Because of the success St. Charles has had at the state level in recent seasons, the Watterson High School boys swimming and diving team uses how it does against the Cardinals as a barometer for where it stands.
With that in mind, the Eagles are feeling good, particularly about their sprinting corps, with the postseason approaching.
Their 200-yard freestyle relay of seniors Thomas Clark, David Coss and Perry Finnegan and sophomore Michael Vondran swam 1 minute, 27.74 seconds to edge the Cardinals (1:28.77) for the title in the CCL meet Jan. 27 at St. Charles.
The Cardinals finished third as a team in the Division I state meet each of the past two seasons.
"We're doing well," Clark said. "I've never beaten St. Charles in a relay, so we finally got them today. That's a good sign."
Watterson scored 225 points in the league meet to finish runner-up to St. Charles (464) and ahead of DeSales (179), Hartley (161) and Ready (14).
The girls team also was league runner-up, scoring 325 points to finish behind Columbus School for Girls (386) and ahead of Hartley (266), DeSales (111) and Ready (30).
"We squeezed more out of everybody than we thought," coach Megan Downing Teeters said. "The boys did better than we anticipated. They're starting to slowly get there. This brought their confidence up a little. I was very happy with it."
The boys team, which will compete in the Division II postseason that begins Feb. 10 with a sectional at Upper Arlington, also got league titles from Clark in the 200 free (1:45.41) and 100 breaststroke (1:01.42) and from Finnegan in the 50 free (22.13).
Placing second were Coss in the 200 individual medley (2:09.39), Finnegan in the 100 free (48.55) and the 400 free relay of Clark, Coss, Finnegan and Vondran (3:20.16), and finishing third were Coss in the 100 butterfly (59.22) and Vondran in both the 50 free (22.67) and 100 free (51.7).
Because there are only eight boys in the program, the Eagles will have to decide before the postseason begins which relay they'll compete in along with 200 free relay.
"Michael, Perry, David and Thomas are all doing well," Downing Teeters said.
The girls will compete in Division I in the postseason, starting with a sectional Feb. 10 at UA.
Capturing two individual CCL titles apiece for the Eagles were junior Elizabeth Intihar in the 200 free (1:58.7) and 500 free (5:05.81) and sophomore Mia Brown in the 50 free (24.26) and 100 free (53.97).
Senior Cecilia Moore won the 100 backstroke (59.35) and was runner-up in the 200 IM (2:16.87) and senior Julia St. John won the 100 breast (1:07.86) and was runner-up in the 100 free (54.33).
Also winning league championships were Brown, Intihar, Moore and St. John in both the 200 free relay (1:39.77) and 400 free relay (3:40.64).
"I'm really pleased with how it went," said St. John, who swam a personal-best time in the 100 breast. "As a group, we ended well, especially our relays. We're really looking forward to (the postseason) and see how well we can do there. We have to keep training but definitely get ready to taper, focusing on all the little things, fine-tuning everything, and we should be good to go."
Placing third in the CCL meet were junior Alyssa O'Sullivan in the 200 IM (2:20.68) and the 200 medley relay of senior Amanda Springer, juniors Emily Latshaw and O'Sullivan and freshman Elena Latshaw (2:02.87).
"Everyone's exactly where I hoped they'd be," Downing Teeters said. "Mia, Julia, Cecilia and Elizabeth are in really good positions to do very good things at the district and state meets."
Girls basketball team in thick of CCL race
Entering their matchup Thursday, Feb. 1, the girls basketball team and host Hartley are tied for first in the CCL at 4-1.
Watterson beat the visiting Hawks 44-38 on Jan. 11 as sophomore guard Paige Woodford had 13 points and senior guard Lainey Billing scored 10 to help the Eagles overcome a 19-point performance by Hawks senior guard Kennedy Taylor, a Miami University signee.
In their past two league contests, the Eagles beat host Ready 48-32 on Jan. 20 but lost at DeSales 35-32 on Jan. 25.
Watterson, which beat Mount Vernon 53-34 on Jan. 27 to improve to 12-6 overall, closes league action Feb. 8 at home against Ready.
"All (the league games are) big," coach Tom Woodford said. "We respect (DeSales) and their coaches. We were still hanging around even though we were shooting poorly. Defense kept us in it, but we still have to be able to score, and that's been our issue.
"You're going to have games like that. We haven't learned how to (survive) those yet. We did (the first time) against Hartley. ... When we give ourselves good looks, we can't miss them."
Among the bright spots of late has been the play of Paige Woodford, who has averaged 14.6 points over the past seven games, including scoring 23 in a 53-33 victory over DeSales on Jan. 4.
She made five 3-pointers and totaled 19 points against Mount Vernon.
Boys basketball team sweeps Stallions
With a 53-42 victory over visiting DeSales on Jan. 26, the boys basketball team earned a season sweep of the Stallions.
Junior guard Zach Sawyer had 16 points and sophomore guard Chris Crane scored 12 to lead Watterson, which was 6-8 overall before playing Grove City on Jan. 30 and is 3-2 in the CCL.
"We had a good game plan going into the game (against DeSales) and were ready for this moment," Sawyer said. "We wanted to get the sweep of DeSales and we accomplished it."
The Eagles return to league action Friday, Feb. 2, at St. Charles.
In a 57-55 double-overtime win over St. Charles on Dec. 22, Sawyer had 16 points, junior guard Stephen Garrett scored 11 and Crane and junior forward Jimmy Patton both scored 10.
Ready leads the CCL at 5-0 and Hartley is 4-2 in league action.
Below are the coming schedules for the Watterson boys basketball, girls basketball, hockey and swimming & diving teams:
*Feb. 2 -- At St. Charles. The Eagles beat the Cardinals 57-55 (2OT) on Dec. 22.
Feb. 6 -- At Worthington Christian
*Feb. 1 -- At Hartley. The Eagles beat the Hawks 44-38 on Jan. 11.
Feb. 3 -- Home vs. Gahanna
*Feb. 2 -- New Albany at Chiller Dublin
*Feb. 3 -- Olentangy Liberty at Chiller Dublin
*Feb. 4 -- Springboro at Chiller Dublin
SWIMMING & DIVING
Feb. 2 -- At Thomas Worthington