The Olentangy Liberty High School boys swimming and diving team typically has been overshadowed by the success of the girls team, which has won three consecutive Division I sectional titles and two consecutive OCC-Capital Division championships.

The Olentangy Liberty High School boys swimming and diving team typically has been overshadowed by the success of the girls team, which has won three consecutive Division I sectional titles and two consecutive OCC-Capital Division championships.

But after the boys team opened with victories over Dublin Coffman (95-87 on Dec. 5) and Dublin Jerome (110-65 on Dec. 6), coach Laurie Karr believes it is ready to make a name for itself as well.

"This is, by far, the best boys team we've ever had here," Karr said. "We have a little more speed and versatility than we've had in the past, and we're probably going to be deeper than most teams in the area. Our girls team will probably still outplace our boys at some meets, but our boys have taken a nice step forward."

The Patriots set four program records Dec. 5 as Dmitry Dolgov won the 100-yard breaststroke in 1 minute, 5.15 seconds and 500 freestyle in 5:12.23, John Smilges won the 200 individual medley (2:07.47) and the 400 free relay of Doug Culbertson, Matthew McMahon, Lee Van Farowe and Smilges won in 3:34.02.

"Our boys knew they needed to go fast to beat Dublin Coffman and it helped them do well," Karr said. "Getting four school records this early was a pleasant surprise for us. We knew we had a good boys team, but we didn't expect to show it in the first meet."

The girls team was fifth (145) in the Ned Reeb Invitational on Dec. 13 at Ohio State behind Upper Arlington (517), Solon (194), Watterson (180) and New Albany (163). Two-time defending state champion Ashley Specht won the 100 breast (1:04.76) ahead of Mason's Morgan Emter (1:08.69).

Lauren Rosenberg was third in the 100 backstroke (59.95) behind Scioto's Kate McNeilis (53.55) and UA's Jenny Warmolts (59.76) and was sixth in the 200 IM (2:14.4).

The 200 free relay of Rosenberg, Specht, Alyssa Heydorn and Rachel Chickerella was second (1:52.06) to UA (1:48.72).

"Lauren Rosenberg had a great day," Karr said. "She broke a minute in the 100 back and had a fast time in the 200 free, too. Ashley won but didn't really have anybody pushing her to a good time. Our medley relay had a decent swim, too, but we were spanked by Upper Arlington just like everybody else. Our girls haven't set any school records yet, but we'll probably see some once we hit our taper."

•The Olentangy boys team was sixth (147) in the Ned Reeb behind champion Hunting Valley University School (278) for its best finish in that event.

According to coach Steve Gipe, the Braves broke several program records. Ben Bailey won the 200 IM (1:55.46) and was second in the 100 back (52.27). The 200 medley relay of Bailey, Eric Evan, Jay Haney and Tom Carpenter was sixth (1:41.33) and the 200 free relay of Carpenter, Aaron Norris, Dagur Fridriksson and Tim Ratcliff was 11th (1:33.63). Haney was second in the 200 free (1:44.12). Haney also set the 100 free record in 48.77 in leading off the 400 free relay of Haney, Carpenter, Norris and Bailey, which was third with a time that wasn't a program record (3:18.49).

"It was really amazing to see our guys go up against the best teams in the state and hold their own," Gipe said. "It was an amazing day for the nine boys who were there. To break that many school records this early in the season is a testament to how hard they've worked year-round at this and they're starting to see some monumental progress."

The team will compete in the Fremont Ross Invitational on Jan. 3.

"We'll go up against some of the best teams from the northwest part of the state and see how we stand after some hard winter training," Gipe said. "Doing well at Ned Reeb has really boosted our confidence level."

•The Orange girls team opened Dec. 3 with a 106-60 loss to Gahanna.

Morgan Miller won the 100 free (1:00.17) and was second in the 50 free (27.75). Kaitlin Milburn won the 200 IM (2:29.55) and was second in the 100 breast (1:20.13). Victoria Calvert won the 500 free (1:02.39). The boys team lost to Gahanna 128-32. Kevin Lin won the 100 breast (1:12.82) and was second in the 100 fly (1:05.71).

"Gahanna brought 25 boys and 25 girls compared to our 11 girls and seven boys, but we had some nice swims," coach Keith Sorensen said. "All of our athletes are improving their times and you can't ask for more than that."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Liberty, Olentangy and Orange boys and girls swimming and diving teams:

LIBERTY

Dec. 6 -- Boys: Defeated Dublin Jerome 110-65; Girls: Def. Jerome 116-70

Dec. 13 -- Boys: Finished 33rd (6) in 43-team Ned Reeb Invitational behind champion Hunting Valley University School (278); Girls: Finished fifth (145) in 37-team field behind champion Upper Arlington (517)

Last Saturday -- Boys: Finished first (294) in six-team Delaware County Classic; Girls: Finished first (402)

Monday -- At Watterson Relays

OLENTANGY

Dec. 11 -- Boys: Def. Bellefontaine 79-14, def. Marysville 67-27; Girls: Def. Bellefontaine 64-30; lost to Marysville 50-44

Dec. 13 -- Boys: Finished sixth (147) in Ned Reeb Invitational; Girls: Finished 31st (10)

Last Saturday -- Boys: Finished first (88) in five-team North Robinson Colonel Crawford Relays; Girls: Finished first (76)

Jan. 3 -- At Fremont Ross Invitational

ORANGE

Dec. 3 -- Boys: Lost to Gahanna 128-32; Girls: Lost to Gahanna 106-60

Last Saurday -- Boys: Finished fourth (106) in Delaware County Classic; Girls: Finished fourth (132)

Jan. 3 -- At Dublin Recreation Center vs. Dublin Scioto