With several new athletes in the program, Grove City High School swimming and diving coach Amy Miller isn't concerned with long-term goals.
Instead, Miller would like to see the Greyhounds improve on a meet-by-meet and practice-by-practice basis.
"My goal is to just get as many kids to district and the kids are swimming faster as the season continues," said Miller, who is in her sixth season. "Ultimately, you want kids to go to state, but I don't think getting kids to state needs to be a coach's only goal."
Nicholas Routh, the only senior in the program, led the boys team in the Division I district meet last season, finishing 29th in the 500-yard freestyle (5 minutes, 18.34 seconds). He and sophomore Joe Martin were on the 23rd-place 200 free relay (1:38.12), and Routh, Martin and junior Jordan Hedges were on the 24th-place 400 free relay (3:42.52).
One of the underclassmen expected to help lead the way is freshman Gregory Kingsbury, who won the 200 free (2:01.5) in a 94-71 loss to Gahanna on Dec. 1.
In the team's first home meet Dec. 5 at Grove City YMCA, in which the Greyhounds defeated Wellington 59-32 and Canal Winchester 54-40, Kingsbury won the 50 free (23.87) and joined Routh, junior Justin Christensen and sophomore Jaron Routh on the winning 400 free relay (3:43.86).
"This is a big environment," Kingsbury said. "Coach has us out supporting everyone on the team and being able to hang out with them every day and after meets. It's a lot of fun. The training has intensified. It's fun to exceed with everyone else on the team. I like being the freshman. Being the youngest one out here, I have nothing to lose."
Also in the home meet, Christensen won the 200 individual medley (2:10.3) and 100 free (55.13), and Jaron Routh won the 500 free (5:57.62).
Christensen led Grove City against Gahanna, winning the 500 free (5:02.52) and 100 breaststroke (1:06.82).
Other returnees are sophomores Jacob Parks, Caleb Porter and Nick Swanson.
Rounding out the team are sophomores William Hutchison and Drew McFarland and freshman Raul DeMesa.
Dwight Wiley, who was part of the 200 free and 400 free relays at district, was the only boys swimmer lost to graduation.
There are no seniors on the girls team, which returns juniors Lillian Trimble and Olivia Ward and sophomore Elizabeth Christie. They joined 2017 graduate Mallory Best in placing 22nd in the 200 free relay (1:50.47) last season at district.
Best, Christie and Trimble also were on the 27th-place 400 free relay (4:05.23).
Best was the only girls swimmer lost to graduation.
On Dec. 5, Christie, Trimble, junior Olivia Jordan and freshmen Rose Byas won the 200 free relay (1:59.04) as Grove City defeated Wellington 61-27 and lost to Canal Winchester 55-39.
"We're further along this year than we were at the beginning of the season last year," said junior Nicole Deschene, another returnee. "Everyone is working really hard in practice. We're making a lot progress. I'm really excited."
Other returnees are junior Rachel Rader and sophomore Reece Rader.
Rounding out the team are juniors Alayna Moscinski and Libby Siegwardt, sophomore Alexys Ream and freshmen Madelyn Holcomb and Rocsi Rader.
"We're a little ahead of schedule with our yardage and most of our kids have had best times at every meet," Miller said of the boys and girls teams.
Gymnastics team counting on returnees
The gymnastics team returns five athletes who competed in the district meet last season in seniors Macy Mills and Rylie Sines, juniors Kaelyn Kuder and Morgan Lemponen and sophomore Bailey Bennett.
In the all-around, Kuder tied for 53rd (30.425), Mills was 60th (29.925), Lemponen was 62nd (29.75) and Bennett was 69th (28.7). Sines competed on floor exercise and balance beam.
Senior Lauran Andrews also returns.
"We're going to need the returners to be pretty solid at every meet," said coach Mark Hartley, who is in his 22nd season.
Sophomore Anna Stoll, who was 21st (33.1) in the all-around at district, is not competing this season.
Other gymnasts are seniors Camille Lanese and Melia Wilkins, junior Natalie Simmons and freshmen Sophie Legue and Kamya Wilson.
"It makes it fun because (the new gymnasts are) trying it," Hartley said. "They come in new ... so it's fun because they're willing and they're trying to do something they haven't really done before. It's a whole new experience for them."
Grove City opened in a meet Dec. 11 at Hilliard Davidson.
Last season, the Greyhounds went 4-3 in OCC-Central Division duals and finished fourth in the league with 20 points, behind champion Marysville (32, 7-0).
Wrestling team wins Whitehall event
The wrestling team scored 251 points to win the six-team Dan Gartner Duals on Dec. 9 at Whitehall, finishing ahead of runner-up Liberty Union (244).
Justin Swavely (138 pounds), Schuyler Marinelli (160) and Tanner Stevens (220) won titles.
Dec. 11 -- at *Hilliard Davidson with *Central Crossing, *Franklin Heights, Hilliard Darby and *Westland
Dec. 17 -- Hilliard Invitational at Davidson
Dec. 20 -- Central Crossing, DeSales, Franklin Heights, Thornville Sheridan, Westerville Central and Westland at Worthington Youth Boosters Gymnastics
Jan. 4 -- at Thomas Worthington with Buckeye Valley
Jan. 6 -- Worthington Kilbourne Invitational
Jan. 17 -- at *Marysville with Teays Valley and Westerville Central
Jan. 24 -- at Worthington Kilbourne with Thornville Sheridan
Jan. 26 -- Westerville Central Invitational at Worthington Youth Boosters Gymnastics
*Jan. 29 -- at Upper Arlington
*Feb. 7 -- at Dublin Coffman
Feb. 10 -- OCC-Central meet at Hilliard Davidson
Feb. 17 -- Washington Court House Miami Trace at Trics Gymnastics
SWIMMING & DIVING
Nov. 27 -- Centennial, Hilliard Davidson and Whetstone at Columbus Aquatics Center
Dec. 1 -- Gahanna at Gahanna YMCA
Dec. 2 -- Lancaster at Lancaster YMCA
Dec. 5 -- Canal Winchester and Wellington at Grove City YMCA
Dec. 11 -- Whetstone Invitational at Columbus Aquatics Center
Dec. 16 -- Mount Vernon Invitational at Kenyon College
Dec. 19 -- Ready and Whetstone at Grove City YMCA
Dec. 23 -- Wellington Invitational at Columbus Aquatics Center
Jan. 16 -- Teays Valley at Grove City YMCA
Jan. 22 -- Grandview at Columbus Aquatics Center
Jan. 27 -- OCC-Ohio meet at Thomas Worthington
Below are the coming schedules for the Grove City boys basketball, girls basketball and wrestling teams:
*Dec. 15 -- At Reynoldsburg
Dec. 19 -- Home vs. Franklin Heights
*Dec. 15 -- Home vs. Reynoldsburg
Dec. 16 -- Home vs. Hilliard Darby
Feb. 14 -- At Westerville South
Dec. 20 -- At Westland with Central Crossing and Circleville