Despite having just 10 athletes on the preseason roster, the Grove City High School boys swimming and diving team enters the OCC-Ohio Division meet Saturday, Jan. 26, at Upper Arlington optimistic it can contend for the title.
The meet also will help the Greyhounds prepare for the postseason, which begins with Division I sectional action Feb. 9.
"I think we'll do really well at the league meet," coach Amy Miller said. "I'm hoping that the boys can win that meet. The girls will be in the running. They'll do really well this year."
The boys have been boosted by the return of senior Spencer Tussing, who competed as a freshman but opted to focus solely on his Ohio State Swim Club team the past two seasons.
"I wanted to swim my senior year (at Grove City) and I wanted to help the guys as much as I could," Tussing said. "We're looking really good. A lot of the guys are going faster than I expected by this point of the season, so I'm really excited for sectional and district."
Tussing's return has been highlighted by establishing program records in the 200-yard individual medley (1 minute, 58 seconds) and 100 butterfly (53.27). He also holds program records in the 200 free (1:44.2) and 500 free (4:40.16) and swam on the program-record 200 medley relay (1:42.29) and 400 free relay (3:10.54).
Tussing has committed to the University of Tennessee.
"I had a lot of fun with the recruiting process," he said. "As soon as I looked at Tennessee, nowhere else compared for me. I absolutely love everything there."
Last season in the league meet, the Greyhounds finished fifth (172 points) behind champion Gahanna (297). However, in Tussing's freshman season, Grove City finished second (258) behind Pickerington North (261).
Also that season, Tussing qualified for state in the 500 free (15th, 4:39.59) and 200 free (22nd, 1:44.95).
Junior Jaron Routh has been another key member of the boys team.
"We have so few boys compared to the girls team and it's just so amazing to see these boys come together and work as a team and conquer with so few that what we have," Routh said. "We're working so hard. As a captain, it's just amazing to see."
Grove City scored 371 points to win the 12-team Central Ohio Splash Invitational on Jan. 12 at Thomas Worthington, ahead of runner-up St. Charles (259). Tussing won the 200 free (1:46.87) and 500 free (4:46.96), and Routh won the 100 backstroke (1:02.74).
Tussing, Raul DeMesa, Justin Christensen and Gregory Kingsbury won the 200 free relay (1:35.72), and Tussing, Christensen, Kingsbury and Routh won the 400 free relay (3:27.32).
Miller said she has been impressed with the improvement of DeMesa, who is a sophomore.
"Raul has been the surprise of the season," Miller said. "He's had the most improved times."
The girls team also is hoping for a strong showing in the league meet.
"I prefer bigger meets," senior Elizabeth Siegwarot said. "I think I swim better in bigger meets. There's more pressure and the pool is better. The atmosphere is a lot better."
Last season, Grove City finished fifth (116) behind champion North (389).
Siegwarot, who is in just her second season in the sport, said a personal highlight this winter has been cutting about 20 seconds off her previous best time in the 100 free (1:07.69) during the Ned Reeb Invitational on Dec. 7 at Ohio State.
"The season is going great," she said. "I'm very impressed with myself and what I've accomplished this year so far. I dropped 20 seconds (the 100 free), so I was super proud of myself."
Grove City finished second (272) in the Central Ohio Splash Invitational behind Westerville Central (403). Freshman Hannah Routh won the 100 fly (1:00.1) and was second in the 100 back (1:00.35).
Routh holds program records in the 200 free (2:02.17), 500 free (5:33.44), 50 free (25.28), 100 fly (57.89) and 100 back (58.46).
Routh, Olivia Jordan, Carli Frey and Lillian Trimble set the program record in the 200 free relay (1:45.32).
Boys basketball team earns first league win
The boys basketball team entered its game against Central Crossing on Jan. 22 coming off back-to-back wins.
Grove City earned its first league win, defeating visiting Lancaster 55-40 on Jan. 18 as Cole Crager and Brock Waits each scored 15 points.
The Greyhounds snapped a three-game losing streak with a 47-41 win at Teays Valley on Jan. 15. Alex Coffey scored 17 points and Crager added 13.
Grove City was 7-7 overall before playing Central Crossing. The Greyhounds are 1-5 in the OCC-Ohio.
Girls basketball team seeks first league win
The girls basketball team enters its game Friday, Jan. 25, against visiting Reynoldsburg seeking its first league win.
The Greyhounds were 2-13 overall before playing Central Crossing on Jan. 22. They are 0-7 in the league.
Ellie Pollock-Ballard scored 13 points in a 59-24 loss at Lancaster on Jan. 18.
Alyssa Fuchs had nine points in a 41-29 loss to visiting Delaware on Jan. 15.
Below are the coming schedules for the Grove City boys basketball, girls basketball, gymnastics, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 25 -- At Reynoldsburg. The Greyhounds lost to the Raiders 68-53 on Dec. 14.
Jan. 26 -- At New Albany
*Jan. 25 -- Home vs. Reynoldsburg. The Greyhounds lost to the Raiders 59-17 on Dec. 14.
Jan. 29 -- At *Dublin Coffman with Dublin Scioto, Dublin Jerome and Westerville Central
SWIMMING & DIVING
Jan. 26 -- OCC-Ohio meet at Upper Arlington
*Jan. 24 -- At Pickerington Central with Pickerington North