During each of the past three years, Mia Brown helped the Watterson girls swimming and diving team earn CCL runner-up finishes before ending each season at the Division I state meet.
A three-time state qualifier in the 50-yard freestyle who also reached state on the 400 free relay a year ago, the senior is enjoying the talent around her this winter.
The Eagles scored 414 points in the CCL meet Jan. 25 at St. Charles to finish first, ahead of Hartley (362), DeSales (202) and Ready (33). They had finished behind Columbus School for Girls in the league each of the past six seasons, but the Unicorns are now in the MSL.
"It was my last CCL meet and the women's team won every event, so it was super exciting," Brown said. "We're very strong this year. We actually broke one of our school records, in the (200-yard medley relay on Dec. 14 in the Ned Reeb Invitational), so that was exciting. It's the fastest team I've been a part of in my four years, so I'm so excited for the championship season. We have very strong underclassmen and they're really good sprinters."
The Eagles are preparing for a sectional Feb. 8 at Upper Arlington.
At the league meet, Brown won the 100 butterfly (1 minute, .48 seconds) and likely will swim in that event along with the 50 free during the postseason. She swam the fastest time in the 100 backstroke at the league meet as well, but was disqualified.
Despite that, Watterson won every event at the league meet.
In the 100 back, freshman Maggie Best finished first (1:08.98) and junior Isabella Roscoe placed second (1:10.58).
Brown also swam on both the winning 200 medley relay (1:52.77) and the first-place 400 free relay (3:42.38). She was joined on both relays by Teagan Price, Grace Rider and Olivia Oyster.
Rider added championships in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.65) and 200 individual medley (2:14.11), while Oyster captured titles in the 100 free (53.59) and 50 free (24.14), Price was first in the 200 free (2:04.85) and 500 free (5:32.54), freshman Olive O'Dorisio was first in diving (293.25) and the 200 free relay of Best, sophomores Lucy Loudon and Molly Shanahan and freshman Meg Newcomb finished first (1:48.8).
Other runner-up finishes were turned in by Best in the 100 free (1:00.51), Shanahan in the 200 IM (2:24.2) and the 200 medley relay of Best, Loudon, Newcomb and Shanahan (2:04.18).
Some of the Eagles' swimmers have been battling illness, according to coach Dan Cherok.
"Our team has really grown since the beginning of the season," Newcomb said. "We're definitely working better together in the relays and learning how each of us swim."
The boys team finished last (83) in the CCL meet behind St. Charles (473), DeSales (254) and Hartley (189).
Senior Michael Vondran likely would have been among the team's top placers individually and also would have helped on relays but was unable to compete.
Sophomore Max Latshaw finished fourth in the 500 free (5:27.2) and sixth in the 100 breast (1:09.33) and senior Ryan Newcomb placed sixth in both the 100 free (58.47) and 100 back (1:08.44).
"(Vondran) was out sick, but we've got some young swimmers," Cherok said. "Max has put in some good, quality training and he's still only a sophomore."
Boys basketball team looking to find way
After being held to a season-low point total in a 56-21 loss to DeSales on Jan. 17, the boys basketball team followed with a much better offensive performance.
The Eagles led Olentangy Orange 28-26 at halftime before succumbing 56-51 on Jan. 18 as senior wing player Mike Bruzzese had 18 points, including four 3-pointers, and junior forward Davis Boone added 15 points.
Those two players could hold the key to any offensive consistency Watterson sustains when it begins action in the Division II district tournament in late February.
Coach Vince Lombardo knows that his team "doesn't score easily."
"Davis Boone has been playing strong for us inside," Lombardo said. "Bruzzese had 21 (points) in (a 62-53 loss to Mansfield Madison on Dec. 20 and in a 65-42 win over Marysville on Jan. 11). We really think he's capable and can shoot the ball for us. ... We could use his scoring."
Watterson lost to St. Charles 42-38 on Jan. 24 and was 7-9 overall before facing Hilliard Darby on Jan. 28. The Eagles are 1-5 in the CCL with their only league win coming against Hartley, 34-28 on Jan. 10.
Another rough game for Watterson was a 72-32 loss to St. Charles on Dec. 13. The Cardinals are 4-1 in the league while DeSales is 6-0.
Through 16 games, Boone was averaging 11.3 points, Bruzzese was averaging 10.1 points and senior forward Mason Graney, junior guard Gavin Greene and senior wing player Chris Crane all were averaging between six and eight points.
Junior forward Noah Grayem and junior guards Sam Intihar, Noah Gruver and Jacob Hoying also have been filling roles.
Gruver had 17 points in the Jan. 24 loss to St. Charles.
"Chris Crane has been steady and has a solid overall game," Lombardo said. "Noah Gruver has been coming on for us in a number of areas. His improvement has been significant for us. ... We're getting better."
Hockey team heads into stretch run
The hockey team has just five CHC games remaining before it begins action in the Blue Jackets Cup tournament Feb. 13-16.
Watterson was 10-15-1 overall and 6-5 in the CHC-Blue Division after losing 2-1 to Dublin Coffman on Jan. 25. The Eagles are leading the CHC-Blue.
The Eagles went 0-3-1 in the Big Bear Big Chill tournament held Jan. 17-20 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, tying the Atlanta Fire at 2 on Jan. 20 in their final game of the event. They lost to the Fire 3-1 the day before.
Through 25 games, freshman forward Brandon Trout had 24 goals and 10 assists, senior right winger Ian Simone had 10 goals and 14 assists, senior left winger Mason Jolly had 10 goals and 11 assists and junior defenseman Adam Pavliga had 10 goals and seven assists.
Max Graham had a .900 save percentage and also had five goals and three assists while splitting time between goaltender and forward.
Watterson's last victory came against DeSales, 9-1 on Jan. 10.
Below are the coming schedules for the Watterson boys basketball, girls basketball, hockey and swimming & diving teams:
Feb. 1 -- At Springfield Shawnee
Feb. 4 -- Home vs. Jonathan Alder
*Jan. 30 -- Home vs. Ready
*Feb. 4 -- At Ready
Jan. 31 -- Oxford Talawanda at Goggin Ice Arena
Feb. 1 -- Olentangy at Chiller North
Feb. 2 -- Olentangy Berlin at Chiller Dublin
SWIMMING & DIVING
Jan. 31 -- At Thomas Worthington