Although the Grove City High School boys and girls swimming teams don't judge the season based on results at the league meet, coach Julie Willis admitted she was relieved to see where her team was placed when the OCC realigned.

Although the Grove City High School boys and girls swimming teams don't judge the season based on results at the league meet, coach Julie Willis admitted she was relieved to see where her team was placed when the OCC realigned.

After competing in the OCC-Buckeye Division against perennial power Upper Arlington, along with other typically strong teams like Dublin Coffman and Hilliard Davidson for the past two seasons, the Greyhounds now are in a position to move into the upper echelon of the league. At Saturday's OCC-Ohio meet at Lancaster, Grove City will compete against Gahanna, Lancaster, Pickerington North, Pickerington Central, Newark, Reynoldsburg and Groveport.

"At least we're not in the division with the powerhouses anymore," Willis said. "We're very excited about that, I must say."

Willis knows the current league has some solid teams, particularly Gahanna and Lancaster, but it's unlikely that one team will be able to dominate the meet the way UA did the past two seasons. Last year, UA scored more than twice as many points as the second-place team on both the boys and girls sides. In that meet, Grove City took fourth on the boys side with 135 points as UA won (484). The Greyhounds were fourth on the girls side as well, finishing with 91 points as UA scored 535.

Willis said she'd like to see her team finish in the top four on both sides, and she said she believes that a top-three finish on the boys side might be within reach. Gahanna and Lancaster are the favorites on both sides, and Pickerington North also could be a contender. On Dec. 17, however, the Grove City boys nearly beat North in a dual, losing 85-76.

The boys team could have a shot at a couple of individual titles as well. Gus Bailey, who won the league title in the 100-yard backstroke last season, should have a good shot to repeat in that event and possibly win the 50 freestyle as well. Bailey swam the 100 back in 56.07 seconds at the Ned Reeb Invitational on Dec. 13, more than a half-second faster than his winning time at the league meet last season (56.75).

The girls team has made some strides in the last couple of weeks and finally appears to have its top relay set. Although Willis is unsure which two relays they will swim, Kaitlyn Camp, Lexi Weaver, Shana Lehr and Christina Testa are expected to compete together in two events as the team's A relay.

At the league meet, Camp should be among the favorites in the 100 breaststroke and either the 50 free or 100 free, depending on which she swims. Willis also expects Weaver could do well in the 100 butterfly.

•For Central Crossing, the league meet is not an event in which the Comets have had much success in the past, but coach Robert Boggs said it still is one of the most important meets of the year.

"In a way, it's more significant than sectional," Boggs said. "That's our division, and we want to do well in our division. We don't want to finish last. We want to beat a couple of the other teams in our division."

The Comets should have a legitimate shot to move up several spots from the bottom of the league standings. The Comets will compete Saturday at Thomas Worthington in the OCC-Central meet against UA, Coffman, Hilliard Darby, Davidson, Worthington Kilbourne and Thomas. Westland also is in the league, but does not have a team.

Last year, the Central Crossing boys scored 68 points to finish last of six teams at the OCC-Central meet as Thomas won (285). The girls also were sixth, scoring 54 points as Thomas won with 314.

Part of the reason Boggs believes the Comets can elevate in the standings is that he has seen positive results from both teams during the regular season. The boys are 19-3 in duals and the girls are 14-9, and in the past two weeks, the boys have beaten Coffman (80-75 on Jan. 16) and Reynoldsburg (89-79 on Jan. 21).

Boggs said he believes the boys top individual events on Saturday should be Nick Martin in the 200 individual medley and Paul Hollon in the 200 free. The 200 free relay and 200 medley relay should be able to contend, too.

On the girls side, the top events likely will be Caroline Kruczynski in the 100 back and Lena Beckwith in the 100 free, along with the 200 medley relay and the 200 free relay.

If the Comets can move into the middle of the pack in the league, Boggs said he believes it could be a springboard for the future of the program.

"It would give us a huge boost of confidence for the kids and show that their hard work has paid off," Boggs said. "We've been shooting for the OCC meet all year long. That's been our emphasis. We think that would be a huge confidence builder for them and also help in our recruitment for next year."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Central Crossing and Grove City boys and girls swimming teams:


Jan. 16 -- Boys: Lost to Westerville Central 89-68, defeated Dublin Coffman 80-75; Girls: Lost to Central 125-44, lost to Coffman 87-71

Jan. 21 -- Boys: Lost to Grove City 116-89, def. Reynoldsburg 89-79; Girls: Lost to Grove City 115-87, lost to Reynoldsburg 97-87

Last Saturday -- Boys: Def. Westerville North 162-71, def. Newark 151-57; Girls: Def. Watkins Memorial 140-123, def. Newark 147-106

Saturday -- At OCC-Central meet at Thomas Worthington


Jan. 21 -- Boys: Def. Central Crossing 116-89, def. Reynoldsburg 116-79; Girls: Def. Central Crossing 115-87, def. Reynoldsburg 115-97

Last Saturday -- Boys: Def. Wellington 89.5-61.5; Girls: Def. Wellington 150-126, def. Village Academy 150-6

Last Wednesday -- Competed against Pickerington Central

Saturday -- At OCC-Ohio meet at LancasterYMCA