Coach Robert Boggs will be looking to make up for lost time in his 11th season leading the Central Crossing High School boys and girls swimming and diving teams.
Preseason workouts were limited because the Comets' home pool at the Urbancrest YMCA was closed for two weeks for repairs. The team did some training out of the water and looked around for pool time.
"We were lucky to get some time at the Grove City YMCA, but we were only in the pool about half of the time we usually are early in the season," Boggs said. "Now we're getting as much swimming in as we can."
The Comets are down from 23 competitors to 18, with 11 girls and seven boys, but Boggs said they're a close-knit group dedicated to making each other better.
"They are like a small family," Boggs said. "They have the will and the dedication to be winners and they have put in the time to do that."
The top returnee for the boys team is junior Zach Francek, who competed in the Division I district meet last season on both the 23rd-place 400-yard freestyle relay (3 minutes, 41.88 seconds) and the 25th-place 200 medley relay (1:52.17). He was joined on both by 2017 graduates Anthony Robinson, Taner Smith and Evan Storts.
Seniors Jon Airado and Jason Pauquette, sophomore Derek Seigneur and freshmen Jacob Archer, Will Atkins and Logan Watson round out the boys team.
"This year we have a lot of new freshmen coming in and we lost 10 seniors last year, so it's a very new, very young team, but they are adjusting well," Francek said. "They are putting in the hard work at practice and showing good effort."
Senior Lauren Lynn and sophomore Madison Studt both competed on relays at district last year for the girls team. They were on the 200 free relay (26th, 1:53.39) and the 200 medley relay (26th, 2:10.39) with 2017 graduates Katie Brewer and Margaret Hover.
Lynn, Brewer, Hover and 2017 graduate Briana Hager were on the 400 free relay (29th, 4:18.16).
Seniors Grace Bernard, Sara Pfeifer, Chloe Webb and Stephanie Wilhelm, juniors Jenna Pariseau and Lucy Storts, sophomore Emma Thompson and freshmen Haley Kumfer and Sarah Rush also are on the roster.
"We're going to have to figure out our best relays that we can put together and still work in the new swimmers," Boggs said. "They have really progressed quickly.
"Our numbers are down, but we still have some good swimmers. Hopefully, we can get some intra-squad meets in to push them. They seem driven in what they are doing."
In the opener Dec. 5, the girls defeated Portsmouth 79-71, Teays Valley 82-64 and Westland 83-41. Thompson won the 200 free (2:15.45) and 500 free (6:05.07), and Studt won the 100 butterfly (1:08.73).
Thompson and Studt joined Kumfer and Lynn on the first-place 200 medley relay (2:14.7). Lynn, Wilhelm, Studt and Thompson were on the winning 400 free relay (4:38.62), and Webb, Bernard, Wilhelm and Kumfer were on the first-place 200 free relay (2:15.58).
The boys team lost to Teays Valley 90-48 and Portsmouth 75-61. Francek won the 100 fly in 59.68.
"They picked up quickly in the first meet from where they were last season," Boggs said. "Everyone had (personal records) and it's nice to have their starting point at where they finished last year. We expect them to continue to drop times."
Perimeter game leading girls basketball team
Two guards have been sparking the girls basketball team, which was 4-3 overall after defeating Franklin Heights 60-13 on Dec. 11.
Sophomore Haley Cox and junior Sam Poor scored 170 of the Comets' 282 points through six games. They also combined for 39 3-pointers.
Entering the week, Cox was averaging 19.8 points with 24 3s and Poor was averaging 11.7 points with 15 3s. Junior guard Kennedy Edwards was next at 4.5 points per game.
The Comets fell to 1-2 in the OCC-Central Division with a 69-34 loss to Upper Arlington on Dec. 8, but Cox had 27 points with seven 3s.
Central Crossing defeated Westland 74-62 on Dec. 5 in league play. Cox had 21 points, Poor scored 20 and Edwards added 12.
Boys team drops first game to league champs
The boys basketball team won its first two games before losing its OCC-Central opener to defending league champion UA 58-47 on Dec. 8.
Senior guard Mike Woods scored 24 points with five 3-pointers, and senior point guard Keason Lowe had 12 points with three 3s.
The Comets were 2-1 overall before playing Ready on Dec. 12.
Through three games, Woods was averaging 18 points and Lowe was averaging 9.3 points.
SWIMMING & DIVING
Dec. 5 -- Portsmouth, Teays Valley and Westland at Urbancrest YMCA
Dec. 8 -- Dublin Scioto at Dublin Recreation Center
Dec. 19 -- Grove City and Westland at Grove City YMCA
Dec. 21 -- Athens, Loudonville, Mount Vernon and Watkins Memorial at Kenyon College
Dec. 29 -- Southwest Sprints at Urbancrest YMCA
Jan. 5 -- DeSales and Westerville Central at Westerville Community Center
Jan. 8 -- Grove City and Whetstone at Columbus Aquatics Center
Jan. 13 -- Teays Valley Invitational at Pickaway County YMCA
Jan. 20 -- Groveport and Hamilton Township at Urbancrest YMCA
Jan. 22 -- Whetstone at Columbus Aquatics Center
Jan. 27 -- OCC-Central meet at Upper Arlington
Feb. 3 -- Upper Arlington Invitational
Below are the coming schedules for the Central Crossing boys basketball, girls basketball, gymnastics and wrestling teams:
*Dec. 15 -- Home vs. Marysville
Dec. 19 -- At Canal Winchester
*Dec. 15 -- Home vs. Marysville
Dec. 19 -- Home vs. Canal Winchester
Dec. 20 -- At Westerville Central with DeSales, Franklin Heights, Grove City, Thornville Sheridan and Westland
Dec. 15-16 -- North Canton Hoover Holiday Invitational
Dec. 20 -- At Westland with Grove City