After failing to qualify anyone for the Division I state meet last season, the Grove City High School swimming program is looking to get back to Branin Natatorium in Canton.
The Greyhounds kick off the postseason by competing in a sectional meet Saturday, Feb. 10, at Upper Arlington. The winner of each event and 27 at-large qualifiers in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites advance to district Feb. 17 at Ohio University.
Kalvin Koethke, a 2016 graduate who is now competing for Ohio State, led a contingent of Greyhounds to state as a senior and won the second of his 50-yard freestyle titles in a state-record time of 19.97 seconds.
Junior Jacob Christensen hopes he can help lead Grove City to state Feb. 23 and 24. After deciding not to compete last season because of scheduling conflicts, he has been a key contributor this winter, excelling in the 500 free and 200 free.
"I'm pumped," said Christensen, who trained primarily with the Ohio State Swim Club during his sophomore year. "I'm ready for sectional and then district, which I should make it to, then hopefully state the weekend after. I have to be feeling good that day because that is definitely a big factor in swimming, and I have to nail those turns."
Christensen won the 500 free (4:59.07) and was second in the 200 free (1:52.29) in the OCC-Ohio Division meet Jan. 27 at Thomas Worthington.
With a personal-best effort of 4:53.07 in the 500 free, he hopes he can cap his season at state. He has remained with the Ohio State club, but is competing only in prep meets during the season.
"There are a lot more meets (in high school) and it's a lot more fun," said Christensen, who is seeking his first state berth.
Senior Nicholas Routh should be another key swimmer during the postseason, with his main event being the 100 butterfly. He finished third (58.77) in the event in the league meet.
"I'm just trying to build this team back up," Routh said. "Last year, we only made it to district. This year, I want more for this team."
Freshman Gregory Kingsbury has shown steady progress ahead of his first prep postseason. He was fourth in the 50 free (23.78) and 100 free (53.09) in the league meet.
"I'm one of the youngest out here, so I feel like I have nothing to lose," Kingsbury said. "I feel like I'm in a pretty good place and I'm hoping I can drop some more time in these last few meets."
Coach Amy Miller is looking forward to the postseason.
"Hopefully we have everybody tapered really well this year and we have really good swims," she said. "I'd like to have some of those (program) records out of there. We have a really good chance of all three of those boys (Christensen, Kingsbury and Routh) making it (to state)."
Key swimmers for the girls team include juniors Olivia Jordan and Lillian Trimble. Jordan was fourth in the 500 free (5:53.1) and Trimble was sixth in the 100 free (1:00.30) and 200 free (2:11.71) in the league meet.
Boys basketball team preps for postseason
On Sunday, Feb. 11, the boys basketball team will learn its draw for the Division I district tournament.
The postseason begins Feb. 24.
The Greyhounds were 10-9 overall before playing Westland on Feb. 6. They are 3-5 in the OCC-Ohio.
Grove City defeated Gahanna 63-60 on Feb. 2 as P.J. Jones scored 28 points and Nick Erwin added 21.
Jones and Erwin each scored 14 points in a 56-49 loss to Pickerington North on Feb. 3 in a makeup from Jan. 12.
Girls basketball team edges Panthers
The girls basketball team defeated Pickerington North 57-53 on Jan. 29 in a makeup from Jan. 12.
Molly Michalak scored 18 points and Erin Kilmurry added 14.
Yasmine Strausbaugh scored 11 points in an 86-27 loss to Gahanna on Feb. 1.
The Greyhounds were 6-14 overall before playing Westland on Feb. 6. They are 1-8 in the OCC-Ohio.
Grove City is seeded 35th of 50 teams for the Division I district tournament and will visit seventh-seeded UA on Feb. 17 for a first-round game.
Below are the coming schedules for the Grove City boys basketball, girls basketball, gymnastics, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Feb. 9 -- At Pickerington Central. The Greyhounds lost to the Tigers 70-54 on Jan. 5.
*Feb. 9 -- Home vs. Central. The Greyhounds lost to the Tigers 84-36 on Jan. 5.
Feb. 10 -- OCC-Central meet at Hilliard Davidson
SWIMMING & DIVING
Feb. 10 -- Division I sectional at Upper Arlington. The winner of each event and 27 at-large qualifiers in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites advance to district Feb. 17 at Ohio University.
*Feb. 8 -- At Reynoldsburg with Gahanna
Feb. 10 -- All-North Tournament at Dublin Jerome