Junior Maren Reeder of the Thomas Worthington High School girls swimming and diving team was disappointed that she couldn't compete in the 200-yard medley relay during the OCC-Central Division meet Jan. 28 at home.

Junior Maren Reeder of the Thomas Worthington High School girls swimming and diving team was disappointed that she couldn't compete in the 200-yard medley relay during the OCC-Central Division meet Jan. 28 at home.

Junior Julia Valentine swam the relay's breaststroke leg in place of Reeder, who is limited to freestyle events as she recovers from tendinitis in her right ankle. Freshman Kaylee Witkiewicz, Valentine, freshman Abby Wiet and senior Katie Allison placed second in the relay in 1 minute, 51.21 seconds, behind Upper Arlington (1:50.83).

After winning the 100 breast title in last year's OCC-Central meet, Reeder went on to place 11th in the Division I state meet in 1:06.31.

"I've always done the breaststroke. It just feels natural for me, but I know I'll get back there," said Reeder, who placed fifth in the 200 free (2:01.35) and fifth in the 500 free (5:35.53) in the league meet. "The OCC meet is the first of the championship meets. It's kind of like a starting point. You go fast (in the league meet), but you know you'll go even faster (later in the postseason)."

The Cardinals and Worthington Kilbourne next compete Feb. 11 in a Division I sectional meet at Thomas, where the winner of each event qualifies for the district meet Feb. 18 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.

In the league meet, Thomas' girls team placed second (245) behind champion UA (467) and ahead of Dublin Coffman (201), Hilliard Davidson (150), Kilbourne (96), Hilliard Darby (79) and Central Crossing (52). In the boys meet, the Cardinals were second (209) and the Wolves third (192) behind champion UA and ahead of Coffman (169), Darby (127) and Central Crossing (65).

Davidson's boys team failed to score. OCC-Central member Westland does not have a swimming program.

Witkiewicz had a strong meet for the Cardinals girls, winning the 50 free (25.21) and 100 back (58.98).

Junior Abby Jank was third in the 100 free (56.59), while Valentine was second in the 100 breast (1:10.14) and third in the 100 butterfly (1:02.6).

Jank, Valentine, Reeder and Allison were second in the 200 free relay (1:42.82), and sophomore Cassandra Laios, Jank, Reeder and Witkiewicz were second in the 400 free relay (3:44.18).

The Thomas boys team had a strong showing in the 100 breast, in which junior Trenton Harper was first (1:00.54) and sophomore Matt Reed was fourth (1:05.52).

Junior Michael Frankland was second in diving (321.9 points) and Harper was second in the 200 individual medley (2:01.89). Harper, Reed, junior Mason Zurovchak and sophomore Michael Wolf were second in the 200 medley relay (1:43.91). Senior George Doyle, Reed, Harper and senior Adam Wolf were third in the 200 free relay (1:34.98).

Senior Hunter Atha captured the only first-place finish for the Kilbourne boys team, winning the diving competition with 480.3 points while his brother, Tanner, a sophomore, was third (321.5).

Senior Keeler Callahan placed second in the 100 free (48.24) and 200 free (1:45.23) and joined junior Mitchell Guist, freshman Justin Jiang and freshman Grayton Giesman in a second-place finish in the 200 free relay (1:33.42).

For the Kilbourne girls, senior Lindsay Hoskins was second (309.85) and junior Katherine Watkins was third (305.05) in diving, and freshman Jackie Wachtel was third in the 100 breast (1:11.29).

The OCC-Central meet typically provides a strong tune-up for the postseason.

Last year, the Thomas girls won sectional with 194 points, although the Wolves didn't score. The Cardinals boys team was second (195) and Kilbourne seventh (96) behind champion New Albany (238).

Last year in the boys district meet, UA (first, 432.5), Thomas (fourth, 161), Coffman (fifth, 140) and Kilbourne (ninth, 97) placed in the top 10, while the UA (first, 505), Thomas (third, 201) and Coffman (fifth, 165) girls were in the top five at district.

"The OCC was a good test set to see where we're at with things," said Jim Callahan, who coaches both the Cardinals and Wolves.

"It's great opportunity to compete against some great swimmers. You hope your team rises to the level of your competition (in the sectional and district meets)."