Worthington Christian Roundup: Girls bowlers aiming for return trip to state

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Senior Hope Nyland and the Worthington Christian girls bowling team have set a goal of earning a second consecutive berth to the Division II state tournament.

During its fifth full season last winter, the Worthington Christian girls bowling team advanced to the Division II state tournament for the first time.

With four returnees who saw action as the Warriors finished 15th (2,584) in the 16-team event, coach Matt Hamilton believes that experience could be a crucial factor in what could be an unpredictable season.

The Warriors figure to have a busy slate in January while competing in the COHSBC-C Division. Last season, Worthington Christian went 17-0 overall and won the league at 11-0.

“We have a great returning group,” Hamilton said. “In a year with craziness, it’s important to have experience. Our goal this year is to be a light to other teams and our teammates by glorifying God in our actions, win the league ... and return to the state.”

The top returnees are seniors Lilly Marsh and Emily Weishaar, who were the top finishers for the Warriors at state. Marsh placed 49th (480) and Weishaar was 72nd (418).

Seniors Abby Lanker and Hope Nyland also competed at state, and Caroline Busby rounds out the senior class. Freshmen Taylor Fries and Dorothy Fullerton also are looking to contribute.

Marsh (162.8 average) and Weishaar were first-team all-league, while 2020 graduates Naysa Dunlap, Natalie Opava and Amber Ralson made the second team.

Coral Varian was another 2020 graduate on the state tournament roster who helped the Warriors win their second consecutive COHSBC-C title and improve on a sixth-place district finish in 2019. 

The Warriors were fourth (2,995) at sectional and first (3,429) at district.

Worthington Christian also was first (3,193) during the qualifying round of the MSL-Ohio tournament but lost 3-1 to Whitehall in a best-of-five Baker series semifinal.

Junior Tyler White is one of the top returnees for the Warriors boys bowling team.

Boys bowling team

filled with returnees

The boys bowling team has returned nearly all of its top competitors after finishing 10th (3,238) in the Division II district tournament, losing only Caleb Slagle to graduation after he placed fifth at district with a 592.

“We have a great returning group,” coach Dave Krebs said. “We lost one senior, Caleb Slagle, who has returned as the assistant boys coach. We’re learning to be flexible in 2020. We averaged two bowlers per practice most of November due to quarantines. This will be a year unlike any other.”

The top returnees are senior Mason Marsh and juniors Noah Dirscherl, Connor Lawson and Tyler White. Marsh averaged 168 and Dirscherl, Lawson and White averaged 160 last season.

Juniors Nathan Fullerton and Will Muskopf also have returned.

Senior Sifan Rago is in his first season with the program. Sophomores Garrett Dixon and Nick Duchene and freshman Michael Goulet are others looking to contribute.

“Mason Marsh will be in his fourth and final year (and) I expect he’ll go out in style with a great senior year,” Krebs said. “We also have five juniors who now have been in the program for three years. They’ll provide solid scores and leadership. I’ve seen great improvement already from Nathan Fullerton, Will Muskopf and Garrett Dixon. 

“Nick Duchene, who made varsity as a freshman, is switching to two-handed and could make a huge difference. Michael Goulet and Sifan Rago are joining the team for the first time and there could be a pleasant surprise from one or both.”

Morgan returns to

lead swim program

There are five athletes competing for the swimming and diving program this winter, including defending Division II state girls diving champion Lena Morgan.

An Ohio State signee, Morgan followed a state runner-up finish in 2019 by scoring 448.35 points to win last year’s title.

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has limited Worthington Christian’s schedule.

“In past seasons, several area teams have generously included us in their dual and tri-meets, allowing our small squad to have additional competitive opportunities,” coach Jim Peterfish said. “At this point, with capacity limits and many teams cutting the size of their squads to the max allowable and all invitationals being canceled, our regular-season competition opportunities are waning. I’m hoping the championship series stays intact to allow our few swimmers and divers the chance to compete.”

Junior boys swimmer Micah Shemenski and sophomore girls swimmer Emma Stoll also have returned.

Stoll was fifth in the 500-yard freestyle (5 minutes, 24.36 seconds), 14th in the 100 butterfly (1:04.95) and swam on two relays at district, while Shemenski was seventh in the 500 free (5:20.76).

Freshmen Lily Morgan and Carson Houston are divers looking to gain experience.

“Training opportunities have also been a challenge for our athletes,” Peterfish said. “Worthington Christian relies on the area club programs to provide practices for our swimmers and divers and many area clubs have also been experiencing a reduction in water time. 

“For that reason, our team is significantly smaller this year. Despite the challenges they’re facing, the athletes remain optimistic and are training with an attitude of readiness for when those opportunities present themselves.”

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

BOWLING

Coaches: Boys — Dave Krebs, eighth season; Girls — Matt Hamilton, sixth season

Top athletes: Boys — Noah Dirscherl, Connor Lawson, Mason Marsh and Tyler White; Girls — Abby Lanker, Lilly Marsh, Hope Nyland and Emily Weishaar

Key losses: Boys — Caleb Slagle; Girls — Naysa Dunlap, Jaclyn Hamilton, Anna Opava, Natalie Opava, Amber Ralston and Coral Varian

Last season: Boys — 12-5 overall; Girls — 17-0 overall

2020 finishes: Boys — Fourth in COHSBC-C, sixth at sectional, 10th at district; Girls — First in COHSBC-C, second at sectional, first at district, 15th at state

SWIMMING & DIVING

Coach: Jim Peterfish, 20th season

Top athletes: Boys — Carson Houston and Micah Shemenski; Girls — Lena Morgan, Lily Morgan and Emma Stoll

Key losses: Boys — Isaac Myhal and Synjin Sharp; Girls — Mary Lake, Morgan Lawrence and Anna Stathulis

2019-20 MSL standings: Boys — Columbus Academy (238), Bexley (201), Wellington (175), Buckeye Valley (150), Grandview (111), Teays Valley (83), Bloom-Carroll (59), Logan Elm (50), Liberty Union (41), Fairfield Union (32), Worthington Christian (30), Zanesville Rosecrans (20), Hamilton Township (5); Girls — Columbus School for Girls (393), Academy (224), Grandview (158), Bexley (123), Liberty Union (102), Fairfield Christian (88), Wellington (66), Worthington Christian (59), Fairfield Union (50), Teays Valley (35), Buckeye Valley (33), Bloom-Carroll (24), Logan Elm (17), Grove City Christian (4), Circleville (4)

2020 postseason: Boys — 12th at sectional, 26th at district; Girls — 11th at sectional, 18th at district, tied for 32nd at state