DeSales High School swimming and diving coach Mallory Hoffman might wait until the last minute before finalizing her lineups for the Division II sectional meet Feb. 9 at Columbus Academy.
The deadline for turning in entries for each sectional event is noon Monday, Feb. 4.
"I'm still tinkering," she said. "We've had so many kids swimming so many different events and doing well in them that wasn't expected. We tried a lot of different events. I had numerous people who have swum almost every event this year, and a lot of different relay combinations just trying to figure out what's going on and get some competition going."
The boys and girls teams both finished fourth in the CCL meet Jan. 27 at CSG. The boys scored 174 points to finish behind St. Charles (417), Hartley (234) and Watterson (190) and ahead of Ready (8), and the girls scored 158.5 points to finish behind Watterson (404), CSG (360) and Hartley (210.5) and ahead of Ready (1).
Senior Eddy Cordek led the boys team, winning the 50-yard freestyle (23.49 seconds) and 100 backstroke (54.92). Finishing first for the girls team were senior diver Andrea Acquista (499.75) and sophomore Anne Marie Cummins in the 100 back (1:02.37).
Cummins, who finished 20th in the 100 back (1:01.76) and 23rd in the 100 butterfly (1:01.62) at state last year, believes last season's success is paying dividends this year.
"Last year was more discovery for me and sometimes I was disappointed," she said. "I didn't do as well as I expected. This year, I have more experience and I hope going into state that will matter. ... Being a freshman up (at Branin Natatorium) in Canton is intimidating, but it's an awesome experience. Hopefully this year, I'll go up there and be a little more relaxed and be able to perform better."
Hoffman said sophomores Stephan Douglas and Ian Saunders are candidates to join a relay with some combination of Cordek, seniors Shelby Baker and Nathan Yoder and sophomore Coleman McKinney. Junior Claire Alexander, sophomore Emily Durbin and freshman Kaylee Spahr are in the mix for several events on the girls side.
"We have so many kids right now who are so close that we can go a few ways on the relays," Hoffman said. "We're just waiting for that one person to have an outstanding swim and secure their spot."
The Academy sectional will consist of 25 boys teams and 26 girls teams. The winner of each event qualifies for the district meet Feb. 15 at Ohio State. In addition, 27 at-large district berths will be awarded in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites. Divers do not compete until the district meet.
Hockey team preparing for start of postseason
Tournament atmospheres seem to be an effective tonic for the hockey team, which went 2-0-2 to win Strongsville's Walter F. Ehrnfelt Tournament held Jan. 18-21.
The Stallions defeated Pepper Pike Orange 6-4 and tied the Eastside Stars at 2 and Strongsville at 3 to win their pool. They then defeated Orange 2-0 in the final.
That was a positive change from their Capital Hockey Conference schedule, in which DeSales has struggled to a 5-6-1-1 record. Its next league contest is Friday, Feb. 1, against Dublin Scioto at Chiller Dublin.
"It's a thing where we got away from any distractions of the past couple weeks and just played good hockey," coach Bob Heine said. "Early January can be a grind with the guys getting back into their school routines and coming out of the holidays. For whatever reason, we'd struggled late in games. I hope that's changing."
DeSales has three league games remaining. Entering play Jan. 27, the Stallions were third in the CHC-White Division with 13 points, behind Olentangy Orange (24, 12-1) and ahead of DeSales (12, 5-6-1-1) and Thomas Worthington (7, 3-9-1), and were tied for eighth with Worthington Kilbourne in the overall league standings.
The top eight teams in the CHC qualify for the championship bracket of the Blue Jackets Cup, which begins Feb. 8. The other six teams play in the consolation bracket.
"Certainly, making a better run than last year (when DeSales lost to Springboro 5-4 in overtime in the first round of the district tournament) is a goal," Heine said. "We want to come together and we're not overlooking the Blue Jackets Cup, but I'd much rather us be ready for the district tournament."
McGee resigns as girls soccer coach
Bob McGee, who guided the girls soccer team to Division II state championships in 1995 and 2011, has stepped down as coach.
A 1980 DeSales graduate, McGee had two coaching stints with the Stallions. He coached them from 1993-96 and again in 2011 and 2012. He also coached the Hamilton Township boys team in 1997, Upper Arlington's girls team from 1998-2008 and Fisher Catholic's girls team in 2009 and 2010. UA reached a Division I state semifinal in 2008.
McGee cited increased responsibilities for his job as a probation officer with Franklin County and recurring health issues as factors in his resignation.
"During the season, I'd be in the office by 6 a.m. and usually wouldn't be home after games until 10 (p.m.) or maybe later," said McGee, who was 33-12-3 the past two seasons with the Stallions and has a 292-62-41 career record. "I'll probably take a year off and re-evaluate things."
The Stallions defeated Toledo St. Ursula 2-0 in the state final in 2011 and lost to Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit 5-0 in the state final last season.
Potential candidates should send a resume to athletics director Tom Neubert at firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb. 15.