Gates Mills Hawken (360) as 45 teams scored. The boys were 12th (67) behind champion Hunting Valley University School (237) as 57 teams scored.
For the girls, Brown and Wilson were members of the fourth-place 200-yard medley relay (1 minute, 49.07 seconds) and sixth-place 200 freestyle relay (1:38.94). Wilson was seventh in the 100 backstroke (58.02) and 13th in the 200 individual medley (2:11.87), Brown was eighth in the 100 butterfly (58.04) and Sherman was 14th (1:08.07) in the 100 breaststroke.
For the boys, Dreisbach and Wuorinen were part of the 11th-place 200 free relay (1:29.49) and Li was a member of the 13th-place 400 free relay (3:21.65).
Other swimmers for the girls are seniors Emily Carlin, Michaella Cipriani, Lexie Eagleson, Anjali Kanwar and Casey Lange, juniors SueSan Chen, Lauren Cullen, Annie Mampieri, Maria Mullin and Kyle O'Hara, sophomores Ana Clavijo, Blair Eagleson, Maddie Edwards, Alex Keith, Anya Kone', Sydney Lawrence, Taylor True and Emma Watson (diver) and freshmen Sydney Brault and Sarah Campbell.
Other swimmers for the boys are junior Gavin Koerner, sophomores Brian Burke, Paul Choe and Dimitri Vasilkov and freshmen Andrew Heermann, Jacob Jeffers and Oliver Kornberg.
Last season, the boys finished second (164) behind Granville (302) in the MSL meet, second (196) behind Granville (252) in the home sectional and fourth (159) behind champion Granville (325) at district at Ohio State.
The girls were second (271) behind Granville (410) in the league meet, second (223) at sectional behind Granville (336) and third (278) at district behind champion Granville (475).
Wrestling team has added depth
After competing with just three wrestlers two seasons ago, this year's team has 13 competitors.
Johnston Allinder (170 pounds), the team's only senior, and sophomores Dan Jones (195), Tim Leathery (138) and Luke Albers (220) should be key contributors, seventh-year coach Paul Bukky said.
Albers has missed early season action with a concussion.
"We are getting better," Bukky said. "I have a lot of inexperienced kids that are starting to compete."
Last season in the Division III district tournament at Heath, Jones was 2-2 at 182 to finish 29-11 for the season, and Leathery was 0-2 at 120 to finish 24-19.
Dan Leathery, who graduated, went 1-2 at district at 138 to finish 31-12.
Other returnees are juniors Jeremy Schroeder (145) and Corey Bartholomew (160) and sophomores Reed Clark (170/182), Josh Levy (113), Taylor Smallridge (126/132) and Sam Wittman (120/126).
Other wrestlers are freshmen Hirsh Hede (106), Mitchell Lange (132) and Calvin Wuorinen (132/138).
The Vikings finished fourth (215) in the eight-team Madison Plains Invitational on Dec. 8 behind champion Westerville North (470). They defeated DeSales 41-38 and Cardington 47-16 on Dec. 13 at home.
On Dec. 6 at home, Academy defeated Linden-McKinley 54-24 and lost to Mount Gilead 40-31.
Last season, Academy tied Heath and Belmont Union Local for 43rd (4) at district behind champion Nelsonville-York (129.5) as 48 teams scored. In the Madison Plains sectional, Academy was eighth (69) behind champion Amanda-Clearcreek (237) as 14 teams scored.
The Vikings were fifth (84) in the MSL-Ohio tournament behind champion and host Licking Valley (258), Whitehall (190.5), Newark Catholic (131.5) and Granville (96.5) and ahead of Lakewood (83.5), Bexley (83) and Heath (64).
Bowling teams begin third season
The bowling teams, which are in their third season, return one district qualifier in sophomore Max Smith, who finished 33rd (403) at HP Lanes.
The boys team opened the season by finishing 12th (2,784) in the 21-team Red and Blue Classic at HP Lanes on Dec. 1 behind champion Mechanicsburg (3,411).
Academy began Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-Central Division play by losing to Grandview 1,857-1,540 on Dec. 3. The Vikings then defeated St. Charles 1,964-1,755 on Dec. 10, Watterson 1,982-1,867 on Dec. 11 and Hartley 1,948-1,720 on Dec. 13.
Academy was 26th (2,369) in the 32-team Holiday Baker Marathon won by Westerville South on Dec. 8 at Columbus Square Bowling Palace.
Other returnees are seniors Kevin Beaulieu and Victor Liu and sophomores David Brown, Ryan Cologgi, Vijay Kaza and Ethan Zoog. Other bowlers are junior Elliot Nick, sophomores Mario Bosca and Nikhil Dubey and freshmen Aaron Brown, Andrew Kennedy, Alex Lichen, Sean Reagan, Nathan Salon and Varun Vallabhaneni.
"We're much deeper than what we've been in the past," coach Dan Olexio said of the boys.
The girls team was 10th (1,918) in the 11-team Red and Blue Classic behind champion Mechanicsburg (2,899). The Vikings also defeated Grandview 1,375-1,174 and lost to Watterson 1,474-1,405 and Hartley 1,752-1,333.
Academy was 18th (1,986) in the 22-team Holiday Baker Marathon won by Zanesville.
Returnees are seniors Rabia Khan, Audrey Patterson, Alyssa Rock and Carolyn Vara and sophomores Sydnie Boykins, Emma Farrenkopf, Leya Mohsin and Caroline Savage. Other bowlers are sophomores Talia Shiroma and Allie Wallace and freshmen Samantha Hunker, Sooji Kang, Yasmine Kashubeck, Mary Kate Kelley and Nneka Udeagbala.
"The girls are gaining some experience," Olexio said. "I don't think they've bowled their best yet, so I'm cautiously optimistic that they can continue to improve throughout the season and peak where they need to peak, which is the end of the season at the tournaments."
Last season, the boys finished 21st (2,973) in the sectional at Columbus Western Bowl behind champion Jonathan Alder (4,020) and the girls were 12th (2,640) behind champion Briggs (3,494).
The boys finished the regular season 8-8 overall and tied Grandview, Hartley and Watterson for seventh (7-7) in the COHSBC-Central behind champion St. Charles (14-0).
The girls were 8-5 overall and tied Hartley and Watterson for third (8-3) in the league behind champion Ready (11-0).