Tyler Johnson of the Bexley High School boys swimming team knows what awaits, but he doesn't know when.

Tyler Johnson of the Bexley High School boys swimming team knows what awaits, but he doesn't know when.

Each winter break, coach Natalie Mossman has one day of training when the Lions will swim the 100-yard freestyle 100 times. But no one except Mossman knows when that day is going to be.

"It's always a surprise," Johnson, a senior, said. "It's by far the hardest thing you have to do all season. Everyone dreads it, but when you finish you feel like you accomplished something major."

"It's a rite of passage," Mossman said. "Once they get past that, they know they can get through anything."

Usually only 15 or 20 swimmers complete the entire workout, but Johnson said it is one of those occasions that pulls the teams -- boys and girls -- together. Those who finish early stick around to push the others.

"It's pretty daunting, but you'd be surprised how much you just zone out after the first hour or so," Johnson said. "At every turn, we all start counting down the laps and encouraging each other."

One of Johnson's goals is to set program records in the 500 free, 100 free, 50 free, 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke and compete in the state meet. He knows he has to put in the work.

"They're lofty goals, but if I don't dream of it, I have no chance of doing it," Johnson said.

"His (preseason goals) were very detailed," Mossman said. "This year he knows what he needs to do and has taken a lot more control of it. He realizes he has to go that extra mile to get the most out of swimming."

Bexley hasn't had a state qualifier since Alex Dolgov made it in two events in 2002. Johnson is shooting for his third trip to the district. The best he has finished in a district event is 14th, though last year he was seeded 11th in the 200 individual medley.

Four of last year's state qualifiers in the 100 backstroke from this district graduated. In addition, there now are two divisions for boys instead of just one.

"I remember as a sophomore I was pretty intimidated," Johnson said. "This year, I'm going in with an open mind and I'm going to give it my all.

"But more than breaking records or making it to state, I want to leave a legacy behind. I want to look back at my four years and see that the program is better shape than when I started."

•The girls basketball team will work extra on free-throw shooting during the break. During a 63-58 overtime loss to MSL-Ohio Division-rival Newark Catholic on Dec. 16, the Lions were 8-for-21 from the line and missed the front ends of five 1-and-1 situations.

"The girls are playing hard and improving in everything we do, but the name of the game is putting the ball in the basket," coach Rick Ferkel said. "Right now, we're shooting very poorly."

Ferkel said the Lions will be doing several drills in practice designed to simulate the pressure of a game.

"We have a lot of young girls on this team who are very inexperienced," he said. "There's a real confidence factor (shooting free throws). Right now every practice is crucial. No matter who are going to play, we're trying to get a little bit better every day."

Bexley will participate in the Gahanna Cage Classic, facing Brookhaven at 6 p.m. Monday and Independence or Gahanna on Tuesday. Last year Bexley placed third in the tournament, losing to Brookhaven 74-55 and beating Independence 56-45.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for Bexley boys basketball, girls basketball, boys and girls swimming and wrestling teams:


Last Friday -- Lost to Granville 64-60. Jon Thomas made four 3-pointers and scored 15 points, followed by Seth White and Julian Coleman with 14 points and Matt Asensio with 10.

*Monday -- At Licking Valley. The Panthers were 1-1 after defeating Whitehall 72-59 last Friday. The Lions won 59-47 and 54-46 last year.

Tuesday -- At Circleville. The Lions won 61-59 last year.

Of note: The Lions are 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the MSL-Ohio.


*Dec. 16 -- Lost to Newark Catholic 63-58 (OT). Ashley Dennis scored 27 points and Rebecca Carroll added 13.

*Last Saturday -- Defeated Lakewood 49-46. Dennis scored 21 points.

Monday -- At Gahanna Cage Classic vs. Brookhaven. The Bearcats were 2-1 after losing to Northland 47-45 on Dec. 16.

Tuesday -- At Gahanna Cage Classic vs. Independence or Gahanna

Of note: The Lions were 2-4 overall be-fore last Monday and are 2-3 in the MSL-Ohio.


Dec. 17 -- Boys: Lost to Kilbourne 86-77. Tim Beck won the 200 IM (2:20.29) and 100 fly (1:05.54) and Tyler Johnson won the 500 free (5:26.1) and 100 back (1:01.3); Girls: Def. Kilbourne 107-58. Winners were Allie Cardenas in the 200 free (2:20.45), Amanda Young in the 50 free (28.71), Ranen Jones in the 100 fly (1:08.18), Jena Bauer in the 100 free (59.59) and Kathleen Dorman in the 100 breast (1:16.5).

Last Friday -- Boys: Def. Reynoldsburg 92-58. Beck won the 200 free (2:04.12) and 100 free (54.73) and Johnson won the 50 free (24.2) and 100 fly (1:01.3); Girls: Def. Reynoldsburg 108-61. Jones won the 50 free (27.37) and 100 free (59.53).

Saturday -- At Grandview Invitational

Monday -- At Watterson Holiday Relays

Jan. 2 -- Home vs. DeSales


Dec. 17 -- Lost to Centennial 39-34; def. Harvest Prep 36-27. Hector Santiago (125), Chris Crane (130), Russ Tingler (171), Herb Porter (215) and Danny Webb (heavyweight) won against Centennial and Dan Doersman (112), Kris Baker (119), Santiago (125), Crane (130), Tommy Bollen (145), Derek Cain (152) and Porter (215) won against Harvest Prep.

Friday -- At Ready Winter Classic

*MSL-Ohio game