The Centennial boys and girls swimming and diving teams both tuned up for the postseason in the best way possible: winning championships in the City League meet Feb. 1 at Columbus Aquatics Center.
The swimmers next compete in a Division II sectional Saturday, Feb. 8, at Upper Arlington, while all divers begin the postseason at district Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Ohio State.
"Everybody stepped up and did what I needed them to do," coach Michael Barnes said. "We had no disqualifications. We didn't have any swims that people swam considerably slower than I thought they would, so really everybody on the team stepped up and did what I asked of them to be where we needed to be to win the championship."
The girls finished with 118 points, ahead of Whetstone (86) and Beechcroft (34). The boys scored 115 points to finish ahead of Whetstone (102), Beechcroft (12) and Eastmoor Academy (10).
"I'm so proud of all the girls, and everybody working together and working so hard," said senior Cada Dixon, who won the 100-yard breaststroke in 1 minute, 27.47 seconds. "There's definitely been so much improvement throughout the season."
Dixon also swam on the first-place 200 medley relay (2:16.44) with junior Amanda Varian and sophomores Anna Dixon and Maddie Nelson.
For the boys, senior Kyle Juracich helped lead the way by winning the 50 freestyle (24.53) and joining juniors Dominic Richards and Jabe Miller and sophomore Alec Proudfoot on the first-place 200 free relay (1:44.93).
"I'm so proud of this team," Juracich said. "I think in the beginning of the year, we had a lot of people that needed to step up, and I think a lot of people did. We lost a lot of people last year, some seniors that were really big for us. But a lot of people stepped up, and I think our depth really helped us today a lot."
Also finishing first for the girls were Nelson in the 200 free (2:25); junior Joy Chambers in the 50 free (29.52), senior Alexis Cox in diving (155.65), Varian in the 100 free (1:06.27); Anna Dixon in the 500 free (6:29.92) and the 400 free relay of Nelson, Varian, Chambers and sophomore Olivia Hoffman (4:32.16).
For the boys, Proudfoot won diving (237.1) and the 100 free (56.94), and senior Andrew Smith won the 100 backstroke (1:02.38).
Looking ahead to sectional, the swimmers will focus on perfecting their techniques.
"We'll be really refining our strokes and making sure we have our turns and our starts down," Juracich said. "I think if we step up and have a meet like we did today we'll be in good shape."
"We'll be working on getting our relay starts down to perfection and getting to the right time. And also just perfecting our strokes as much as we can so we can swim smarter, not harder," Cada Dixon said.
Barnes said he's expecting his seniors to rise to the occasion at sectional. He's also excited to see what Anna Dixon can do in the 500 free against tougher competition.
Barnes said two juniors on the boys side, Miller and Dylan Ford, have come on strong toward the end of the season.
"Both I think should have good, strong performances," he said.
Girls basketball team preps for tourney
The girls basketball team had won three of its last four games to improve to 13-6 overall before playing Wellington on Feb. 3 and Briggs on Feb. 4.
The Stars, who finished 10-4 in the City-North Division, learned their Division II district tournament draw Feb. 2. They are seeded 12th and will visit seventh-seeded Bloom-Carroll in the second round Feb. 21.
Tyler Johnson scored 19 points and Naa Dromo Korley had 15 in a 57-22 win over International on Jan. 31 to close league play. Korley led with 14 points and Johnson added 10 in a 43-33 win over Linden-McKinley on Jan. 28.
In a 51-35 win over Whetstone on Jan. 21, Amari Scott had 16 points, Johnson scored 12 and Korley added 10.
Bowling teams complete COHSBC regular season
Entering its final regular-season match Feb. 4 against West, the girls bowling team was 9-1 in the COHSBC-C and overall.
The Stars were in second place in the league, as Worthington Christian won the title at 11-0.
The boys team was 6-4 overall and in the COHSBC-C.
Before Feb. 4, Kylie Crissinger-Acuna was leading the girls with a 161.9 average, followed by Izabelle Segovia at 152.7.
A.J. Grumbling was leading the boys at 186.1, followed by Joe Thies at 177.5.
The boys will compete in the Division I sectional Feb. 21, followed by the girls the next day. Both tournaments are at HP Lanes.
Below are the coming schedules for the Centennial boys basketball, girls basketball, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Feb. 7 -- Home vs. East. The Stars defeated the Tigers 62-58 on Jan. 14.
Feb. 8 -- At St. Charles
Feb. 6 -- At Patriot Prep
SWIMMING & DIVING
Feb. 8 -- Division II sectional at Upper Arlington. A total of 27 at-large qualifiers in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites will advance to district Feb. 12 at Ohio State. There is no diving at sectional.
Feb. 12 -- At Bloom-Carroll