Canal Winchester girls swimmer Grace Terflinger couldn't wait to compete in the Kenyon College pool during the OCC-Capital Division meet Jan. 25.
The facility, which played host to all five OCC divisional meets last weekend, is the home of the 34-time Division III national champion Kenyon men's team. Terflinger has competed there in various club meets and couldn't explain exactly why she felt so comfortable in that facility, but the familiarity seemed to pay off.
Terflinger's first-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1 minute, 13.07 seconds, about a second off her personal best, led the Indians to 317 points and third place in the league meet behind New Albany (616) and Big Walnut (363.5) and ahead of Groveport (253.5) and Newark (218).
"I feel fast in that pool; I don't know why, but I feel it. Our new swimmers were excited to swim in that kind of a pool," Terflinger said. "We're getting there in terms of the times we want to get to (the Division I) district (meet). We work together very well and that's helped us get faster. Everybody needs to chip in. Everybody needs to be in top shape and be ready to put everything in in the pool."
Terflinger also helped the 200 medley relay to second place (2:07.04) with Merideth McFarland, Lauren Stone and Mikaela Vojacek. The same group comprised the fourth-place 200 freestyle relay (1:57.85).
"We need to be faster getting out, but other than that, I think we'll be OK," said McFarland, who also placed fourth in the 200 individual medley (2:34.22). "We'll be a good place for the sectional (Feb. 8 at Upper Arlington). We just need to go under 30 seconds (each in the 200 free relay). Mikaela is our good freestyler. She goes about 26 seconds, but then we need everybody else to get under 30 seconds."
The 400 free relay of Jillian King, Cassie Kolonchuk, Megan Richey and Sydney Somers was fourth (5:00.7).
Blake Fry's wins in the 100 breast (1:00.14) and 500 free (4:54.9) led the boys team to 295 points and third place in the league meet behind New Albany (596.5) and Big Walnut (496.5) and ahead of Newark (142) and Groveport (77).
Korbin Martino placed second in the 50 free (22.51), .01 of a second behind New Albany's Alex Arlin, and second in the 100 backstroke (1:02.55), and Connor Turney was runner-up in the 100 free (54.46).
The 200 free relay was third (1:39.72) with Lucas Elizondo, Fry, Adam Moneypenny and Turney, as was the 400 free relay (4:33.2) with Kaylor Byrd, Zane Fenn, Brett Smithers and Tyler Terflinger.
Elizondo, who placed fourth in the 100 butterfly (1:01.65) and fifth in the 200 free (1:56.55), attributed time drops this year in both of his individual events to training at the Gahanna YMCA after several years with the Greater Columbus Swim Team of Ohio.
"I've consistently dropped time and I'm getting stronger and faster," Elizondo said. "I've gotten so much faster and stronger. I just am happy over there. I am doing more strength training and it's made me faster in the water. That's what I was hoping for and it's boosted my motivation for the rest of the year."
Byrd passes 1,000 career points
Shalea Byrd of the girls basketball team knew she needed 21 points entering a Jan. 24 game at Groveport to reach 1,000 for her career and got just that many, although she had to battle for the last two.
The senior forward reached the milestone with about 5:30 left in a 57-32 win over the Cruisers, capping an impressive three-game week. Byrd closed in on 1,000 with 20 points in a 60-22 home win over Westland on Jan. 21 and scored 18 more Jan. 23 in a 75-49 win at Eastmoor Academy.
"It was a layup off of a rebound from my own shot," Byrd said. "It was a pretty physical play. A shot went up, I got an offensive rebound and I tried to put it back up, then I put it back up again to score that point. It was an amazing atmosphere to be in. I'm so thankful to everybody on my team and all my coaches for helping get me here."
Natalie Rarick added 10 points for the Indians, who are 12-5 overall entering a Thursday, Jan. 30, game at Upper Arlington and 4-4 in the OCC-Capital before visiting Franklin Heights on Friday, Jan. 31.
The program's all-time leading scorer is Georgina Wilkinson, who scored 1,660 points from 1984-88.
"It's a great milestone for me," said Byrd, a Rio Grande volleyball recruit. "Ever since I was a freshman, I wanted it and now that I've got it, it's awesome to know that I achieved this goal. It's really been the goal for me all along."
Boys team holds off Cruisers
Bilal Sow's 19 points led a balanced effort Jan. 24 as the boys basketball team completed a sweep of rival Groveport, outlasting the Cruisers 62-56 to keep its slim hopes of an OCC-Capital championship alive.
Tre'Von Robinson added 13 points and Cole Metzler scored 10, including a key layup with 55 seconds left to give the Indians a five-point lead. Groveport led just once, 47-46 halfway through the fourth quarter.
"We did well on the offensive glass, got big rebounds (and) did whatever we had to do," Metzler said. "This was definitely similar to the first game (a 54-52 win Dec. 13), but (in the first game) we got out to a 17-point lead in the first half and they came back and missed a buzzer-beater to win it."
The Indians were 10-4 overall before playing Chillicothe on Jan. 28 and are 4-3 in the OCC-Capital entering a Friday, Jan. 31, home game against Franklin Heights.
Canal Winchester's win pulled it into a third-place tie in the league with Groveport and New Albany, two games behind first-place Newark (6-1). The Wildcats swept their season series with New Albany and still play the Indians and Cruisers once.
The Indians' student section stormed the court after the win over the Cruisers. According to Metzler, that was partly because the game was the final league contest between the teams before OCC realignment will place them in different divisions beginning next fall.
"This was a typical Canal-Groveport game," Metzler said. "They destroyed us in football, so I think everybody was happy to see us sweep them."
Below are the coming schedules for the Canal Winchester boys basketball, girls basketball and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 31 -- Home vs. Franklin Heights. The Indians defeated the Falcons 72-44 on Dec. 20.
Feb. 1 -- Home vs. Teays Valley
Feb. 4 -- Home vs. Pickerington North
Jan. 30 -- At Upper Arlington
*Jan. 31 -- At Franklin Heights. The Indians defeated the Falcons 55-21 on Dec. 20.
Feb. 4 -- At Pickerington North
*Jan. 30 -- At Newark