The Watterson High School boys and girls swimming teams had multiple state qualifiers the past two seasons, and the current group of seniors were a big part of those performances.
"Unfortunately, a very large chunk of our team is a group of very talented seniors," fifth-year coach Megan Downing Teeters said. "I'm excited to see how they all close out their high school swimming careers, but I'm sad that this is my last year coaching this superb group of kids."
The boys team is led by seniors Thomas Clark, David Coss and Perry Finnegan and sophomore Michael Vondran, who combined to finish eighth in the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1 minute, 28.25 seconds last season in the Division II state meet.
Also at state last season, Clark placed sixth in the 100 butterfly (51.65) and 10th in the 200 individual medley (1:57.26) and Finnegan finished 12th in both the 50 free (21.68) and 100 free (47.9) as Watterson finished 11th (52 points) behind champion Gates Mills Hawken (230) as 59 teams scored.
Coss added a 23rd-place finish in the 50 free (22.28) and the 400 free relay of Clark, Coss, Finnegan and Vondran was 17th (3:20.01).
Junior Sam Oliver is another key contributor on relays.
Senior Matt Heutel and freshmen Luke Franckhauser and Jack Macbeth are others looking to contribute.
Watterson tied Reynoldsburg for fourth (162) in the 10-team St. Charles Showdown on Dec. 2 behind champion Toledo St. Francis (575) as Finnegan won the 50 free (22.67).
"We have a full boys swim team this year with eight members," Downing Teeters said. "We've always struggled with numbers on the boys side, so it will be great this year to be able to field multiple relays at times."
Seniors Cecilia Moore and Julia St. John, junior Elizabeth Intihar and sophomore Mia Brown lead the girls team. They combined to finish 19th in the 400 free relay (3:37.85) in last year's Division I state meet.
Also at state last season, Brown finished 10th in the 50 free (24.03) and 20th in the 100 fly (57.85) and Intihar was 19th in the 500 free (5:07.34).
There are 40 athletes on the girls team.
Seniors Kelsi Connors, Catherine Segreto and Amanda Springer, juniors Maura Hickey, Emily Latshaw, Laura Loughlin and Alyssa O'Sullivan and freshmen Anne Marie Arnold, Elena Latshaw and Isabella Roscoe also should be key contributors.
On Dec. 2 in the nine-team St. Charles Showdown, Watterson placed fourth (327) behind champion Toledo St. Ursula (514) as St. John won the 100 free (56.1) and Brown won the 100 IM (1:01.31).
The girls team lost eight athletes from a year ago to graduation, but none competed past the sectional last season.
"My hopes for the girls team this year are to qualify at least two relays to the state meet as well as qualify an additional four girls to the district meet," Downing Teeters said.
Bowlers plan to take steps forward
The boys and girls bowling teams are expecting to take big steps forward this season.
A year ago, the girls team had five key seniors and followed a 16th-place finish (2,913 pins) in the 38-team Division I sectional by finishing 17th (2,897) in the 20-team district tournament as the top four advanced to state.
The boys team finished 32nd (3,133) in the 42-team Division I sectional last season.
"The (boys) team is pretty good," senior Jesse Pulsinelli said. "We need to work on getting all of our spares, but we're definitely coming along."
Pulsinelli and senior Danny Callaghan are the top returnees for the boys team, which opened with a 1,728-1,627 win over Grandview on Nov. 30 at Sawmill Lanes and beat Ready 1,767-1,533 on Dec. 5 at Game of Western Columbus.
Pulsinelli flashed his potential with a 274 during his first game against Grandview and averaged 212 for the match to earn medalist honors. He also was medalist with a 192 average against Ready.
Last season, the boys went 4-4 in the CCL to finish behind Ready (8-0) and St. Charles (5-3) and ahead of DeSales (2-6) and Hartley (1-7).
Also on the boys team are juniors Liam Lenzotti and Seth Peyton and freshmen Jacob Garland and Conor Smith.
The Eagles lost their lone district qualifier last season in 2017 graduate Ben Maag, who placed 102nd (457 three-game series) at district.
"For the boys team, Jesse should make it to state," 18th-year coach Jerry Wagner said. "Danny Callaghan will get better. Seth is brand new, and if we get him going, we'll get (to district)."
The girls team is led by juniors Mary Pulsinelli and Anna Rose, who were key competitors last season as the girls won the CCL at 6-0, finishing ahead of Hartley (3-3), Ready (2-4) and DeSales (1-5).
Watterson opened with a 1,395-1,376 loss to Grandview on Nov. 30 but beat Ready 1,623-1,528 on Dec. 5.
Rose averaged 153.5 against Grandview and 161 against Ready to lead the Eagles in both matches.
Junior Ella Riedinger and freshmen Christina Fisher, Isabelle Payton, Rachel Reuter, Christina Rose and Madison Shaw also are competing.
The Eagles' top bowlers last season were 2017 graduates Caroline Gulla and Jess Lorenz, who finished 56th (469) and 74th (433), respectively, at district.
"The season's going great," Anna Rose said. "We made a marked improvement (in our second match) and I'm happy with my own performance, too."
Nov. 30 -- Grandview at Sawmill Lanes
*Dec. 5 -- Ready at Game of Western Columbus
*Dec. 11 -- Hartley at Holiday Lanes
*Dec. 12 -- Walnut Ridge at Sawmill Lanes
*Dec. 18 -- Linden-McKinley at HP Lanes
*Dec. 21 -- Eastmoor Academy at Eastland Lanes
*Jan. 8 -- St. Charles at HP Lanes
*Jan. 11 -- Independence at Sawmill Lanes
*Jan. 16 -- Mifflin at Sawmill Lanes
*Jan. 18 -- DeSales at Capri Lanes
*Jan. 22 -- Africentric at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
*Jan. 25 -- Whitehall at Sawmill Lanes
*Jan. 30 -- Columbus East at Eastland Lanes
*Feb. 8 -- Ready at Sawmill Lanes
SWIMMING & DIVING
Dec. 2 -- St. Charles Showdown
Dec. 8 -- Hilliard Davidson and Westerville Central at Westerville Recreation Center
Dec. 9 -- DeSales and Hartley at Mount Carmel Fitness and Training
Dec. 15 -- Dublin Coffman and Westerville North at Dublin Recreation Center
Dec. 16 -- Ned Reeb Memorial Invitational at Ohio State
Dec. 22 -- Canal Winchester at Mount Carmel Fitness and Training
Jan. 6 -- Delaware Invitational at Ohio Wesleyan
Jan. 12 -- Dublin Scioto at Dublin Recreation Center
Jan. 13 -- Northeast Classic at Branin Natatorium in Canton
Jan. 19 -- at Upper Arlington with St. Charles
Jan. 26 -- at St. Charles
Jan. 27 -- CCL meet at St. Charles (swimming) and Columbus School for Girls (diving)
Feb. 2 -- at Thomas Worthington
Below are the coming schedules for the Watterson boys basketball, girls basketball and hockey teams:
*Dec. 15 -- At DeSales
Dec. 16 -- Home vs. Hilliard Bradley
Dec. 15 -- Oxford Talawanda in Rough Rider Tournament at Kent Arena
Dec. 16 -- Hudson and Kent Roosevelt in Rough Rider Tournament
Dec. 17 -- TBD in Rough Rider Tournament