Spencer Keane and Madison Newsom will represent the Groveport Madison High School boys and girls swimming and diving teams in the Division I district meet Saturday, Feb. 17, at Ohio University.
In a sectional meet Feb. 10 at Upper Arlington, Keane finished third in the 100-yard breaststroke in 59.79 seconds and eighth in the 50 freestyle in 22.88. The junior is seeded fifth in the 100 breast and 31st in the 50 free at district.
"Spencer swam great and that's what we expected him to do," coach Ilana Webber said. "He's a versatile swimmer and a great leader and role model for the team. He does a great job guiding the younger guys and helping them out in any way he can."
Newsom is seeded 23rd at district in the 500 free after placing eighth (5:39.8) at sectional. The sophomore also finished ninth in the 200 free (2:04.97), falling just shy of the final district berth secured by Dresden Tri-Valley's Claudia Frueh (2:04.28).
"I'm so proud of her and this is going to be a good experience for her," Webber said. "This is something for her to build on the next two years."
Last season was Groveport's first as a team since the 1990s, according to Webber.
A year ago at district, Keane finished 15th in the 100 breast (1:02.61) and 30th in the 50 free (23.54).
"Spencer is returning to district in both of his events and Madison is the first female district representative we have had here since the 1990s, I'm pretty sure," Webber said. "It's pretty exciting for our young program. Plus, it's more than just those two advancing. We had time drops all over the board on both sides and too many personal records for me to add up right now.
"It was a great day for our program and we're hoping the success we had will help us retain our numbers and build onto it. We want to grow the program."
At district, the top two finishers in each swimming event qualify for the state meet Feb. 23 and 24 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. In addition, 16 at-large berths will be awarded in each swimming event based on times statewide.
"I know that Spencer definitely wants to qualify for state in the breast, and that would be a monumental achievement for him and for the program," Webber said. "I think he can do it if he goes out and swims his best."
Also at sectional for the boys team, the 200 medley relay of Justin Malinowski, Carl Giddens, Miles Mason and Jayden Henderson placed 12th (2:29.68), the 200 free relay of Mason, Jordan Murphy, Giddens and Keane finished 13th (1:50.31) and Murphy was 27th in the 200 free (2:27.44).
Newsom also was on the 13th-place 400 free relay (4:43.89) with Sarah Wagner, Katelyn Kirk and Jazlyn Winski. The 200 medley relay of Allie Chandler, Hannah Campbell, Alexa Carnuche and Aleah Brown was 16th (2:50.11) and Winski finished 23rd in the 100 breast (1:22.64).
The winner of each sectional swimming event automatically advanced to district. In addition, 27 at-large district berths were awarded in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites.
Wrestlers looking to share OCC title
The wresting team will be looking to repeat as OCC- Capital Division champion when it plays host to Newark in its league finale Thursday, Feb. 15.
The Cruisers are 3-1 in the OCC-Capital and would share the league title with Newark with a win over the Wildcats, who are 4-0.
Last season, Groveport won its first league championship in 25 years, finishing 5-0 in the OCC-Capital.
"We're right where we wanted to be, despite a slow start with our loss to Canal Winchester (37-32 on Jan. 11)," coach Brian Brison said. "At that point of the schedule, we weren't wrestling aggressively and we were wrestling not to lose rather than to win. But the turning point came when we beat Big Walnut (38-28 on Jan. 25). Then we beat a good New Albany team (32-28 on Feb. 8) when Tyler Hancock-Anderson beat one of their (2017) district qualifiers (David Rodriguez) at heavyweight to give us the win."
Jake Nelson (160 pounds) is 30-2 on the season, Clayton Saunders (120) is 21-6 and Muhamad Conteh (113) is 19-12. Also with winning records are Andrew Bachman (15-6 at 170), Skyler Mouser (11-4 at 195), Hancock-Anderson (11-7) and A.J. Joyce (13-10 at 220).
"We had a lot of guys step up against New Albany, and I really like our team aspect right now," Brison said. "We've got a lot of guys contributing. We're excited to see what happens against Newark, but we've got to be prepared to come out and wrestle smart and aggressive for six minutes. Our confidence is much better, but we have to remain focused."
Girls basketball team preps for Shamrocks
The girls basketball team finished the regular season 4-18 overall and 2-8 in the OCC-Capital after losing to visiting Newark 71-17 on Feb. 8.
Now the Cruisers face a daunting task in the Division I district tournament. Seeded 46th of 50 teams, they will play at second-seeded Dublin Coffman in the first round Saturday, Feb. 17. The winner will play host to 47th-seeded Centennial in the second round Feb. 23.
The Shamrocks are 21-1, with their lone loss coming against Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame, 59-53 on Dec. 9.
Lanie White had nine points against Newark and Melia Walder scored 12 in a 63-25 loss at Lancaster on Feb. 6.
Boys basketball team closing regular season
The boys basketball team gave league-champion Newark all it could handle before falling to the host Wildcats 57-51 on Feb. 9.
The Cruisers, who defeated visiting Lancaster 49-45 on Feb. 6 and are 7-14 overall and 3-6 in the OCC-Capital, will close the regular season Friday, Feb. 16, at home against Big Walnut. They will be seeking to avenge a 62-51 loss to the Golden Eagles on Jan. 16.
Groveport then will turn its attention to the 48-team Division I district tournament, where it is seeded 35th and will play at fourth-seeded Westerville North in the first Feb. 24.
Teron Pittman had 21 points against Newark and 18 against Lancaster. Tyreese Cherry scored 15 against Newark and 11 against Lancaster.
Below are the coming schedules for the Groveport Madison boys basketball and wrestling teams:
*Feb. 16 – Home vs. Big Walnut. The Cruisers lost to the Golden Eagles 62-51 on Jan. 16.
*Feb. 15 – Home vs. Newark
Feb. 17 – Nye Cardinal Classic at St. Charles