The foundation is being set for the Bexley High School swimming and diving program.

The foundation is being set for the Bexley High School swimming and diving program.

The Lions have 28 athletes but 11 are new to the program, so the experienced swimmers are helping third-year coach Sandy Sliwowski bring the newcomers along.

"We have a lot of incoming freshmen and a lot of new swimmers," junior Lily Rosenthal said. "I'm excited to see how they grow. It allows us to help build the team from the bottom up.

"We have high expectations and we're staying positive. We want to see how far we can go."

Bexley lost six swimmers to graduation, including Tyler Mansfield, who now competes at Ohio Wesleyan. Mansfield finished fourth in the girls 50-yard freestyle (program-record 24.11 seconds) in the Division II state meet last season.

"I like that we have a very young team and that they all are learning to work together," Sliwowski said. "We have been watching videos in order to become better swimmers. They are learning and bringing things up in practice from the videos. They are working to stay positive and they are pushing themselves to be better as individuals."

The boys team has seven new competitors and only two seniors in Wade Randle and Aaron Rothchild, who was a district qualifier last winter in the 100 breaststroke and 100 butterfly.

"Our team has a lot of young swimmers and I learned a lot when I was a sophomore from the older kids on the team," Rothchild said. "Wade and I really did a lot of recruiting because we wanted to have enough for at least a couple of relays."

Randle said it was a chance to pay back the sport in which he has competed since he was a child.

"We have a lot of learning going on with so many new swimmers," Randle said. "I have been swimming since I was in the first grade and I want to do what I can to help them improve."

Sophomore Benjy Davis (100 breast) also was a district qualifier, and junior David Tugend is the other boys returnee. Newcomers are junior Casey Spangler, sophomores John Niermeyer, John Ziegler and Jack Zwick and freshmen Miles Feinkopf, Zach Gillam and Sam Warner.

"In the past I had to focus on getting myself better, but now I have to get the others to buy into what we are doing and getting them to improve," Rothchild said.

Rosenthal was a district qualifier in the 100 breast and 200 individual medley last season. Other returning district qualifiers are junior Libby Brown (100 backstroke) and sophomores Ailbhe McCann (100 breast), Alexis Turner (100 back) and Annie Politi (100 breast, 200 IM).

Also returning are seniors Hannah Blumenfeld, Greer Davidson, Jennifer Host and Tali Spira, junior Madison Brown and sophomores Lili Harding, Margaux Harding and Frieda Liu.

Rounding out the roster are sophomore newcomers Hadley Brown and Jami Garfinkel and freshmen Zoe Blumenfield and Grayson Denby.

"Definitely, getting experience is a big thing for us," Slowowski said. "We need that experience and also need to get more confident in what we want to do. Some of the kids have never done this before, so they have to get out and do it in order to get better."

Wrestling program to hold inaugural duals

Second-year coach Chris Bragg had several ideas for ways to improve the wrestling program, and he can check another off the list.

The Lions will be the host team for the inaugural Bexley Duals on Saturday, Dec. 17. Also scheduled to compete are Centennial, Columbus West and Whetstone as well as the B teams from Marysville and Teays Valley.

"We haven't had an annual tournament here and it's something I wanted to create when I got here," Bragg said. "The only other tournament we have had here is the (MSL-Ohio Division) tournament and that rotates from school to school every year. This will give us a chance to get five matches in and hopefully do well."

The Lions defeated Canal Winchester 42-21 and Mount Gilead 48-27 on Dec. 8. Hunter Hilgeman (138 pounds), Grant Robinson (220) and Reece Wilson (170) all were double-winners.

Dressel, Frey leading girls basketball team

Amanda Frey and Emma Dressel led the girls basketball team through four games, with both averaging 6.2 points.

The Lions were 2-2 overall before playing Mifflin on Dec. 12 and are 1-1 in the MSL-Ohio.

Dressel scored 12 points and Frey added 10 as Bexley defeated Whitehall 31-24 in league play Dec. 6. Caroline Bunker added six points, and had averaged 5.0 points through four games.

The Lions lost an MSL-Ohio contest to West Jefferson 49-14 on Dec. 10.

Lusiak tops boys team through four games

Ashton Lusiak averaged 9.5 points through four games to lead the boys basketball team.

The Lions were 2-2 overall before opening MSL-Ohio play Dec. 13 against defending champion Whitehall.

Ryan Callahan was averaging 8.7 points and Tommy Bruning was averaging 7.5.

Callahan had 11 points and Simon Kroos and Lusiak both scored eight as the Lions defeated Horizon Science 68-30 on Dec. 9.

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Schedules

SWIMMING & DIVING

Dec. 3 -- Columbus Academy Relays

Dec. 9 -- DeSales and Hartley at Columbus School for Girls

Dec. 10 -- Wellington Jaguar Invitational at Columbus Aquatics Center

Dec. 30 -- Wellington Holiday Meet at Columbus Aquatics Center

Jan. 7 -- Mount Gilead Invitational at Marion YMCA

Jan. 14 -- Northridge Viking Classic at New Albany

Jan. 18 -- Worthington Kilbourne at Thomas Worthington

Jan. 20 -- Columbus Academy Invitational

Jan. 23 -- Northland Vikings Invitational at Columbus Aquatics Center

Jan. 28 -- MSL meet at Columbus Academy

Feb. 5 -- Westerville South at Westerville Community Center

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

BOYS BASKETBALL

*Dec. 17 -- At West Jefferson

Dec. 21 -- Home vs. St. Charles

GIRLS BASKETBALL

*Dec. 16 -- At Worthington Christian

*Dec. 20 -- Home vs. London

Dec. 22 -- At Buckeye Valley

WRESTLING

Dec. 17 -- Bexley Duals

*League contest