Second-year Hilliard Davidson High School swimming and diving coach Lynn Bowers is passionate about her sport, and she has a good feeling about this season.
"I love this, this is my passion," Bowers said. "I like where we're at. We're on the verge of doing some really good things."
The boys team opened the season Nov. 27 by finishing first (573 points) in a four-team meet at the Columbus Aquatics Center, ahead of Centennial (566), Grove City (517) and Whetstone (332).
Senior Tyler Endecott won the 100-yard breaststroke in 1 minute, 6.63 seconds and also will specialize in the 200 individual medley.
Last season in the Division I district meet at Ohio State, Endecott finished 11th in both the 200 freestyle (1:47.71) and 500 free (4:51.42) and teamed with juniors Dalton Brown (free/backstroke), C.W. Hess (back/free) and Phil Tate (butterfly/free) to finish 11th in the 200 free relay (1:31.7).
"My goal is to get to state," Endecott said. "I haven't been to state yet, but right now my best times would have qualified for state last year. I switched my events from last year so I have a better chance of making it to state. That's the goal. The goal is hopefully to make it in a relay also. That's a big goal."
In the opening meet, Brown won the 100 back (59.23), Hess finished first in the 50 free (23.49) and sophomore Brady Vann (breast/distance) won the 200 IM (2:05.38).
Davidson defeated Westerville Central 107-73 and Watterson 97-66 on Dec. 8 at the Westerville Community Center.
Endecott won the 200 IM (2:04.02) and 100 breast (1:03.97), Brown won the 100 back (1:00.05), Vann won the 500 free (5:06.36) and Brown, Endecott, Hess and Vann won the 200 medley relay (1:48.2).
Other swimmers are senior Alexander Hand (IM/breast), junior Eric Oralov (distance/free), sophomores Alexander Harman (free) and Cameron Wiksell (free) and freshmen Jackson Dodd (free), Michael Foster (free), Chase Freeman (IM/free), Cy Hess (free), Jakeb Keefner (breast/free), Jonathan Lynch (free), Alain Martin (free), Gregory McGuire (free), Riley Palanca (free), Troy Tarlton (back/free) and A.J. Zody (free).
Senior Riley Ernst (IM/free) is back to lead the girls team after placing ninth in the 500 free (5:12.17) and 13th in the 200 IM (2:11.32) at district last season.
She also teamed with senior Payton Gehrig (free), junior Alex Worthington (fly/back) and 2017 graduate Caroline Hess to place ninth in the 200 medley relay (1:51.94).
The Wildcats lost to Westerville Central 89-85 and Watterson 100-70 on Dec. 8, as sophomore Brogan Gehrig (breast/IM) won the 200 free (2:03.82) and 100 breast (1:10.23).
On Nov. 27, Davidson finished third (534) behind Whetstone (585) and Grove City (546) and ahead of Centennial (487).
Payton Gehrig won the 50 free (27.76) and 100 fly (1:10.95), Brogan Gehrig won the 200 IM (2:20.53) and 100 breast (1:12.38) and Ernst won the 500 free (5:43.06).
Other swimmers are senior Bailey Rosier (fly/back), sophomores Paige Erdman (free/back) and Morgan Schindler (free) and freshmen Mackenzie Dodd (free/distance), Macyn Morelli (free), Vivian Smith (back/free), Ellie Warren (free) and Katie Woollard (back/free).
"Our long-range goal is first and foremost the kids have fun," Bowers said. "We want them to improve their strokes and better their times. We're looking to get a couple relays to state and some individuals as well."
Rosier credits Bowers' dedication for the program's development.
"She really cares about every swimmer and cares about getting you better," Rosier said. "She's an awesome coach."
Scurlock to lead gymnasts
Led by sophomore Nikia Scurlock, the gymnastics team is geared up for what it hopes is a strong season.
Scurlock qualified for the individual state meet last season, tying for 24th of 36 competitors on floor exercise (8.775) and tying for 29th of 35 competitors on balance beam (8.55).
Coach Carol Eskay, who is in her 16th season, expects Scurlock to make another bid for a state berth.
"It was a good experience for her," Eskay said. "It wasn't what she expected. It's different than some of the bigger meets that they've had in the past when they come to high school. The state meet is a big, crazy deal and people are screaming, but she did well. She's back and motivated again this year."
Also back are seniors Mallory Berthel, Izabelle Clark and Koryn Shugart and sophomores Jessica Cramer, Chelsie Hartman and Dani Mason.
Rounding out the team are freshmen Audrey Cave, Emma Conrad and Megan McCabe.
"Depth and leadership have been keys," Eskay said. "I've been so impressed with my seniors this year. There's an elevated level of leadership, which is nice because I have such a big group."
Dec. 6 -- at *Marysville with Bradley and Darby
Dec. 11 -- vs. *Central Crossing, *Franklin Heights, *Grove City, Bradley, Darby and *Westland
Dec. 16 -- Hilliard Invitational at home
Jan. 5 -- vs. Delaware, Bradley, Darby, Washington Court House Miami Trace and Thomas Worthington
Jan. 9 -- at *Upper Arlington with Bradley, Darby and Olentangy
Jan. 13 -- McGee Invitational at Dublin Coffman
Jan. 17 -- at *Dublin Coffman with Delaware, Dublin Jerome, Dublin Scioto, Bradley and Darby
Jan. 23 -- vs. Delaware, Dresden Tri-Valley, Bradley, Darby and Thomas Worthington
Jan. 27 -- Dresden Tri-Valley Invitational
Feb. 1 -- at Worthington Kilbourne with Bradley and Darby
Feb. 10 -- OCC-Central meet at home
Feb. 13 -- vs. Big Walnut, Bradley, Darby, Olentangy Liberty and Olentangy Orange
SWIMMING & DIVING
Nov. 27 -- Centennial, Grove City and Whetstone at Columbus Aquatics Center
Dec. 2 -- Dublin Jerome and Bradley at Hilliard YMCA
Dec. 8 -- Westerville Central at Westerville Community Center
Dec. 16 -- Ned Reeb Invitational at Ohio State
Dec. 28 -- Delaware at Ohio Wesleyan
Jan. 6 -- Dublin Coffman at Dublin Recreation Center
Jan. 10 -- at Thomas Worthington with Delaware
Jan. 12 -- at Upper Arlington
Jan. 13 -- Bradley, Darby and Olentangy at Hilliard YMCA
Jan. 18 -- at New Albany
Jan. 20 -- Bradley and Darby at Hilliard YMCA
Jan. 27 -- OCC-Central meet at Upper Arlington
Feb. 3 -- Upper Arlington Invitational
Below are the coming schedules for the Davidson boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling and wrestling teams:
*Dec. 15 -- Home vs. Upper Arlington
Dec. 19 -- Home vs. Lancaster
*Dec. 15 -- Home vs. Upper Arlington
Dec. 19 -- At Lancaster
*Dec. 18 -- Groveport at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
Dec. 16 -- Delaware Duals