Notebook: Grove City Greyhounds swimmer Hannah Routh makes third trip to state

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Competing in her third Division I state meet, Grove City junior Hannah Routh finished ninth in the 100-yard butterfly and 22nd in the 100 backstroke on Feb. 26 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.

Amid COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic concerns, Grove City swimming and diving coach Amy Miller was uncertain of a season back in late November. 

Although the Greyhounds had a limited schedule, they managed to complete the season, capped by junior Hannah Routh again representing the program in the Division I state meet Feb. 26 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. 

Competing in her third state meet, Routh finished ninth in the 100-yard butterfly (56.39 seconds) and 22nd in the 100 backstroke (58.18). 

“She was really excited about her 100 fly, but when it came to backstroke, I think she’s done,” Miller said. “She’s always been a backstroker and you get to a point in your career of swimming when you know it’s time to move on to different strokes. I think she’s going to try the individual medley next year.” 

Routh accounted for the Greyhounds’ nine points at state as they tied for 37th behind champion New Albany (246.5) as 50 teams scored. 

Last season at state, she finished 16th in the 100 fly (57.52) and 100 back (57.99). As a freshman, Routh finished 14th in the 100 back (57.35). 

“I’m really hoping to make it to state again my senior year and to impress (college) coaches,” Routh said. “I’ve narrowed it down to a couple of schools, so hopefully soon I’ll be committing.” 

Routh holds program records in the 200 freestyle (2:00.28), 50 free (25.28), 100 fly (56.36), 100 free (53.77), 500 free (5:28.56), 100 back (57.19) and 200 individual medley (2:11.69).

The girls team, which will lose three seniors, should be led next season by Routh, junior Audrey Bueter and sophomore Mya Holcomb. 

“I was really hoping that a relay would get to district this year,” Routh said. “It was really sad that we didn’t quite make it there. It was a good run, though. We had really good times this year.” 

The boys team, which had no seniors, will look to add to its roster after competing with just five athletes this winter. 

The boys closed their season in a sectional Feb. 13 at Upper Arlington, with freshman Preston Tussing finishing third in session two in the 50 free (23.18) and fourth in the 100 free (51.79). 

There were no OCC meets this season because of the pandemic.

“We had a weird season, but I’m proud of the kids,” Miller said. “They did great.” 

Sophomore Mitchel Smith is expected to be one of the top returnees for the Central Crossing swimming and diving program.

•The season concluded for the Central Crossing boys and girls swimming teams with junior Haylee Howard and sophomore Mitchel Smith competing in the Division I district meet Feb. 21 at Bowling Green.

Howard finished 23rd in the 50 free (25.49) and 23rd in the 100 fly (55.2).

“We were happy that Mitchel and Haylee made the cut for district, and they both swam right at their best times,” coach Robert Boggs said. “I think that Mitchel was a little nervous, being his first time at district. He’s only a sophomore, so this was a great learning experience for him and he should be back even stronger next year.

“Haylee continues to improve and has one more shot next year. I've got an intense training program designed for them to help with strength and confidence so that they and the whole team will be back stronger and faster next year.”

Boggs said the team was not able to practice at the Urbancrest YMCA and moved to the Grove City YMCA for 5:30 a.m. practices. The Comets did not start to compete until mid-January.

“Considering everything we faced this year, I feel we had a successful season,” Boggs said. “All those who wanted to swim could swim and compete. The kids and the team made great improvements over the season, even though our practice time was cut by a third.”

—Scott Hennen

•The Grove City Christian girls basketball team surpassed last season’s win total as it finished 5-11 overall after going 4-18 a year ago. 

Mainly because of the pandemic, the Eagles finished the season with just six players. 

“I’m hard to please, but there were some bright spots,” coach Bill Spencer said. “We won five games, so that’s a bright spot for us — especially since we only have one senior. With all the things that went wrong, one thing after another and with this COVID stuff, I have to give it to the kids that ended up playing and they stuck it out and played their hearts out. They didn’t give up.” 

Center Tara Johnson was the only senior and “came a long way,” Spencer said. 

Grove City Christian went 3-8 in the MSL-Cardinal Division to finish sixth behind champion Berne Union (12-0). 

Seeded 13th in the Division IV district tournament, the Eagles lost 49-12 at third-seeded Fisher Catholic in the second round Feb. 20. Both teams had a first-round bye. 

Sophomore guard Sienna Brunicardi averaged 7.8 points to lead the team, followed by junior guard Paige Spencer (5.9). Spencer was honorable mention all-league. 

Sophomore center/forward McKenzie Kennedy led in rebounding (9.2). 

Others eligible to return are junior forward/center Grace Leffel and freshman guard Ava Garringer. 

—Frank DiRenna

Sophomore guard Lydia Kimmel was part of a young group of players to gain experience this season for Central Crossing.

•The Central Crossing girls basketball team had just one senior in guard Sydney McCullough, but a young group of players gained valuable experience.

The Comets were seeded 38th in the Division I district tournament and finished 2-15 overall after losing 80-14 at second-seeded Dublin Coffman on Feb. 19 in the second round. 

They went 0-9 in the OCC-Buckeye, which featured three of the four district champions in Newark, Pickerington Central and Reynoldsburg. Coffman won the fourth district title.

“With a young team, we learned the level of play it takes to be at the varsity level,” said assistant coach Christen Nohra, who took over in January when second-year coach Ann Tiefenthaler went on maternity leave. “We played extremely tough, polished and athletic teams, and our players realized how much goes into being competitive in those games. Good teams do not just show up. They are made throughout the season and afterward as well.”

McCullough was special mention all-league, and sophomore forward Aminata Dicko was honorable mention. 

In addition to Dicko, other key players expected back include junior forward Zoey King, sophomore guard Lydia Kimmel and freshman guard Amaya Bridges.

“Sydney’s basketball experience helped with vision on the court, and knowledge to help teammates out when needed has been consistent in our program,” Nohra said. “She was able to help those who were still learning or needed more work in their court awareness. She was an example of how much you can grow when you commit to the program consistently for four years.”

—Scott Hennen

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CENTRAL CROSSING GIRLS BASKETBALL

Record: 2-15 overall

OCC-Buckeye standings: Newark (10-0), Reynoldsburg (7-2), Pickerington Central (4-3), Lancaster (3-6), Groveport (2-6), Central Crossing (0-9)

Senior lost: Sydney McCullough

Key returnees: Amaya Bridges, Aminata Dicko, Lydia Kimmel and Zoey King

Postseason: Lost to Dublin Coffman 80-14 in second round of Division I district tournament

CENTRAL CROSSING SWIMMING & DIVING

Seniors lost: Boys — Mason Smith and Maverick Smith; Girls — Sarah Rush

Key returnees: Boys — Mitchel Smith; Girls — Haylee Howard

Postseason: Boys — Fourth (150) at sectional behind champion Pickerington North (398), did not score at district; Girls — Fourth (102) at sectional behind champion North (372), did not score at district

GROVE CITY SWIMMING & DIVING 

Seniors lost: Boys — None; Girls — Rose Byas, Madelyn Holcomb and Rocsi Rader 

Key returnees: Boys — Jacob Antonelli, Lucas Antonelli, Owen Breeckner, Ricci Rader and Preston Tussing; Girls — Audrey Bueter, Mya Holcomb and Hannah Routh 

Postseason: Boys — Fifth (100) at sectional behind champion Pickerington North (398); Girls — Fourth (124) at sectional behind champion Upper Arlington (497), 19th (26) at district behind champion New Albany (378.5), tied for 37th (9) at state behind champion New Albany (246.5)