Eddy Cordek of the DeSales High School boys swimming and diving team already has seen the hours he spent in the weight room last summer pay off.
The senior, who fell just short of a berth in the Division II state meet last year when he placed fourth in the 100-yard backstroke (57.65 seconds) in the district meet, bettered that time by more than a second when he finished 13th (56.19) in the Ned Reeb Invitational on Dec. 8 at Ohio State.
"My brother, who used to be an amateur powerlifter, gave me some tips on weightlifting (last) summer," said Cordek, a University of Cincinnati recruit who missed getting an at-large state berth last season by 1.04 seconds. "I'd do about a two-hour weightlifting session and he'd just kill me. I'm really starting to see some of the results from that lifting."
Cordek also finished 18th in the 50 freestyle (23.16) in the Ned Reeb Invitational, as the boys team scored 11 points to finish 38th behind champion Upper Arlington (370) as 48 teams scored.
Sophomore Anne Marie Cummins led the girls team, finishing 12th in the 100 back (1:00.89) and 11th in the 100 butterfly (59.04), as the Stallions finished 24th (38) behind champion UA (439) as 48 teams scored.
Cordek and senior Nathan Yoder are expected to lead the boys team, which also includes sophomores Stephan Douglas, Coleman McKinney, Ian Saunders and Puzhen Yin and freshman Jonathan Feverston.
Cummins will help lead the girls team with seniors Andrea Acquista (diver), Shelby Baker and Megan Leach. Rounding out the team are juniors Claire Alexander, Lisa Deakin, Aman-da Ginikos and Annie Kobermann, sophomores Emily Dur-bin and Jordan Stoll and freshmen Andrea Coffey, Anh Do, Kaelin Kelly and Kaylee Spahr.
Acquista has signed with Louisville.
"We've worked a lot on a bunch of fundamentals," second-year coach Mallory Hoffman said. "We hit that really hard in the beginning (of preseason practice), so now we're trying to work on speed and competitiveness of high school swimming."
Last season, Cummins placed 23rd in the 100 fly (1:01.62) and 20th in the 100 back (1:01.76) in the Division II state meet.
The only senior on the girls team last season was Suzanne Hrabowy, who now is swimming at Toledo after placing 11th in the 50 free (24.52) and 12th in the 100 free (53.18) at state last season. The Stallions scored 11 points at state to place 35th behind champion Gates Mills Hawken (360.5) as 45 teams scored.
Cummins earned at-large state berths in both her events a year ago, as she finished fourth in the 100 fly (59.35) and fifth in the 100 back (1:00.32) at district.
Last season in the sectional at Columbus Academy, the girls team placed fifth (111) behind champion Granville (336) as 18 teams scored and the boys team finished fifth (66) behind champion Granville (252) as 22 teams scored.
At district, the girls team placed sixth (114) behind champion Granville (475) as 36 teams scored and the boys team finished 14th (55) behind champion Granville (325.5) as 39 teams scored.
Both teams finished fourth in the CCL meet last season. The girls scored 146 points to finish behind Watterson (363), Hartley (274) and Columbus School for Girls (268) and ahead of Ready (42), and the boys scored 104 points to finish behind St. Charles (447), Hartley (238) and Watterson (119) and ahead of Ready (7).
Boys bowling team seeks 'right lineup'
Two losses to start the season didn't discourage the boys bowling team or ninth-year coach Connie Emlich.
DeSales lost to St. Charles 1,822-1,788 on Dec. 4 and fell to Watterson 2,003-1,865 on Dec. 6. However, the Stallions can draw inspiration from last season, when they opened with a loss only to win their next 11 matches.
"We've been real strong in individual games, but we've struggled in Baker games," Emlich said. "I'm trying to find the right lineup and formula that clicks for us."
DeSales' roster consists of senior Miranda Singer, juniors Anthony Hayes, Patrick Nie and Amber Strohacker, sophomores Tony LaTorre and Tyler LaTorre and freshman Haley Strohacker. Singer was a district qualifier last year.
The roster includes girls because DeSales does not have a girls team.
Last season, the Stallions went 11-3 in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-Central Division to place third, behind St. Charles (13-0) and Brookhaven (12-2) and ahead of Centennial (10-4), Northland (10-4), Ready (9-5), Academy (7-7), Grandview (7-7), Hartley (7-7), Watterson (7-7), Beechcroft (4-10), Columbus West (4-10), Mifflin (2-12), Linden-McKinley (1-13) and Haugland Learning Center (0-14).
DeSales placed 18th (3,067) in the sectional tournament at Eastland Lanes behind champion Westerville South (3,916) as the top nine teams advanced to district.
Singer, Tyler LaTorre and 2012 graduate Jack Slomsky advanced individually to district. In the boys competition, LaTorre rolled a 571 series to place 18th and Slomsky tied for 73rd (461). Singer finished 13th (522) in the girls competition.
None of the three qualified for state.