Precision is important to Zach Francek.
The lone senior for the Central Crossing High School boys swimming and diving team excels in the pool and in the classroom. He said being precise plays a big role in both.
"I think swimming is a very precise sport," said Francek, who has a 4.2 GPA. "One wrong move and you can be adding three seconds to your time. One bad start or you miss a turn or don't finish as strong as you can and you are going to add a couple seconds. I like to be pretty precise in the classroom as well."
Francek holds program records in the 100-yard backstroke and 100 butterfly. He set the 100 fly record of 57.74 seconds in the Mount Vernon Small-School Invitational on Dec. 22 at Kenyon College, and his 100 back record of 58.84 came in a Division I sectional last year at Upper Arlington.
He now hopes to qualify for the district meet in both events for the first time. District is Feb. 15 at Ohio State.
"I feel like I have my best chance to reach district in the 100 fly," Francek said. "I think I'm more relaxed this year. I have been there and done that and competed at the district level (on the 400 freestlye relay as a sophomore) so at this point I know what I can do and I know what I need to do.
"I would like to get a 55 in the 100 fly and I would like to be at 57 or 56 in the (100) back. A 56 or 57 will likely get me into district (in the 100 fly) but my goal is a 55. For the backstroke, it will probably take around a 57 to advance. That was the cutoff last year."
Coach Robert Boggs said Francek has a tenacious nature that makes him one of the best in the program.
"The (100) fly is Zach's strongest event and his (100) back is also good," Boggs said. "We're hoping that he will qualify for district in both of the events.
"He's one of the hardest workers in the pool. He just continues to work hard and is very coachable. He's always listening and always willing to try new things."
The Comets compete in the OCC-Central Division meet Saturday, Jan. 26, at UA. Last year, the boys team finished fifth (83 points) behind champion UA (391) and the girls team also was fifth (71) behind champion UA (478).
Francek was fifth in the 100 back (1:00.86) and seventh in the 100 fly (58.84).
"Zach is such a positive person and is such a good leader. He's very patient and can rally the kids behind him," Boggs said. "He has transitioned into a really good leader. That's one thing we pride ourselves in here that we're not just about developing athletes but developing young men and women. We're blessed to have a great group of kids."
Francek said the leadership role is one that he has grown into over the years.
"Coach Boggs has taught me how to be a leader and how to carry yourself through good times and bad," he said. "He has taught me so many things in that department that I would have never been able to even do by myself.
"I'm a leader as a senior, but it's pretty easy. A lot of these kids I have (competed) with for years from the YMCA level. I have known a lot of them for years and I feel comfortable with them."
Francek started swimming at 9 years old with the Grove City YMCA Manta Rays club program. He said his style has changed a lot since then.
"When I was really little I did the breaststroke, and then when I was 12, I realized that I really wasn't any good at it," Francek said. "I was better in the back and the fly as my body started to mature."
Francek's swimming in college likely will be limited to club and intramural. He plans to study exercise science at Miami University or Ohio State.
"I'll miss this, but the season has been going pretty well," he said. "I have dropped some time in the 100 fly, which is the goal. I'm a little off on my backstroke time, but it is where I should be at this time. Now I'll just work to get to district."
Lowe leading way for boys basketball team
Anthony Lowe led the boys basketball team in scoring through 13 games, averaging 14.8 points. Devon Miller was next at 8.5 points and Jalen Coles was averaging 6.3 points for the Comets, who were 4-9 overall before playing Grove City on Jan. 22.
Central Crossing dropped to 2-4 in the OCC-Central by falling to UA 42-37 on Jan. 18. The Comets made a significant improvement in the second meeting with the Golden Bears after losing the first-round league game 60-34 on Dec. 7.
UA trailed 21-12 at halftime but rallied for the victory.
Lowe led the Comets with 13 points and Miller added eight.
Wrestling team looks for first OCC win
The wrestling team will be searching for its first OCC-Central victory of the season when it faces Hilliard Davidson on Thursday, Jan. 24, at home.
The Comets dropped to 0-2 in league duals with a 56-22 loss to UA on Jan. 17.
Omari Green (heavyweight), Hudson Leapley (132 pounds) and Nathan Vanhouten (195) all won by pin and Abel Garantche (220) won by major decision.
Central Crossing lost to Dublin Coffman 71-6 on Jan. 10 in its other league dual.
Below are the coming schedules for the Central Crossing boys basketball, girls basketball, gymnastics, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 25 -- At Marysville. The Comets defeated the Monarchs 56-44 on Dec. 14.
Jan. 26 -- Home vs. Dublin Scioto
Jan. 29 -- Home vs. Teays Valley
*Jan. 25 -- Home vs. Marysville. The Comets lost to the Monarchs 48-34 on Dec. 14.
Jan. 29 -- At Whitehall
Jan. 28 -- At *Upper Arlington with Franklin Heights, Thornville Sheridan and Westland
SWIMMING & DIVING
Jan. 26 -- OCC-Central meet at UA
*Jan. 24 -- Home vs. Hilliard Davidson
Jan. 26 -- Rieman Invitational at Delaware