The past two years, Westerville North High School boys and girls swimming and diving coach Jeff Riegler has had two of the strongest girls teams of his nine-year tenure.

The past two years, Westerville North High School boys and girls swimming and diving coach Jeff Riegler has had two of the strongest girls teams of his nine-year tenure.

The Warriors finished 15th at the Division I state meet in 2007 and ninth last season. But in the OCC-Buckeye Division, North was a decided underdog because of the presence of Upper Arlington. The Bears, who have won the last four Division I state championships, scored 535 points to finish first ahead of runner-up North (248) last year and two years ago had 508 points as the Warriors again were second (269).

UA no longer is a concern since North is in the OCC-Cardinal with Central, South, Olentangy, Olentangy Liberty, Dublin Scioto, Dublin Jerome and Marysville. The league meet will be Friday and Saturday, with diving Friday at Dublin Rec Center and swimming Saturday at Ohio Wesleyan

"It's definitely nice not having to worry about Upper Arlington," Riegler said. "We have a much better opportunity since we're not going against one of the top teams in the state."

Another change is the move from six-team divisions to eight-team divisions.

"I don't know what's going to happen with eight teams in there," Riegler said. "The past years we had five other teams and one or two of them didn't have that many swimmers. I'm not sure if our depth is going to help us or not."

"Having eight teams definitely takes out the depth factor, especially if they're only scoring the top 12 finishers," Central coach Ron Staab said. "The wildcard swimmers, the ones who are right on the cusp of scoring, are going to make the difference."

Last year, teams currently in the OCC-Cardinal had seven top-four finishers in the Division I girls state meet and two top-four finishers in the boys meet.

In the girls meet Scioto's Kate McNeilis was the state runner-up in the 100-yard backstroke (56.01 seconds) and Liberty's Ashley Specht won the 100 breaststroke (1:03.47). Both return. McNeilis was in the top 20 in five individual events in the state honor roll last week, including first in the 100 back (53.55) and 50 freestyle (23.74). Specht was second in the 100 breast (1:04.76).

Other top girls include Jerome's Julianne McNamee (second in 50 free, 23.93; third in 100 free, 52.36), Liberty's Lauren Rosenburg (11th in 100 back, 59.81) and Central's Haley Agee (eighth in 50 free, 24.47).

On the boys side, Scioto's Kyle McNeilis won the state title in the 200 free (1:38.67) and was second in the 500 free (4:30.05) last year, but has graduated.

Olentangy's Ben Bailey (third in 200 individual medley, 1:55.46; fourth in 100 back, 52.27) and Jay Haney (seventh in 200 free, 1:44.12), Jerome's Mack Redinger (16th in 50 free, 21.98; 18th in 100 free, 48.43) and Jacob Shuster (sixth in 100 back, 52.75; 13th in 100 fly, 52.58) and Central's Drew Thompson (14th in 500 free, 4:48.31) were in the top 20 in the state honor roll last week.

South's divers will welcome the OCC meet since they have had few competitions this season. At the OCC-Cardinal meet last year, diving helped the South girls team finish second (249) to Jerome (309). Graduate Molly Wood was third (398.2), Abby Disabito was fourth (344.2) and Taylor McKinney was seventh (257.95).

Wood, who went on to place seventh (376.7) at state, is gone, but Disabito and McKinney are back, joined by Alyssa Jennings and Kaleigh Carpenter. Matt Stiltner is the top boys diver.

Jerome's Haddie Lamping (19th in diving, 231.55) and Liberty's Kellie Carmendy (18th in diving 231.76) will be among the state's top-ranked divers at the girls meet.

"It used to be that every swimming team had divers, but for some reason we're seeing fewer and fewer teams with divers," South coach Kevin Kissling said. "Our kids are really looking forward to a championship. It's going to a really competitive meet."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Central, North and South boys and girls swimming and diving teams:

CENTRAL

Friday-Saturday -- At OCC-Cardinal meet. Diving is Friday at Dublin Rec Center and swimming is Saturday at Ohio Wesleyan. Last year the boys team was fifth (148) behind champion Thomas Worthington (285) and the girls team was second (284) behind Thomas (314) in the OCC-Central.

NORTH

Last Friday -- Boys: Defeated Central Crossing 112-67; Girls: Def. Central Crossing 143-36

Last Saturday -- Boys: Lost to Olentangy Liberty 103-67; Girls: Lost to Liberty 118.5-51.5

Friday-Saturday -- At OCC-Cardinal meet. Last year the boys team was fifth (130) behind champion Upper Arlington (484) and the girls team was second (248) behind UA (535) in the OCC-Buckeye.

SOUTH

Last Friday -- Boys: Lost to Olentangy 106-57; Girls: Def. Olentangy 94-76

Last Saturday -- Boys: Def. Marysville 100-72; Girls: Lost to Marysville 92-78

Last Wednesday -- Competed against Thomas

Friday-Saturday -- At OCC-Cardinal meet. Last year the boys team was third (204) behind champion Worthington Kilbourne (299) and the girls team was second (249) behind Dublin Jerome (309) in the OCC-Cardinal.