Notebook: Short swim seasons end for Canal Winchester Indians, Groveport Madison Cruisers

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group
Groveport's Gabby Hensel was part of the fifth-place 200 medley relay at the Division I sectional Feb. 13 at Upper Arlington. The Cruisers failed to advance any swimmers to district.

The abbreviated seasons for the Canal Winchester and Groveport Madison swimming teams ended Feb. 13 in a Division I sectional meet at Upper Arlington. 

Led by third-place finishes in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1 minute, 49.3 seconds) and 200 medley relay (2:03.23) of seniors Kaylor Byrd and Lucas Elizondo and sophomores Zane Fenn and Adam Moneypenny, the Indians boys team finished third with 99 points behind the host and champion Golden Bears (503) as five teams scored. 

Fenn and Moneypenny had the team’s top individual finishes, placing fifth in the 100 backstroke (1:09.88) and 200 individual medley (2:12.75). 

All three of the girls team’s relays placed fourth, pacing them to 115 points and fifth place behind champion UA (497) as six teams scored. 

The 200 free relay (1:56.15) and 200 medley relay (2:04.74) consisted of senior Merideth McFarland, juniors Lauren Stone and Grace Terflinger and sophomore Megan Richey. Juniors Jillian King, Sydney Somers, Baylee Tyler and sophomore Regan Wildermuth comprised the 400 free relay (5:02.31). 

On Feb. 18, coach Shawn Elizondo announced he was stepping down after three seasons leading the program. 

“I am proud of our team and the five four-year seniors for hanging in there through all of the obstacles we faced this year,” Elizondo said. “Unfortunately, we ended our season at sectional, and that is a hard thing to accept. I wish the best for the team (in the) years to come.” 

Junior Trevor Keane led Groveport’s boys to fourth place (64). He was fifth in the 100 free (56.27) and eighth in the 100 backstroke (1:06.36) and was on the fifth-place 200 free relay (2:07.39) and 200 medley relay (2:27.26) with senior Jaylen Brockman and juniors Cameron Uptegraft and Isaac Welsh. 

Brockman was ninth in the 50 free (28.99). 

The girls team, which finished fifth (51), was paced by the fifth-place 200 medley relay (2:15.73) of senior Jazlyn Winski, junior Gabby Monjaras, sophomore Sydney Chandler and freshman Gabby Hensel. Chandler was eighth in the 100 fly (1:10.27) and 10th in the 200 free (2:19.1). 

The seasons lasted less than a month for both teams. Canal Winchester did not open until Jan. 23 against Westerville South at the Westerville Community Center, and Groveport started six days later with dual meets against the Indians on consecutive days at Jefferson Country Club. 

•It took three attempts, but Gerald Holton finally became Groveport’s boys soccer coach in mid-February. 

Holton, who was the Cruisers’ junior varsity coach last year and middle school coach from 2015-19, previously had sought the job but came up short when Ivan Landaverde and Tyler Gleason were hired in 2017 and 2019, respectively. 

“I’m very excited. I’ve had some of these kids since they were seventh-graders, so I know them and they know me,” said Holton, who has coached at various levels for 17 years. “They were close to Tyler and his leaving hurt, but they were glad to have me step in. We’re going to start bringing back the culture of the Cruisers. We want to focus in on just getting bigger, better and stronger and start competing well against the OCC and in the district.” 

Gleason went 18-15-2 overall in two seasons and led Groveport to the its first league championship in 2019. The Cruisers went 4-12-1 overall and 1-3-1 in the OCC-Buckeye last season. 

Maddie Frank and the Canal Winchester girls basketball team opened the Division I district tournament by defeating host Delaware 61-52 on Feb. 17. The Indians had lost both regular-season meetings with the Pacers.

•The Canal Winchester girls basketball team opened the postseason by finally defeating a nemesis from the regular season. 

Kierstyn Liming’s game-high 22 points and Kate Ratliff’s 19 led the 27th-seeded Indians to a 61-52 win at 17th-seeded Delaware in the first round of the Division I district tournament Feb. 17. After Delaware – which defeated the Indians twice in the regular season – got within 43-40 early in the fourth quarter, Canal Winchester made 13 of 14 free throws to seal the win. 

Canal Winchester was 8-8 before visiting 20th-seeded Teays Valley in the second round Feb. 19. The winner faced third-seeded Reynoldsburg or 36th-seeded Eastmoor Academy in a district semifinal Feb. 24, and that winner will play 12th-seeded Olentangy, 19th-seeded Big Walnut, 32nd-seeded Olentangy Berlin or 34th-seeded Logan in a district final Feb. 27 at the home of the better seed. 

The district champion will advance to a regional semifinal March 2, and the regional final is March 6. 

The Indians lost to Big Walnut 48-31 on Jan. 30 and defeated the Golden Eagles 42-40 on Feb. 9. 

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com 

@ThisWeekDave 

CANAL WINCHESTER SWIMMING 

•Seniors lost: Boys – Kaylor Byrd and Lucas Elizondo; Girls – Isabella Byrd, Kierra Martin, Merideth McFarland, Sofia Riddle and Regan Wildermuth 

•Key returnees: Boys – Zane Fenn and Adam Moneypenny; Girls – Jillian King, Megan Richey, Lauren Stone and Grace Terflinger 

•Postseason: Boys – Third (99) at sectional behind champion Upper Arlington (503); Girls – Fifth (115) at sectional behind champion UA (497) 

GROVEPORT MADISON SWIMMING 

•Seniors lost: Boys – Jaylen Brockman and Isaiah Rogers; Girls – Donneaka Ross and Jazlyn Winski 

•Key returnees: Boys – Trevor Keane, Cameron Uptegraft and Isaac Welsh; Girls – Sydney Chandler, Trinity Gullatt, Gabby Hensel and Gabby Monjaras 

•Postseason: Boys – Fourth (64) at sectional behind champion Upper Arlington (503); Girls – Sixth (51) at sectional behind champion UA (497)