Swimming & Diving: Pandemic forces Groveport Madison Cruisers to deal with uncertainty

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group
Senior Jazlyn Winski is one of the top returnees for the Groveport Madison swimming program, which currently is dealing with a pause in competitions because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

A return to the Division I district meet is not atop the Groveport Madison swimming and diving team’s list of goals as it waits to start the season.

The Cruisers simply were hoping to put together some semblance of a season and then build on a year in which the girls 200-yard freestyle relay reached district and 2020 graduate Madison Newsom qualified in the 500 free.

Eight upperclassmen aim to lead the program, which consists of seven girls and six boys.

Groveport’s only scheduled competition entering the week, other than the OCC-Buckeye Division meet in late January at a location to be determined, is Jan. 19 against Grove City at the Grove City YMCA.

“My first impression of the team is that they are excited and eager to swim,” fourth-year coach Ilana Webber said. “They are looking forward to swimming in a meet or two at least. The team is coming along very nicely and they are progressing well. …

“The expectation for the season is to make the best out of a tough situation and get in as much pool time as possible.”

A scheduled Dec. 15 meet against Worthington Kilbourne at Thomas Worthington was postponed when Groveport suspended all competitions through the rest of this month because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Teams were permitted to practice.

Senior Jazlyn Winski and sophomore Sydney Chandler return from the 200 free relay that finished 26th at district. Also on the relay were Newsom and junior Gabby Monjaras, who did not return to the team.

Returnees from the boys side include senior Jaylen Brockman and juniors Trevor Keane and Isaac Welsh.

“Jazlyn Winski, Jaylen Brockman, Trevor Keane and Sydney Chandler are looking very strong, but all the swimmers are putting in the time to get in shape,” Webber said. “It’s hard to say who is going to make a name for themselves since we may only have one (regular-season) meet.”

Rounding out the girls roster are senior Donneaka Ross, junior Savannah Zaragoza, sophomores Nicole Mohler and Grace White and freshman Gabby Hansel.

The rest of the boys team consists of seniors Isaiah Rogers and Christian Tucker and junior Bobby Anderson.

Senior Lucas Elizondo is one of six Canal Winchester swimmers who competed in the Division I district meet last season.

District qualifiers

to lead Indians

Six of Canal Winchester’s seven Division I district qualifiers who were eligible return did so, but the Indians enter the season dealing with uncertainty and having spent limited time together as a team.

Senior Lucas Elizondo, junior Connor Turney and sophomore Adam Moneypenny returned for the boys team after competing at district, as did girls senior Merideth McFarland and juniors Lauren Stone and Grace Terflinger. The Indians graduated Blake Fry, a four-time state qualifier who last year finished fifth in the 100 breaststroke and 20th in the 200 individual medley and now swims at Cleveland State.

Other than Fry, the only district qualifier not to return was senior Korbin Martino, who has signed to compete in track and field at Penn State.

Because the team has club status, the only times it gathers are for meets or other select activities. According to second-year coach Shawn Elizondo, team pictures in November were the only time the team has been together.

“I have a lot of seniors that are in fear of losing their season,” coach Elizondo said.

The Indians lost their season opener Dec. 1 against Grove City at the Grove City YMCA and entering the week did not have another meet scheduled.

Rounding out the girls roster are seniors Isabella Byrd, Kierra Martin, Sofia Riddle and Regan Wildermuth, juniors Jillian King, Sydney Somers and Baylee Tyler, sophomores Marissa Klamorick, Brooklyne Redmon and Megan Richey and freshman Maddison Chandavong.

Chandavong and Riddle, whose older sister Grace was a two-time state qualifier and now competes at Ohio University, are new to the team.

Also on the boys team are senior Kaylor Byrd, junior Tyler Terflinger and sophomore Zane Fenn.

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com 

@ThisWeekDave 

CANAL WINCHESTER

Coach: Shawn Elizondo, third season

Top athletes: Boys — Lucas Elizondo, Adam Moneypenny and Connor Turney; Girls — Merideth McFarland, Lauren Stone and Grace Terflinger

Key losses: Boys — Blake Fry and Korbin Martino; Girls — Cassie Kolonchuk, Tara Schirr and Mikaela Vojacek

2019-20 OCC-Capital standings: Boys — New Albany (596.5), Big Walnut (496.5), Canal Winchester (295), Newark (142), Groveport (77); Girls — New Albany (616), Big Walnut (363.5), Canal Winchester (317), Groveport (253.5), Newark (218)

2020 postseason: Boys — Fourth at sectional, 16th at district, 31st at state; Girls — Eighth at sectional, did not score at district

GROVEPORT MADISON

Coach: Ilana Webber, fourth season

Top athletes: Boys — Jaylen Brockman, Trevor Keane and Isaac Welch; Girls — Sydney Chandler, Grace White and Jazlyn Winski

Key losses: Boys — Jaydan Henderson; Girls — Trinity Gullatt, Gabby Monjaras and Madison Newsom

2020 postseason: Boys — 10th at sectional; Girls — 10th at sectional