Senior Haley Banner and sophomore Lauren Richner of the Worthington Kilbourne High School girls swimming and diving team are hoping their extra work will pay off at crunch time this season.
"Lauren and I stay every Saturday when everything wraps up and work out with (assistant coach Mark Huber)," Banner said. "We do sit-ups because (Huber) thinks it will put us over the top and help us bust through that last little part of our races and that could make the difference in us getting to state and performing well or ending up short at district."
While no members of the team were rested or tapered for the OCC-Cardinal Division meet Jan. 26 at Thomas, Banner and Richner helped the Wolves place third (212 points) behind Dublin Jerome (282.5) and Delaware (262) and ahead of Olentangy Berlin (181.5), Thomas (122), Hilliard Bradley (101), Hilliard Darby (72) and Dublin Scioto (70).
Banner won titles in the 50-yard freestyle (24.95 seconds) and 100 free (54.55) and Richner placed second in the 50 free (25.04) and third in the 100 free (56.56). Both also were members of the winning 200 medley relay (1:52.87) along with Evie DeCarlo and Nanami Campbell and the second-place 200 free relay (1:42.25) along with DeCarlo and Ellie Ishida.
"We're up to 100 sit-ups," Richner said. "At the end of the season, we'll see it pay off at the end of races. We're all pretty tired right now, but as a team, we're pleased with our times before tapering. I'm excited to see what our relays can do."
DeCarlo placed second in the 200 free (2:03.03) and fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:11.8) and Campbell finished fourth in the 100 free (57.05).
"Our two relays medaled and we hadn't medaled (in the league meet) in any relay the past three years," Banner said. "The young girls are really excited about this. We have awesome relays and we're hoping we get at least one through to state."
"Nanami and Evie are part of a great freshman class and they bring us energy," Richner said. "It's very exciting for the rest of the season and for the future."
The 400 free relay of Ishida, Ella Brown, Melanie Fisher and Phoebe Saunders placed fourth (4:08.02) and Saunders was sixth in the 500 free (5:55.08)
"I really think Kilbourne has set itself up for a good postseason," coach Jim Callahan said. "The girls came out and won the medley relay to start the meet and just kept after it all day. The boys didn't win any events, but they had very solid swims across the board and nearly finished second."
The boys team finished third (180.5) behind Jerome (398.5) and Delaware (183) and ahead of Darby (169), Berlin (145.5), Thomas (139), Scioto (79) and Bradley (40).
The 200 free relay of Haris Nuspahic, Mitchell Fisher, Nathan Martin and Jack Begley (1:34.45) and the 400 free relay of John Cuozzo, Fisher, Martin and Begley (3:27.94) both placed third.
Begley placed fourth in both the 100 free (51.46) and 200 free (1:55.14), Martin was fourth in the 200 individual medley (2:09.02) and fifth in the 100 free (51.8), Andrew Winget was fifth in the 100 backstroke (1:01.78), Cuozzo was fifth in the 200 IM (2:10.52) and sixth in the 100 butterfly (58.1) and Nolan Wilson was sixth in the 100 back (1:01.83).
The Division I postseason begins with sectional competition Feb. 9 at Thomas.
Girls basketball team climbs back to .500
The girls basketball team defeated Walnut Ridge 58-39 on Jan. 28 to improve to 9-9 overall.
Kilbourne split a pair of OCC-Cardinal games last week, defeating Bradley 38-30 on Jan. 22 at home before losing to visiting Darby 44-25 on Jan. 25. The Wolves are 4-7 in the league entering a game Friday, Feb. 1, at Scioto.
Kilbourne outscored Bradley 18-7 in the middle quarters. Lauren Scott finished with 11 points and Amya Harris scored seven.
Against Darby, the Wolves trailed 17-16 at halftime but scored only nine points in the second half. Julia Taylor had 10 points and Scott scored nine.
Boys basketball team snaps four-game skid
Zach Wilson had 25 points and Ian Schupp scored 19 as the boys basketball team ended a four-game losing streak by beating host Darby 64-62 on Jan. 25 in an OCC-Cardinal contest.
Gavin Baker added eight points for Kilbourne, which led 43-36 entering the fourth quarter.
The Wolves, who lost 53-40 at league-leading Bradley on Jan. 22, were 4-11 overall before playing Marysville on Jan. 29 and are 3-7 in the OCC-Cardinal.
Kilbourne trailed Bradley, which is 15-0 and was ranked second in the state in Division I last week, just 40-36 entering the fourth quarter. Schupp had a team-high 13 points, followed by Ayden Parsons with eight and Zach Wilson with seven.
Below are the coming schedules for the Kilbourne boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, hockey, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Feb. 1 -- Home vs. Dublin Scioto. The Wolves lost to the Irish 53-52 on Jan. 4.
*Feb. 5 -- Home vs. Delaware. The Wolves lost to the Pacers 69-51 on Dec. 21.
*Feb. 1 -- At Dublin Scioto. The Wolves lost to the Irish 51-48 on Jan. 4.
*Feb. 5 -- At Delaware. The Wolves beat the Pacers 48-43 on Dec. 21.
*Jan. 31 -- Delaware at Capri Lanes
Feb. 1 -- Thomas* and Worthington Christian at Capri Lanes
Feb. 3 -- Central District Preview at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
Feb. 6 -- Olentangy Orange at Capri Lanes
*Feb. 2 -- Cincinnati Moeller at Northland Ice Center
SWIMMING & DIVING
Feb. 1 -- At Thomas with Watterson
Feb. 2 -- Division I, Region 5 team dual tournament at Marysville. The Wolves are seeded 10th of 14 teams and will face seventh-seeded Gahanna in a quarterfinal. The semifinal and final rounds also will be held that day, with the regional champion advancing to the state team tournament Feb. 10 at Ohio State's St. John Arena.